Thursday, October 28, 2010

Author on a Mission: Inspiring Kids with the Art of Books

Artist Wil Clay has a mission: to do “everything possible to help elementary students get excited about books.” As an illustrator of children’s books and a storyteller, Wil pursues his mission by visiting elementary schools, libraries, colleges and professional organizations, where he delivers animated readings to bring books alive for younger students. Older students delight in learning about Wil’s creative process.

A graphic designer, illustrator, painter, sculptor and storyteller, Wil studied at The American Academy of Art in Chicago, the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and The University of Toledo in Ohio.

He concentrated on corporate design in his Providence, Rhode Island studio for seven years before moving to Houston, where he headed a graphic arts business for 17 years. In 1987 Mr. Clay returned to his hometown of Toledo, where he devoted most of his time to fine arts, painting and sculpture. In 1988 he opened his studio at the Common Space Center for Creativity.

Paintings, sketches and sculptures by Wil Clay are represented in private collections in California, Colorado, Washington, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Washington DC in the United States and in Canada, England, Jamaica, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, Africa.

In 1993 Wil’s book Little Eight John received the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration. These days he continues to keep busy illustrating and promoting the art of books to our youngest readers.

Fine art reproductions of his selected works are available in his Art Gallery at

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