Years ago I came up with this idea for a kid’s book. It was the adventures of Ferdy and his best friend Einstein (a bugle). I drew the pictures and wrote a manuscript. Sadly, that project is packed away somewhere collecting dust.
That was, until I met Dana Satterwhite and Joseph Watson, the creators of the children’s book series Go, Go, Greta.
Satterwight, a copywriter and creative branding expert by trade, came up with an idea for a story. As he describes it, when the inspiration hit he couldn’t sleep. But, he knew he needed someone else to help him make this work. Then one night, during a First Friday weekend, (that’s a weekly art festival in downtown Las Vegas) Satterwhite entered the Joseph Watson gallery. He had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments. Watson had the style that fit with Satterwhite’s vision.
Satterwhite made sure he connected with Watson. When they did, ideas flowed. The two came together to create the Greta character. Eventually, it went from one book to a second.
Watson graduated from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
He’s a fine artist and illustrator. He’s likely recognized by his conceptual urban fine art style.
During his career he’s worked as a concept designer for Mattel and spent a number of years in the video game industry designing video games.
I had the opportunity to see his creative method firsthand. During a Love for Literacy event, I shared with Watson my idea for a kid’s book. He started asking me question after question, and as I answered them he drew one of my characters. If you want, and you should, go to the Greta website and see the many sketches the two men went through to come up with the final iteration of the character.
Satterwhite and Watson, with their own sweat equity and investment, took the book independently and brought it to audiences throughout Las Vegas.
This is a beautiful book, art and story. It’s a memorable character with a positive and lovely message, for young and old. More than that, this is one of my favorite stories simply because of the way it came to be. Two men, who didn’t know each other, come together because of an idea. The final product is proof of what great collaboration can do.
By the way, here’s the drawing Joseph made for me of my children’s book character. Not sure about you, but I’m inspired to get to work.