Practice What You Love, Author Tells IEF Students [VIDEO]
Brian Lies, creator of 'Bats at...' series, tells students to follow passion—and read.
When children's book author and illustrator Brian Lies was a second-grade student in Princeton, he created his first work.
It wasn't anything to be too proud of, though, he said.
"I loved to write and draw—but I didn't have any talent," Lies told second- and third-graders at Green Brook's Irene E. Feldkirchner School on Wednesday. To prove his point, he showed students his early work, critiquing the spelling and story line to their enjoyment.
But he said he found out that "practice makes better" and in time, he was able to create books that have become some of the most popular titles for today's young readers—including his "Bats at the Beach," "Bats at the Ballgame" and "Bats at the Library."
Lies encouraged the students to read, and to practice what they enjoy doing.
"The most important thing for you to do is to find something that you love doing, and then practice it," he said.
Lies also said many people ask him where his ideas come from, which he said come from his own experiences. As an example, he said his young daughter once described a pattern of frost on a window as looking like a "bat in seafoam"—you can guess what that seed germinated into.
"When I do something like this," Lies said, holding a copy of "Bats at the Beach, "It's basically true because I do something like this."
Students in Christina Teague's and Heather Marchese's classes enjoyed Lies reading "Bats at the Beach," complete with his commentary on some of the illustrations and ideas to scenes in the book, and a demonstration of how he creates his illustrations.
Lies was sceduled to meet with all of the school's second and third grade students through the day in a program sponsored by the school's PTO.