Unaccompanied Spread by Tracy White

Tracy White

New York City

Tracy White is a cartoonist and teacher. She believes stories can change the world.

Her current book, Unaccompanied: Stories of Brave Teenagers Seeking Asylum tells the true experiences of brave teens fleeing their home countries to seek asylum in the U.S. Based on extensive interviews Tracy helps us understand why some young people would literally risk their lives to seek safety in the U.S. Each one of them has been backed into a corner where emigration to the U.S. seems like their only hope. 

Unaccompanied was nominated for a Cybil Award and is a YALSA Great Graphic Novel.

Tracy’s first graphic novel, How I Made it to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story, was a Bank  Street Book of the year, a YALSA Great Graphic Novel, and a Texas Maverick Graphic Novel. Her webcomic TRACED was nominated twice for an Ignatz and was a TV series for Oxygen TV.

When not making comics, she’s a mom, cat wrangler, and daily dark chocolate eater who enjoys nature walks even though she lives in a city.

Cartoonist Tracy White, author and illustrator of UNACCOMPANIED and HOW I MADE IT TO EIGHTEEN

What was your favorite book as a child?

My favorite book as a child was Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Siverstien – it’s like a comic in poetry. The words and images together create that beautiful third idea (Scott Mccloud’s term). It’s one of my favorite tools in the comics tool box.

What is your favorite food?

I eat three squares of dark chocolate every day – sometimes four.

Mediums:

Specialties:

Location:

New York City

Visit Tracy at:

GET IN TOUCH ABOUT TRACY.

Art Process:

I start with words, lots of them on lined paper, writing by hand and skipping every other line. Most of my work is non fiction so there is LOTS or research involved which means: interviews, transcriptions, reading, listening, watching – eventually organizing by color coding then index cards until I get to the WRITING! I always write with a blue ball point pen. I keep adding to my manuscripts to see what is underneath my original idea. I find that if I keep adding rather than editing at first,  ideas will form that were behind the original thoughts and that helps shape the narrative. Then I write a script and start doodling alongside it images that pop into my mind – very rough. Eventually the script moves to the computer. I print it out and carry it around with me for a while jotting down notes – I rewrite, print, repeat. A lot. 

Then it’s the drawing phase. Very loose thumbnails that very slowly become more refined. Somewhere in there I start doing character sketches. I check in with a few trusted folks just to see if what I think I’m communicating is being communicated. I do pencils on paper then I move that all to CSP or to PS. My last book was done in CSP and moved to PS for the typography. I spend many many hours drawing until it feels just right. 

Awards and honors:

Yalsa great graphic novel
Bank street book of the year
Texas Maverik Book list

Forthcoming books:

Published books:

How I Made it to Eighteen, a mostly true story Roaring Brook Press, 2010
Border X , contributor 2021
Draw The Line, contributor 2022
Unaccompanied: Stories of Brave Teenagers Seeking Asylum, Street Noise Books, 2023

Available for School Visits:

I LOVE to speak at schools, libraries, and universities. I am a teacher and have done workshops and discussions for grades 5 through college. Also grownups!

These engrossing workshops can be tailored to your specific needs and are between 60 and 90 minutes long (or short!). I can partner with you to create the perfect custom workshop or discussion for your needs. For anyone interested in non-fiction graphic storytelling. No drawing experience necessary!

Current specific workshops around Unaccompanied are here:

https://www.traced.com/workshops/

Please reach out to me WORKSHOPS@TRACED.COM to schedule a visit. See you soon!


Brian Schatell

New York City

I draw silly animals for a living.  I am the illustrator of 16 books for children, mostly picture books, some of which I have also written.  I taught children’s book illustration and writing for twelve years at Parsons School of Design, and for sixteen years served as chair or co-chair of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature’s annual One-on-One Conference for aspiring authors and illustrators.  I’ve also done extensive illustration work for the children’s educational market and for the children’s apparel industry.  Aside from my career creating art for children, I have a long list of diverse and eclectic interests/hobbies for which I have great passion but not enough hours! 

What do you love to do for fun?

Visit used bookstores and used record stores.

What is your favorite children's book?

Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel. The greatest book ever written in the English language and everything that I aspire to as an author/illustrator of children’s books!

Mediums:

Specialties:

GET IN TOUCH ABOUT BRIAN

Art Process:

For many, many years I’ve kept a small notebook in my back pocket. When inspiration strikes I’ll quickly sketch or jot down an idea, a character, a line of dialogue, a turn-of phrase. These stray bits and pieces accumulate over time until they gradually coalesce into a book concept with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s an organic process. I currently have folders full of these scrips and scraps at various stages of gestation.

All of my illustrations contain some kind of black line art, and all of them begin with me sketching by hand with pencil on tracing paper. Lots and lots of tracing paper! Then depending on how I want the finished product to appear, there are three ways I might proceed. I will either scan the pencil sketch into the computer and use it as a template to draw the final line art digitally, or more commonly, I will develop the sketch into an black ink drawing on paper and then scan the completed black line into the computer to color digitally. Or option three, where I don’t scan anything at all and just watercolor the line art. Whatever the method, I expend a great amount of effort to make sure that the final art retains the spontaneity of my original pencil sketches.

Though I specialize in drawing funny animals in funny situations, (I’m partial to cows and chickens) I’m nevertheless interested in stories that are character driven and that have emotional resonance – not a contradiction, actually. The most important attributes of children’s book illustration in my mind are character and emotion, balance and clarity, flow and pacing. My rule is that every little thing put on the page should be there for a reason.

Forthcoming books:

The Bumble Brothers: Crazy for Comics (Reycraft, 2022)

Published books:

Selected Titles:

Farmer Goff and His Turkey Sam (Lippincott, 1982)
Two Crazy Pigs (Scholastic/Cartwheel, 1992)
Pup and Pop (Scholastic/Cartwheel, 2003)
Owl Boy (Holiday House, 2016)

Location:

Available for School Visits:

I love to do school visits. I have a two-part presentation, geared towards younger grades. Part one covers authors, illustrators and the book making process, from initial idea through writing, sketching, final art and printing, with visual examples. In part two, the students are the authors and I am the illustrator, as I draw an impromptu story from audience suggestions.