All photos TM & Copyright Walter Wick. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Walter Wick, illustrator of the “I Spy” and “Can You See What I See?” series is this year’s Children’s Art & Literacy Festival featured artist. Wick has been creating photographic tricks and illustrations since the 1980s and has sold more than 38 million books worldwide. Mr. Wick is best known for his brilliant search-and-find photographs. He is the author, creator, and photographer of the “Can You See What I See?” series, and two award winning science books, “A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder” and “Walter Wick’s Optical Tricks.” In addition, he is the co-creator and photographer of the “I Spy” books.
Wick began the search-and-find process accidentally, one slow day at his photography studio, “I was organizing screws, paper clips and other odds and ends. As I began sorting, I liked the way the objects looked spread out on my light box. After hours of careful arranging, I took a picture. This photograph of odds and ends was the spark that helped inspire the first ‘I Spy’ book!”
After discovering his process and having success with several magazine covers, Wick began creating for the “I Spy” series. Wick explains, “In 1991, Jean Marzollo and I collaborated on ‘I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles.’ With the success of the ‘I Spy’, I’ve had opportunities to visit schools and see firsthand how kids respond to my work.” His success with “I Spy” gave Wick the push he needed to venture out on his own with two solo projects: “A Drop of Water: A Book of Science” and “Wonder and Walter Wick’s Optical Tricks.” While creating his third series, “Can You See What I See?: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve” he realized he had created a new kind of search-and-find book.
His great success meant he needed a space in which to work, create, and provide storage space for more than 15,000 props. Wick’s studio, an old firehouse, serves as the production area, photography studio and workshop.
The images for his books begin as sketches, with the next step being the creation of a scale model out of cardboard. Once the cardboard versions are created and arranged, they begin to build the actual set pieces. Wick employs two to eight artists who help sculpt, build and paint Wick’s elaborate sets for each of his images.
Mr. Wick will open his exhibit “Games, Gizmos & Toys in the Attic” June 11th at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature and be an active participant throughout the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival that will feature Mr. Wick, Seymour, and his books. The public is invited to his presentation Thursday, June 13, at the Historic Paramount Theatre. Festival attendees will have many other opportunities to visit with Mr. Wick throughout the weekend. Full festival itinerary available at www.abilenecalf.com.