Jesse Joshua Watson paints pictures and tells stories.
(for longer bio, keep reading...)
Whether hammocking in Brazil, exploring in Hong Kong, dodging taxis in Russia, fishing in Greenland, studying art in Europe, playing soccer in Haiti, reasoning in Jamaica, or raising kids in the Pacific Northwest, Jesse connects with people.
He loves both the differences and the similarities that are so colorfully displayed across our diverse world. Jesse's passion and appreciation of people is voiced through his brush and on his canvas. His illustrations have been featured in magazines, art publications, CD covers, children's books, and even on Oprah. (ha! No, really.)
Jesse is the illustrator of many books, including Soccer Fence, written by Phil Bildner, the NY Times Bestselling Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, I And I - Bob Marley, written by Tony Medina, the award winning, ALA Notable Chess Rumble as well as Ghetto Cowboy, both by G. Neri, the Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs series by Sharon Draper and These Things I Wish by Lee Pitts. Ghetto Cowboy is also being made into a movie with Idris Elba and will be available soon. Keep an eye out for its follow up book, too.
Jesse was fortunate enough to have gone to Haiti after the earthquake in conjunction with the book he wrote and illustrated in efforts to bring awareness and support to the Haitian people, called HOPE FOR HAITI, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Jesse's artwork has been displayed in galleries, cafes, nightclubs, libraries, a museum, and on his parents' refrigerator. He was awarded Grand Prize in 2005 and finalist in 2006 at the international Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators New York Showcase, juried by art directors from major publishing houses. He has also shown at the Society of Illustrators Gallery in New York, in which two pieces won Honorable Mention during juried contests.
Jesse lives with his wife and sons in Washington. In addition to writing and illustrating books, exhibiting fine art and teaching art to kids, Jesse plays music occasionally, soccer religiously, and surfs the chilly NW waters as often as he can, which, as you probably guessed...is not nearly enough.
Jesse and his dad, renowned artist and illustrator, Richard Jesse Watson
Jesse playing percussion with his band, Uncle Funk & the Dope 6