Meghan Markle enlisted award-winning California artist Christian Robinson to illustrate her £ 12.99 ($ 18.99) children’s book called The Bench, which is inspired by Prince Harry and her son Archie.
In a statement announcing her new venture, the 39-year-old Duchess of Sussex said she wanted the story, to be published by Random House on June 8, to be told through an “ inclusive lens ” and that there would be a “ diverse group ” of father and sons’.
The book will be illustrated by Christian Robinson, 35, from Sacramento, who was raised by his grandmother in a one-room apartment that was also shared with his brother, two cousins and aunt.
The best-selling artist, who has worked for Pixar, has previously outlined how growing up his creativity was his way of ‘saying something about my circumstances’ while his mother, struggling with addiction and mental health, spent most of his childhood in prison. was sitting. , for unknown reasons.
Meghan, who revealed that her book was inspired by a poem she wrote for Prince Harry at the time of the birth of their son Archie, said she worked closely with Christian to create the ‘beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations’ in the story.
Christian Robinson (pictured), 35, from Sacramento, California, is the award-winning illustrator behind the beautiful images in The Bench, the children’s book written by Meghan Markle
Christian has made a name for himself in the world of children’s book illustrations after winning the Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. Depicted, part of his work
According to publisher Simon and Schuster, Christian grew up “in a small one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt and grandmother.” Depicted, part of his work
The Bench wants to explore the “ special bond between father and son ” as seen through the eyes of a mother, said Meghan, who will narrate the $ 4.99 audiobook.
The illustrator shared the book cover on his Instagram, saying: ‘The Bench, written by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is a celebration of the father-son relationship. It was an honor to illustrate this book! ‘
Christian has made a name for himself in the world of children’s book illustrations after winning the Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his art in Last Stop on Market Street.
The New York Time bestseller followed the journey of a grandparent and grandchild.
According to publisher Simon and Schuster, Christian grew up ‘in a small one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt and grandmother’.
‘Drawing became a way of making space for himself and of creating the kind of world he wanted to see, ‘the profile added. “He currently lives in Northern California with his rescue dog Baldwin and several houseplants.”
Meghan said she wanted to celebrate the bond between father and son with an inclusive lens. The Bench, published by Random House, will be on store shelves next month
Meghan revealed that the book was inspired by a poem she wrote for Prince Harry for his first Father’s Day following the birth of their son Archie, who was pictured in the US this year. Pictured right: Meghan and Archie in 2019
Speak against Today in February, Christian talked about his childhood and explained how a character in a book he worked with Matt De La Pena, called Milo Imagines The World, whose mother was in prison, paralleled his own life.
“When I was growing up, my mother spent most of my childhood in prison,” he said before sharing how his grandmother raised him.
“We didn’t have much space or resources, and looking back, I realize that creativity, drawing and taking pictures was my way of saying something about my circumstances,” he said.
His grandmother, Lee Jenkins, revealed that Christian had unexpectedly come into her care, and that growing up without a “consistent” mother had been difficult for him.
But Christian said he didn’t see his mother as an “ antagonist, ” revealing that as a child he would see the Lion King with her, sparking his interest in animation.
In an illustration by Christian, a red-haired soldier wearing an American-style army cap is seen holding his young son in the air while a woman watches the crying come out of a window, in a likely reference to Meghan and Harry, who served in Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals. The words were, ‘This is your couch, where life begins, for you and our son, our baby, our relatives’
Another image shows a father with his baby boy sleeping outside on a lounger. A press release said the book featured a “diverse group of fathers and sons.”
A second illustration of the redhead soldier, captioned ‘This is your couch, where life begins, For you and our son, our baby, our relatives’
Although the illustrations for his children’s book were prolific, Christian was subsequently put to work for animation studios studying animation at the California Institute of the Arts.
The Sacramento-based artist earned himself an internship at The Pixar Animation Studios, where he was asked to draw some heartwarming animated film Up, which was released in 2009.
Up’s director Pete Doctor saw his illustrations and asked Christian to do the children’s book version of the film. Christian not only worked for Pixar, but also for the Sesame Street workshop.
This launched a prolific career in which Christian undertook various projects, including illustrating more books and teaching art to children.
In an interview with the website about children’s literature All the wayChristian opened up about his love of art.
Christian won several awards for his illustrations for Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt De la Pena
The illustrator produced You Matter, in 2020, a book that celebrates diversity and helps parents teach their children about empathy
‘As a child I loved to make things: drawings, paintings, sculptures, anything I could get hold of. Creativity allowed me to be in control, make my own rules and create my own little world on paper, ”he said.
The artist revealed that he found inspiration in vintage children’s books from the 1950s and 1960s, nature, animation, children’s art, and even fine arts.
He also revealed that he produced his award-winning illustrations in an old warehouse converted into a shared artist studio.
In 2019, he told Book Riot that his favorite part of designing a book was the cover. “There is such an opportunity to set the tone and invite readers into the world of the story,” he said.
“It’s the most challenging but also the most rewarding part because it gives readers a first impression, as we all know we judge books entirely by their cover,” he continued.
In 2020, he illustrated You Matter, a book that promoted seeing the world from different perspectives, aimed at helping parents empathize their children.