Jessell, Tim

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Jessell, Tim

Personal

Married; wife's name Ragan; children: Abby, Ben, Molly. Education: University of Tulsa, B.F.A. (commercial design; cum laude). Hobbies and other interests: Falconry, coaching his children's sports teams.

Addresses

Home—Stillwater, OK. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Commercial artist and illustrator. Freelance illustrator, beginning 1992.

Awards, Honors

Society of Illustrators Gold Medal Award, Addy, Print, Graphex, and other illustration awards; AdWeek magazine illustrator-of-the-year designation.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Amorak, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 1994.

Paper Tiger, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1997.

ILLUSTRATOR

Stan Lee, Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas, Katherine Tegan Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Paul Haven, Two Hot Dogs with Everything, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

Alan Armstrong, Raleigh's Page, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Boy's Life, Time, and Texas Monthly.

ILLUSTRATOR; "SECRETS OF DROON" SERIES

Tony Abbott, The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

Tony Abbott, Journey to the Volcano Palace, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

Tony Abbott, The Mysterious Island, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

Tony Abbott, City in the Clouds, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

Tony Abbott, The Great Ice Battle, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Tony Abbott, The Sleeping Giant of Goll, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Tony Abbott, Into the Land of the Lost Secrets, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Tony Abbott, The Golden Wasp, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Tony Abbott, Tower of the Elf King, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Tony Abbott, Quest for the Queen, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Tony Abbott, The Hawk Bandits of Tarkoom, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Tony Abbott, Under the Serpent Sea, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Tony Abbott, The Mask of Maliban, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Tony Abbott, Voyage of the Jaffa Wind, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Tony Abbott, The Moon Scroll, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Tony Abbott, The Knights of Silversnow, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Tony Abbott, Search for the Dragon Ship, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Tony Abbott, The Coiled Viper, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Also illustrator of other books in the "Secrets of Droon" series.

Sidelights

Award-winning commercial artist Tim Jessell has worked for a wide variety of clients, from Texaco and Nike to Seattle's Best Coffee and Dr. Pepper. However appreciative those clients may be of Jessell's versatile yet realistic style, his biggest fans are likely the countless children who have enjoyed his original self-illustrated picture books Amorak and Paper Tiger as well as the artwork he has contributed to books by writers such as Paul Haven, Tony Abbott, and Stan Lee.

In addition to creating illustrations for Abbott's multivolume "Secrets of Droon" middle-grade novel series, Jessell joined Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee to create Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas. Lee's first book for children, Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas features the yuletide adventures of the Protector, as the musclebound hero attempts to rescue Santa from the evil trolls who have trapped him in an icy kingdom. Calling the project "one of those cases where a book's text is completely overshadowed by the illustrations," Dave Jenkinson wrote in the Canadian Review of Materials that in Stan

Lee's Superhero Christmas Jessell's dramatic, high-energy "pastel and mixed media illustrations are visually engrossing."

Raised in Indiana, Jessell studied art in high school, where his teacher gave him a strong grounding in the basics. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa, and there he earned a B.F.A., cum laude, in commercial design. Jessell's realistic style was a perfect match with the needs of advertisers, and he was able to build a successful career as a commercial artist after going freelance in 1992. He has more recently moved from sketching and working with pastel and other artistic media to creating his images digitally, retaining the traditional approach that has caused his work to be dubbed "tradigital." Jessell's work for Haven's Two Hot Dogs with Everything, a novel about an eleven-year-old baseball fan who hopes that superstition can prop up the score of his favorite team, inspired a Kirkus Reviews contributor to call the work "magical and delightful."

In 1994 Jessell created his first original picture book, Amorak. Featuring compelling and detailed art, the book transports readers to the far north, where a wolf's distant howl is heard as an elderly man tucks his grandson into bed. To reassure the boy, the man tells an Inuit Creation story in which the Great Being brings all manner of creature forth to inhabit an empty world. When sick and weak creatures begin to gain prominence, taking an increasing share of scarce resources, the Great Being creates Amorak. Father of all wolves, Amorak performs an important service by culling the herds and allowing healthy creatures to thrive. Praising Jessell's picture-book debut, a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author/illustrator's "suggestively lit paintings, rich with nocturnal blues and golden firelight, sustain the intensity and wonder of his tale."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 2006, John Peters, review of Two Hot Dogs with Everything, p. 193.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 2004, Krista Hutley, review of Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas, p. 131; May, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of Two Hot Dogs with Everything, p. 403.

Canadian Review of Materials, February 15, 2005, Dave Jenkinson, review of Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of Two Hot Dogs with Everything, p. 348.

Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1994, review of Amorak, p. 76; April 17, 2006, review of Two Hot Dogs with Everything, p. 188.

School Library Journal, May, 2006, Marilyn Taniguchi, review of Two Hot Dogs with Everything, p. 348.

Texas Monthly, January, 1991, "Texas Desperado: Award-winning Western Illustrator Tim Jessell," p. 74.

ONLINE

Tim Jessell Home Page,http://www.timjessell.com (March 15, 2007).