MTWAPA DAYS | A SKETCHBOOK JOURNAL

In 2009 I went to Mtwapa with my niece, who is the founder of a non-profit called Reason 2 Smile. We went there to check out a school she wanted to support through her organization. This journal is more about the overall feeling of a place I’ve always wanted to experience rather than a documentation of what we did in Kenya. It’s what the people looked like to me and what the environment felt like to me. I keep these kinds of journals because they inspire future work when I get what is equivalent to a ‘writer’s block’ for an illustrator. It helps me remember what had inspired me about a certain piece at the time, and that memory recollection always brings back my flow. Some of these drawings were done during my trip – in the aeroplane, others in Mtwapa, and some I completed when I got back home.

Nip Rogers

Though I grew up in Upstate New York, I'm influenced by my years spent in urban environments during college and afterwards by my travels to Kenya, Malaysia, and now Seychelles; that, I think, shows up in my illustrations, paintings, and sculptures. When I'm creating I try to have a visual conversation with the viewer, to make a connection, to tell a story, or share a thought. I like it when the viewer leaves with a positive memory to keep. Because I've been illustrating since 1987, storytelling through a single image is like a second nature now.It almost comes naturally, of course with some help from a good cup of coffee and Dave Matthews music playing at the background.My illustrative instinct flows into my paintings and Ilike it. My art background is a good conglomeration of years of cartoon watching, the fact that I think in pictures since I am a diagnosed dyslexic, from the George Washington University where I earned a BA in 1983 and an MFA in 1987, and of course with every project I get into I learn new things and grow more as an artist. My clients include New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Carter Center, Scholastic Magazine, Sports illustrated, The Atlanta Hawks, Discovery Channel, Turner Networks, The George Washington University, Penn State University, Emory University, University of Iowa Press, Avon, UPS, FedEx, Coca Cola, and Education Week.