• Christopher Myers

    Christopher Meyers

    He was born in Queens NY in 1974. He lives in Brooklyn NY. He’s an artist: Myers has made his career working with his hands, creating his own images in collage, photos, woodcuts, and other artistic media.

    Myers began his children's book career doing research to help his father,

    Walter Dean Myers.

    Father

    In addition to his fine art and illustrative work, Christopher Myers is a clothing designer.

    “Growing up, I was the tallest one in my class. I was the youngest one in my class. I've always had big feet.”

    Me                      everyone else

    Tallest One

    Myers graduated from Brown University in 1995 with a B.A. in Art-Semiotics and American Civilization

    Myers has become the recipient of several awards and honors:

    • 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Firebird
    • 2015 CCBC Choices, My Pen, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
    • 2015 Coretta Scott King Award – ALA, Firebird, Misty Copeland and Christopher Myers, Penguin
    • 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for O.R.S.E: A Game of Basketball and Imagination
    • 2007 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for Jazz
    • 2006 Boston Globe Hornbook Honor for Blues Journey
    • 2005 National Book Award finalist for Autobiography of My Dead Brother
    • 2005 National Book Award finalist, Monster, Walter Dean Myers, illustration by Christopher Myers, HarperCollins
    • 2000 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for Black Cat
    • 1998 Caldecott Honor for Harlem
    • 1998 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for HarlemHarlem

    Chris Myers sees his job as telling stories about his neighborhood; about where he come from; about where he grew up; about people that he’s met — “people like my aunts and my uncles — my family.” He sees his job as talking about black people and talking about black people in ways that he wants to see black people talked about.

    “I grew up in Queens and then in Jersey City, both urban areas in the New York area. My dad is a writer, which was cool, because I never really saw him go off to work. I would wake up in the morning, and there he would be. And I'd go to sleep at night, and he would still be there. And so I saw that that was his job. His job was to make up stories, and I said, ‘This is a great job. You don't have to go anywhere. You don't have to dress up fancy.’ And I've always wanted to be a part of that life of making books. I had stories to tell.

    And I think everyone has stories to tell. I don't care who you are. You have a story to tell. You come from someplace. You have experiences. You live your life, and that's interesting. Where you live is interesting. Where you come from is interesting — no matter who you are. I want to tell my story, and I also want to encourage kids to tell their stories.”

    “I live in Brooklyn. I love my neighborhood. There's nothing I do not love about my neighborhood. I love the people on the streets. I love the sirens, because I know where I am. I remember for a few years I lived in another city — but it was a more country city. It was Providence, Rhode Island. I lived there for a few years when I went to college. And I swear for the first three months of being there, I was nervous. I was freaked out, because it was too quiet. I didn't feel right. The first thing I thought to myself was, ‘This is where bad things happen. Bad things happen in quiet places. That's why they're quiet.’”

    “TALENT IS NOTHING WITHOUT WORK.”

    “When some people talk about reading, they talk about it like it's a vacation. They talk about reading like, ‘Oh, reading is really great. It's like going to Hawaii.’ And it's not like going to Hawaii. And that's something that people need to understand and deal with.

    Reading is like eating. You need to read in today's world. You need to fight for that strength that it takes to read. Reading will be part of your life every day. If you want to know what's going on in the world, you need to read about it. If you want to know what's going on in your neighborhood, you need to read about it to get past all the random guys on the corner, who will tell you 15 kinds of stories and none of them will be true. Reading is not a luxury. Reading is not a vacation. Reading is a necessity. You have to read, and you have to fight to make sure that that reading will be part of your life.”

    WingsFirebird