At the last Bear Essential News Young Reporter Zoom meeting, we met Gary Shepard. Shepard attended the Zoom meeting to tell us about his job as art director for Bear Essential News  and to answer our questions.

His adventures with Bear began 24 years ago. In 1996, Bear’s editor Stephen Gin asked Shepard if he knew anyone who would be interested in creating kids’ art for Bear Essential News . Shepard said he was interested.

Shepard has designed over 286 covers featuring Boomer Bear. When asked why he hides objects on the front cover, he said that it was a tradition since before he joined Bear Essential News . When he designs the newspaper cover, he first sketches the picture and then adds the color. We were able to seehis work for the October cover!

Shepard said that he did lots of sketching as a child. Two of his favorite art styles are sketching and watercolors. He says he likes how you can blend the colors together in watercolors. Shepard said he trained his eyes and his brain to make the image in his head so he could sketch it. Shepard earned his college degree in graphic design. He also studied Spanish which he used a great deal when he lived in Mexico. If you want to be an artist, Shepard said it is helpful to draw and sketch a lot.

This Young Reporter meeting helped us to see how artwork can be used to share messages that relate to the news stories.

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