Author profile: Kadir Nelson

July 2, 2010 posted this in-depth profile of artist Kadir Nelson, author of the children’s book We Are The Ship, about the Negro Leagues.

From the article:

“We Are The Ship”, which contains 50 Nelson paintings, 41 done specifically for it, was an eight-year labor. With records sparse, he devoted much time to trying to get enough information to make his paintings historically accurate.

“Each painting was like a puzzle – ages, heights, weights… Were they righty, lefty? What did the baseball uniform look like? The color of the field?” Nelson said, explaining, when team and player materials could be found, most often things were in black and white.

Where he could, of course, he gathered first-hand information. But time was of the essence, with O’Neil advising him during their talk, “Get it now”.

“I was really trying to finish all of these paintings for former players to enjoy,” Nelson said. “They are really up in age and we’re losing many every year. The longer I took to do the book, the fewer who could enjoy it.”

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