When the Phone Rings

When the phone rings on the Thursday before the Weekend Conference and you’re Ben Sapp, Director of the Mazza Museum, you pray it isn’t bad news.

But when the phone rang  last Thursday, it was bad news. And, instantly, Ben was short one presenter for a conference that would begin in less than 36 hours.

Will HillenbrandWhen the phone rings on the Thursday before the Weekend Conference and you’re Will Hillenbrand, you graciously agree to speak in Findlay, Ohio with less than 36 hours notice.

And speak he did.

Will Hillenbrand has illustrated more than fifty books for children. Will’s books may appear to be about animals, but in reality, most characters are inspired by family members. Pigs are associated with his mother. Moles on bicycles, his son.  And it isn’t only his characters which come from real-life. Events from Will’s childhood and from his family’s experiences make their way into his books as well.

In his Cincinnati studio, Will’s illustrations begin with sketches. He combines traditional and digital techniques to create the warm and inviting scenes children want to explore over and over again.

Thank  you, Will, for answering your phone on a Thursday morning in November.

It was indeed a pleasure to hear you speak today. It made me want to say, “Again.”

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