When I was a kid, I hated reading. I refused to read any book offered me because it was too hard. I have dyslexia. I wouldn’t even try when my mama would ask me to read just this one small picture book trying to help me learn. I remember once trying to prove I could read just fine by hiding the book in question behind my back and reciting it to her word for word from memory of all the times she had read it to me. It didn’t work.
She never gave up though, she kept offering me new books and new authors until one day she gave me a Tamora Pierce book. After that, she couldn’t get me to stop reading. I always had a stack of books next to me and asked to go to the library every week. This was the stepping stone to entering college at 16. (Thanks mama for making sure I could read!)
I graduated from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University four years ago. Like all Fairhaven students, I read a lot and contemplated the purpose of existence as if it were something to be learned in just four years. I soaked daily in beautiful words by more authors than I can list here, which naturally lead to inspiration.
Mine was not a written inspiration however, I was drawn to illustrate the inspiration I felt with a paintbrush, glue, paper, and of course pen. That is to say, I was a double major in fine arts and arts management. Words were often a companion to my visuals and remain so to this day. I enjoy the way in which they play off of each other and tell a different part of the same story.
Now I work as a freelance creator, which entails a lot of logo design and a remarkable amount of watching that spinning rainbow circle. Words are still crucial in this environment, but “visit our website” is not quite the inspirational text I long for. To combat this, I really enjoy creating book covers whenever I can. I see it as that visual support for a manuscript that lands it in the right hands. A book cover gives you just seconds to grab that reader and yell “Read this one!” over the hundreds of other books in their presence.
I’m thrilled to be working with Sundress and apply my artistic skills to be the visual support for under-represented voices. There is no greater purpose to life than to support each other by sharing love and knowledge because we’re all on this orb together. Maybe I learned that from four years of book reading after all.
Coral Black received her BA in fine arts and fine arts management from Western Washington University. She has worked as a graphic designer for InkSpeak and others and most recently completed a custom label for Patron tequila. She works as a freelance designer and artist and is also the kitchen manager for her local YMCA where she cooks 3 meals per day for 75 kids and teachers.
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