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Jerry Craft Inspires Young Readers at SCRF 2024

by | May 9, 2024 | News

Renowned American cartoonist Jerry Craft took center stage at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2024), offering a captivating masterclass on illustration and life to eager schoolchildren.

Reflecting on his remarkable journey, Craft shared, “I am living a dream I never dreamt.” With over two dozen books under his belt, some gracing the esteemed New York Times bestseller list, Craft emphasized the significance of personal storytelling. “I began illustrating to challenge the narrow and often misrepresented portrayals of African-Americans in the media. I wanted to share a different reality, one that resonated with my experiences,” he explained.

Nearly three decades ago, at the age of 34, Craft penned his inaugural book and hasn’t looked back since. His acclaimed work, “New Kid,” which has captivated readers across continents and is slated for a cinematic adaptation in collaboration with NBA legend LeBron James’s production company, stands as a testament to his enduring creativity and influence.

Encouraging the young audience to embrace their own narratives, Craft remarked, “It is up to you to tell your own stories. Share the richness of your culture, cuisine, and uniqueness with the world.” He underscored the importance of authenticity in storytelling, especially when diverging from common perceptions.

In response to inquiries about pursuing illustration, Craft offered invaluable advice: “The key is to start. Complete your work, refine it, and never shy away from finishing what you begin.”

Looking ahead, Craft revealed his ongoing projects, including a forthcoming three-book series and collaborations with fellow authors, promising more inspiring tales to come.

 

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