Illustrator and writer earns national recognition

Jonathan Bean ′01
Studio art major
Manhattan, New York

Jonathan Bean ′01 has the best of worlds, living and working in a New York City apartment near Central Park. The Pennsylvania native grew up hiking, bird watching, and drawing landscapes—pastimes he frequently pursues as a resident of the Big Apple. In fact, finding places of solitude in a metropolitan landscape are what inspired Bean to write and illustrate At Night, a tale of a city-dwelling child seeking a quiet place to rest.

Among a host of recent accolades, At Night (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; July 2007) was named one of the top 150 books of 2008 by Publisher’s Weekly and recently won the prestigious 2008 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for excellence in children’s literature. Bean himself, who holds a master of fine arts in illustration from Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, was named one of the “Four Fresh Children’s Book Talents” by Publishers Weekly.

Bean’s passion for illustration dates back to his studio art program at Messiah College, and the friendship he formed with Professor Stephen Fieser who himself has illustrated numerous children’s books. “One of the great things about my friendship with Steve,” Bean says, was that it was “much more than him teaching me the subject-it was more of an invitation, from him and all the professors in the department, to enter into the world of art.”

According to Bean, the cherished friendship has endured beyond graduation. “Steve has expressed a genuine interest in my career. I talk to him about where I am sending things, and how to promote my work. It’s been so helpful having someone who has been through similar experiences there to help me.” 

Bean’s playful and engaging style has enlivened the pages of seven other children’s books, including Mokie and Bik and The Apple Pie that Papa Baked. He has worked for The New York Times, Cricket Magazine, and numerous book publishers including Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, Henry Holt, Bloomsbury, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


Contributors: Susan Getty & Laurie Brown

Posted in 2001, Alumni, Grad School Bound, Majors & Minors, Studio Art | Comments Off

Posted on January 8th, 2009

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