School Visits

Evan travels all over the country to talk to kids, teach highschool workshops, and speak at universities. His school visits focus on the research and process of making a book (as both author and illustrator), as well as visual storytelling, symbolism, and artistic influences. Presentations can be geared towards different age groups K-12, but always center around the idea of learning to read images and following the storytelling within the pictures.

If you are concerned about price, please contact anyways and we can work with you to make the visit work in your budget!

More info about visits can be found here: The Booking Biz


Heartbeat - K-12

Evan Turk's cinematic picture book Heartbeat follows the life of a baby whale as she is born, loses her mother to whaling, and lives through two hundred years of human innovation at the expense of whales. In the end, a young girl sings with the now-grown whale calf, with a song of unity, and a world united by their heartbeats. Evan's presentation includes a careful reading of the story, including context and history to bring the book to life. He will then talk about the amazing sail aboard the 177 year old whale ship he took that inspired this book, the creation of the story as an animation, and the process of making the book. The incredible history of human use of whales and whale products in the United States will be covered. This will be followed by a discussion of possible themes in the book, and how to read a book that is open to interpretation.

The Storyteller - K-12

Evan's debut as author and illustrator, The Storyteller, was released in June 2016. This exciting tale, within a tale, within a tale, tells the story of a young boy in Morocco who unknowingly becomes an apprentice to a master storyteller, and uses the power of storytelling to inspire hope and rescue his city from a looming sandstorm. Evan will read the story (unless all students have read it in class prior), followed by a behind the scenes presentation on the making of the book. In this presentation, classes will get to see how the book came to be, including preliminary sketches, drawings and photos from his research trips to Morocco, and the final book. He will also give a look into the unique process of creating the artwork for the book, which includes a technique he learned in Morocco using indigo pigment, sugared tea, and fire. Evan walks students through the artwork of the book, talking about how to “read” art, and look for symbols and clues to understand it. This presentation also includes a short background on the country of Morocco and its rich storytelling history.

Muddy - K-12

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, written by Michael Mahin, follows the inspiring life of Muddy Waters, one of the great blues musicians. From the cotton fields of Mississippi to the blues clubs of Chicago, readers see how Muddy used his own life and style to make music that was uniquely his own. Evan’s presentation talks about his own process creating the artwork for the book, including travel to Mississippi and Chicago, and drawing musicians live on location! He will talk about his artistic influences in the book, and how he settles on a style for each book he illustrates. Evan will walk students through the artwork of the book, talk about how to “read” art, show them how colors, shapes, and patterns can all be used to tell a story.

Grandfather Gandhi/Be The Change Message and Visual Storytelling – K-12

Evan talks with kids about his 3D collage artwork from Grandfather Gandhi and Be the Change. He shows kids how to “read” art, and follow visual symbols and clues throughout the book. He also discusses the process, influences, and techniques in the art, and how an illustrator makes choices. This presentation shows the process of revision and rethinking, through thumbnail sketches, rough pencil sketches, and all the planning and hard work that comes before the finished artwork. Presentation will discuss the themes of nonviolence, self-discipline, and anger through the artwork of both books.

Working as an Illustrator – K-5 (adapted 6-12)

Geared towards a younger audience, this presentation will focus on what an illustrator does, different media and techniques, and the importance of practice and trying new things. He will show drawings from travel to Morocco, France, and Israel, and discuss drawing on location. He will show preparatory and finished work for his children’s books, including art from the Grandfather Gandhi books, The Storyteller, and Muddy. Evan can also draw portraits of a few students or teachers after the presentation.