Illustrator of the Week: Don Tate

Overnight success does not always happen overnight. In fact, for Don Tate, overnight success took thirty-plus years to attain. This self-described “Longest-coming-up-and-comer” will share his journey on Wednesday March 7 at 5:30 at the Art Museum.

Miami University Art Museum is lucky enough to feature some of Don Tate’s amazing illustrations in our new exhibition Telling A People’s Story. Tate is not only the illustrator of multiple critically acclaimed children’s books, but he is also an award winning author.

Some of his awards include: The Christopher Award, 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, and Huffington Post Best Picture Books 2015.

Tate is an advocate for the African-American community and is one of the founders of The Brown Bookshelf: “a blog designed to push awareness of the myriad of African-American voices writing for young readers, with book reviews, author and illustrator interviews” (Tate).

Telling A People’s Story focuses on the African-American experience through the lens of children’s book illustrations. Tate has several works featured in the gallery including illustrations from: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, Ron’s Big Mission, She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story, and The Cart that Carried Martin.

Tate has been involved in the arts his whole life. He got his degree in AAA (Associate of Applied Arts) at Des Moines Area Community College. He started as a graphic reporter then moved up to work as a publication designer for the Perfection Learning Corporation. He was also an art director at a marketing research firm and a graphic artist in a print shop.

Tate currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and son. In his free time Tate enjoys going to the gym, having competed in natural, drug free body building. To learn more about Tate and check out some more of his illustrations visit his website and blog.

The Cart that Carried Martin. Written by Eve Bunting. Illustrated by Don Tate. Published by Charlesbridge, 2013.

Source: Tate, Don. “Author and Illustrator.” Don Tate,