Paul Edward Davis sometimes known as Eddie Davis is a professional artist and illustrator. As far back as he can remember he has always enjoyed drawing and painting. Sometimes jokingly he refers to his gift as a compulsive disorder. He has enhanced his skills by picking up various books on painting, taking graphic design classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and through many years of doing portraits and caricatures at local festivals and block parties. His love of painting has always made him look forward to his next piece of art. He is influenced by an early envy of comic book artists such as John Bryn and Jack Kirby, as well as painters such as Ernie Barnes, Boris Vallejo and Norman Rockwell. His writing style and subject matter reflects all the life experiences of the books he has read and the shows he has watched. He loves science fiction and fantasy. He can work with just about any medium and enjoys exploring what he can do with the digital world.
Back in the day before the hip-hop sound, there was an old school rapper named Old School Brown. He was cool as can be, but got older in time; here he is now still busting a rhyme. He loves his job as our school bus driver, taking us to school to be smarter and wiser. Thus starts the story featuring Carver Academy’s favorite school bus driver with a talent for telling fantastic stories done in rhyme. In this tale told for Halloween he takes the kids back to the 80’s were he was confronted by non other than Dracula. Can a young Old School Brown defeat the vampire in a battle of rap and rhyme? You will find out in this fun and beautifully illustrated story.
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
How did I come up with this story. Well I am a child of the 80’s and back then one of the popular styles of music for me and my friends was this new style called rap and hip hop. Back then Rap was more fun and stories then bling and gangsters. So my friends and myself with our little garage talent show band would create songs and one of which I wrote was a story of me meeting Dracula in a park. Fast forward to the present and I always loved that rhyme so I decided to up-date it to the present and created the character of Old School Brown.
Old School Brown seems like a wonderful character. Can you tell us a little about him and why he likes telling stories in rhyme?One special thing about The Adventures of O.S. B. is that the lyrical nature of the stories lends itself very well to live readings. I think it is best with an Old school beat playing in the background.
This is my first book for sale to a wide audience on Amazon. I had written story before that I self printed and sold to some local schools, I have been a columnist for a local news paper and of course I have illustrated stories for other people.
Can you tell us a little about the illustrations for this book?
The illustrations for Old School Brown are pen and Ink with Digital coloring. I especially had fun drawing young Old School Brown in his purple “Members Only” Jacket “Kango” hat and lee jeans. Something I probably would have worn back in the day.
How did you become interested in illustrating books for children?
I have always been into illustrations, picture books, comic books and stories. As an artist I feel I am a much stronger illustrator and visual storyteller then fine artist even though I can work oil paints and canvas too. So doing children’s books is a natural extension.
As an illustrator / author what inspires you first… the words or the images?
Being both an illustrator and author is interesting when it comes to creating stories. Because what I visualize in my brain I can create on paper I often create characters and art that already has a story to it. Because that is the way I approach art. Or if I am simply writing a cool story the images are already cascading through my head so I can simply create them on paper. I have many stories that consist of just a drawing or painting until I get ready to type the story out.
For example I have a character named Rosemary. She is a middle aged single mom who is very self-conscious about her self-image and lacks confidence. In the story for Rosemary she goes on a little story arch where in the end she learns just how beautiful she truly is. There is also “My Little Angel” She is a child that was never born and the spiritual guardian of Infant babies welcoming them into the world and telling them about all the cool things to come for them. It is a fantasy version of an explanation of how babies know who and what a mommy is and how they learn to take their first step and say their first word. The little angel tells them!
Can you tell us a little about BookByDaddy.com and why you started your own publishing company?
My start up company is www.bookbydaddy.com. And as an illustrator I would here stories from authors about the things they didn’t like bout the self-publishing companies they worked with. Often I would do the illustrations and they would then send them off to whatever self-publishing house. Or on freelancers sites I would see job post that I would have this sneaking suspicion that the illustration job was being outsourced from a third party. I won’t put down those businesses because they serve a great purpose but I feel there is something to be said about small and intimate relationships with Illustrators.
Having studied desktop publishing and possessing the necessary software it seems like a much natural progression to illustrate and format books at the same time. Once I realized how simple it is to go through POD sites and publish to Amazon.
I am now transforming my Illustration web site into a publishing web site.
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects??
An upcoming project is a story written by Author Mary Wroten. Having read the first two chapters I must say it is a very entertaining book. There is a second book by Author Eddie Rutledge “Amani And Friends Go To New York” And then there is a few more stories from myself as well as “The Adventures of Old School Brown Funky Christmas story.”