Meet the Artist: Hank Champion

In this “Meet the Artist” blog series we want to showcase some of the artists whose work is featured in our coloring book. When the folks at I Still Matter had the idea to create coloring book we knew we wanted it to be a collaborative effort so we reached out to both local and international artists. I Still Color: Creating Your Happy, features the artwork of 52 artists from 8 countries including Japan, Ghana, and Cuba!

Our first featured artist is Jacksonville, Florida’s Hank Champion.

Pajama Monsters

Pajama Monsters: Hank Champion

Hank Champion is the CEM (Chief Executive Monster) of Pajama Monsters. He’s also the designer of the plush dolls, illustrator and co-author of the book “If Your Monster Wears Pajamas” co-written with Megan Champion. Hank currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, he previously worked as an Art Director, Graphic Designer and Copywriter for advertising agencies in New York City. Hank studied illustration while earning his BFA at Auburn University and had wanted to create a children’s book ever since he graduated but never had ideas until he had a child in his life. Now the ideas just keep coming.

Here is the page he created for I Still Color:

Pajama Monsters

Pajama Monsters: Hank Champion

Here’s what Hank had to say about his participation in our coloring book.

This coloring book has a special focus of supporting mental health awareness. Could you tell our reader’s what appealed to you about participating in this project?
Pajama Monsters have always been about helping people. In fact, the original idea behind Pajama Monsters was to help children overcome being afraid of the dark. Now through this coloring book, the Pajama Monsters get to help even more.
Could you explain how you chose the artwork for your submission?
The artwork was created just for this project. The idea behind it is, since Pajama Monsters protect you while sleeping, I thought it would be fun to create a night-time, dream like scene that they were floating through. I put lots of swirls, lines, planets, and stars to make the coloring more engaging.
Do you have a personal story about living with mental illness that you feel comfortable sharing?
I think one of the reasons I’m compelled make pictures and tell stories is to help me deal with, understand and absorb life and all its messines. In fact, a couple of stories that I am currently working on came to me in the midst of very stressful periods of my life. Creativity has always been my go to place during life’s storms.
What did it take for you to finally be able to get to a point where you felt comfortable saying “I am an artist”?
My answer for this may be seem contradictory. Growing up, my parents always encouraged my abilities, so I’ve always regarded myself as artistic. But when it comes to being called an “artist,” I have to admit that it’s easier to let others do that. 
We are extremely grateful that Hank decided to be a part of our project! (and we really can’t wait to color this page!!) Join us in

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