Growing up in Oklahoma, Terry Widener would walk to the movies almost everyday during the summer, sometimes seeing the same movie three or four times, then go home and draw the images he’d seen. In grade school, when required to do a book report, he would include an illustration. He didn’t realize that what his art teacher, Mrs. Homer, was teaching him about drawing and painting would one day become his life’s work: making pictures for books. In high school and college he divided his time between art classes and playing on the school’s golf teams. After earning a BFA in graphic design at the University of Tulsa, he had the choice of becoming an art director at an ad agency or an assistant golf pro at a golf course. He choose art because it paid fifty dollars a month more. After moving to Texas in 1981, Terry began his illustration career. For the next fifteen years he worked with editorial, advertising, and corporate clients. Then in 1996 he was asked to illustrate a picture book. That first picture book, LOU GEHRIG: THE LUCKIEST MAN written by David A. Adler and published by Harcourt, received a number of awards including a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. Since then he has illustrated more than 30 books, which have been recognized by many state reading lists, ABA, SCBWI, ALA, and a number of best book lists. Terry’s recent book, YOU NEVER HEARD OF WILLIE MAYS?! written by Jonah Winter (Schwartz & Wade), received starred reviews.
Download a PDF of the artist’s samples here: WPA Widener art samples