Here is the latest illustration for the Adalta Series by my son, Kurt Nilson. It has been fun working with him on this project. He puts a lot of time and thought in each illustration. I’ve even had a review saying the covers and illustrations are better than the writing. How humbling.
Kurt lives in Brazil, so working together is all on line. When I go visit, or he and his family—wife Carol, sons Oscar, Lucas, and Liam—come to the States to visit, we seem always too busy with other things to do much work together in person.
He and Carol started a company in Brazil that makes and sells organic soaps, deodorants, essential oils, creams, etc.—and they work hard at it. It’s one of the very few businesses in Brazil that offer these all-natural products. They even grow their own lavender.
I sound like a commercial for my son, when what I wanted to talk about was Kurt’s illustrations for my Adalta Series and working together yet far apart. (If you click on Gallery, above, you can see more.)
But—here’s the three things:
1. He’s the most talented illustrator I know. Look at these illustrations. He’s been drawing almost since he was born. A typical boy, he started with cars and airplanes shooting bullets, as a teen he graduated to well-endowed women (comic artist Frank Frazetta was his idol), moved on to a Fine Arts degree, even did performance art for a while in London. His work as an artist is always evolving.
2. He lives very far away
This helps us stay connected. A traveler all his life. Kurt has lived in London, Portugal, Berlin, Paris, backpacked through Laos, Cambodia––where he crossed the border with some pig smugglers, Vietnam, Thailand. From New Mexico then Austin, h finally settled in Brazil, which is where his wife, Carol, comes from. Having him do the illustrations is a wonderful way we stay connected.
3. Our visions align perfectly
What’s most special about working with Kurt is our visions for these illustrations match so perfectly. He catches what is in my head. He’s able to take a scene or a character description and create something that’s even better than what I write.
(And so I don’t get in trouble, I have two other children, Jeri and Sven, who are just as awesome. Jeri even reads my books and helps when I get stuck. Sven has wonderful, wild ideas I might even occasionally use, and helped me learn formatting.)