Like everyone,I liked to draw pictures when I was a little kid. At some point in kindergarten, I found a best friend, and he liked to draw pictures, too! A perfect match, except for one important detail: he was a MUCH better artist. Add to that the fact that I was not left-handed, like my mom or Leonardo da Vinci, and it was clear that I would be facing an uphill battle if I wanted to become a great cartoonist. Luckily, enough people intermittently "oohed" and "aahhed" my drawings throughout my childhood to keep me striving. Eventually, I ended up moving east to study illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. To my dismay, it turned out that place was brimming with kids just like my best friend from elementary school. After I graduated, I began to get work as an illustrator and continued to study drawing and painting on my own, accruing overdue fees at the library and poring over out-of-print illustration manuals on the internet. FInally, after more than twenty years of hard work (and yes, drawing copies of Daffy Duck counts as hard work), I finally felt like I could draw pretty much anything I wanted. What a relief that day was!


Of course, nowadays, the drawings I make and enjoy most are those that let me forget all the stuff I ever learned and draw with the same passion I had when I was five. And people say life has no irony!





For me, writing happens in two phases. The first is luck. If I'm lucky enough to have an idea cross my mind, I write it down. The second phase is community. I surround myself with smart people who are decent and thoughtful (some of whom are kids) and they let me know if the idea is dull or if it's worth turning into a story.


Then...Blah! It's done! Then I draw the pictures, double-blah! Ka-POW! Whoosh! Here you go! A picture book is born.




I also have four children of my own and I teach fourth grade in Santa Monica. I coach my two eldest kids in soccer and basketball. When my wife and I are not busy trying to catch up with our children or our jobs, we enjoy sitting across from each other quietly, without being interrupted. I also try to practice my new hobby, the banjo, for at least ten minutes per month.

Copyright © 2013 Max Kornell. All rights reserved.