Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 20, 2018

ASK CAT

On the third Tuesday Christina or Christy Ewers Tugeau of the Cat Agency will answer questions and talk about things illustrators need to know to further their career. It could be a question about an illustration you are working on, too. Please email your questions to me and put ASK CAT in the subject box.

chrisandchristy

While the children’s book Industry was celebrating some of its’ most prestigious awards, it was hit with a flood of allegations of mistreatment of women with the #MeToo Movement – all very shocking.

Here’s Chris trying to make sense of all this and guide us through this difficult time:

The Big Question: WHY?

The Answer: Because they could.

The Ultimate Answer: Only we can stop it and prosper

I have been shocked and dismayed for some time now, but particularly in recent days, learning about the abuse and harassment charges being brought against several highly talented and very well-known men in our industry. Like us, these writers and illustrators have worked long and hard to produce work that we respected and even deeply loved. Then they chose to use this adoration to take advantage of others trying to also work hard to be a part of this special industry. Kidlit strives to bring knowledge, truth, love, safety, beauty, imagination and often alternative solutions to young ones trying to understand a world too big and often unsure and unsafe for them. It is a gift and also a responsibility to be part of this process. Yet these few men have then used their earned esteem as ‘power’ to do harm to other adults striving to learn and become a part of this worthwhile endeavor and share their stories and talents with each other and our children.

WHY?

That question has no acceptable answer, but of course it has a counter action. Thank you to all who have and will speak out loudly about these offensives. It takes bravery and the right atmosphere to successfully do this….this is the right time. Perhaps, in time, we can find a way to admire their work (books) without any longer admiring them. I hope we can regain our footing and our balance soon. After all, the vast majority of professionals in this industry are fine, giving, supportive men and women working so hard without overblown egos and ulterior motives. This very incredibly good-hearted, expansive, creative community is the one we need most right now.

I truly hope others will not run from these bad experiences and deprive themselves of the people and conferences that are there to teach and support them. Please don’t stop writing or painting because of being traumatized. PRODUCE MORE… show the world! Take back the power! Help others do the same. Don’t put yourself alone in situations that can be compromising. Walk away from any situation that feels wrong, and report it! Get deeper involved in existing groups and organizations to be sure they are what we need and deserve. A few spoiled lemons are easily detected once one looks and listens (and smells!). But the lemonade can be as sweet as ever by blending the best.

The answer? Join, work, share and celebrate Kid Lit any way you can and as often as you can. We need you!

Thank you Chris for your efforts to on how navigate these troubled waters and go forward.

Please help keep this column going by sending in your questions.

NOW SIT DOWN AND WRITE UP YOUR QUESTIONS FOR “ASK CAT.” 

Hope this illustration by Nicole Tadgell will inspire everyone to send in a question to Chris and Christy. Nicole was featured on Illustrator Saturday April 2, 2011. Take a look.

Send them to kathy(dot)temean@gmail.com and put ASK CAT in the Subject Area.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Chris, I want to let you know how much I adore the artwork your clients produce. I’m not an illustrator, simply a writer. It would be a dream to have work interpreted by such amazing talent.
    Sorry, no question for you just appreciation for your talent and willingness to help others.

    – Vicki

    Liked by 2 people

    • much appreciated! perhaps we’ll get that connection some day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so eloquently expressed, Chris. We live in sad times in countless ways, this being one. I would say no industry or organization is immune to this and, unfortunately, I think most women have experienced sexual harassment in one form or another—certainly, at the very least: sexual inappropriateness. If we’re honest, the world in general is “sexually inappropriate.”

    For me, through my experiences in all these years, with the MANY men I’ve had the pleasure to work with and befriend, they are all upstanding men.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hey guys! we need questions from you all…..anything about art or this art market we all love! or art and writing…we do that too! 😉 but we need a CONVERSATION….need your side! 😉

    Like


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