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Branson High School art teacher Jessica Blackburn has been honored for her illustration work.

A Branson High School Art teacher is gaining regional recognition as the featured illustrator for May for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Jessica Blackburn works with multiple different mediums to create illustrations for children’s books, including watercolor, graphite, colored pencil, and even digital art.

“I am thrilled and honored to be recognized within the children’s book community,” Blackburn said in a school press release. “It’s been a dream of mine to make a difference in the lives of young readers, as well as learners in my classroom.”

According to a profile from SCBWI, Blackburn began drawing illustrations when she was only 5 years old. She studied art education at the University of Arkansas, and obtained a Master’s degree in Studio Art and Art Theory from Drury University. She began to pursue publication of illustrations and children’s books in 2017.

Blackburn is using her experiences in the publishing world to help educate her students on life beyond the classroom; showing how she pursues her art while still teaching.

“By doing so, I am able to provide students with authentic and relevant experiences within the classroom,” Blackburn said. “I want to be able to model for my students what it looks like to be an artist and navigate the creative process.”

More information about Blackburn’s work can be found on the SCBWI website, ksmo.scbwi.org/featured-illustrator/.

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