About Jack

From the beginning..

Jack Kohler is a teacher, writer and artist marching to the beat of his own drummer in Pennsylvania. He hopes his books will inspire you to reach for your dreams, always following the rhythm of your own heart.

Jack’s artwork has always inspired others to be creative with their medium.
For example, a self portrait made of noodles.

“One of the funnest parts of creating these books was learning so many new things. Originally, I was drawing the characters on watercolor paper and coloring them in with water soluble oil pastels. It was really time consuming and difficult to get a consistent result, so i began playing with the images in Photoshop.  Learning Photoshop was, and is, a little tricky, but opened a whole world of possibilities to me.”

The Process

The process of creating an illustration begins with photography. As I go about my day to day life, I am constantly on the lookout for interesting textures or colors in my environment. When I find one, I snap a picture of it. This is the side of a truck that I thought looked interesting:

The next step is to upload these pictures to my computer. There, I use photoshop to add layers of interest and color to the original image by adding additional textures, colors, or patterns. The final texture may look something like this:

Next I collage these textures together to build a scene. Can you find where I used the texture above in Bitsy Blew A bubble?

Now it’s time to add the characters. I begin by making a pencil sketch of each character the way I want it to appear on the page. It can take a lot of tries to get it right, so I use both sides and every corner of my paper so I’m not wasteful.

Next, I scan this sketch onto my computer and use a program called Adobe Illustrator to trace over it with a black pen. Finally, I color the character in and it’s ready to be pasted onto a background. The sequence below shows the character Pig going from sketch, to black outline, to final colored in character.

Can you find where this sketch appears in the book Pig Flew?