It’s okay to draw outside the lines

Utah Success Stories

(ABC4 NEWS – Salt Lake City, UT) It seems that every little kid loves to draw. In this installment of Utah Success Stories, I got to sit down with renowned artist, Greg Newbold. Please note that this is just a quick snippet of a longer “Jessop’s Journal” interview I did with him.

Greg isn’t a little kid anymore, at least not in stature, but it was interesting to find out that he figured out he wanted to be an artist as a career a long time ago.

Greg told me; “I actually sold a couple of paintings when I was in 8th grade. Fifty bucks. I was rolling in it. Through high school, I would have friends, can you draw this for me. Sure, ten bucks, twenty bucks. Whatever. By the time I got up into my upper years of high school I was selling paintings for two-three hundred dollars and figured I could figure this out.  So it went from there.”

Twenty plus years later Greg ended up collaborating with his wife, Amy Newbold, to illustrate a series of children’s picture books. We were surrounded by lots of his fine art creations during the interview. I asked him about a picture of a couple in front of an old farmhouse holding a pitchfork, scratch that… it was a snow shovel and the couple was a snowman and snowwoman.

Greg explained; “This is actually an illustration for the first picture book that my wife and I did together. It’s called “If Picasso painted a snowman.” The backstory is my wife took a girl’s trip with her sister to Paris at the Picasso museum and she was amazed at the breadth of this guy’s career. She thought, I wonder what it would look like if Picasso painted a snowman and her sister turned to her and said, you should write that. That would be a great picture book. The concept of the book is to introduce kids to the styles of seventeen famous artists as if they had painted a snowman. Doug – this is obviously Grant Wood, there’s got to be a Picasso, what are some of the other artists? Greg- Picasso, Turner, Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe.”

It was clear that this project has a meaning to Greg. He put it this way; “We are trying to help kids see that you can paint and draw any way you want. There’s this point in your growing up years that they all love to draw and then they hit a certain age where somebody tells them their not doing it right or they feel intimidated because there not as good as that kid or whatever and they stop. What we are trying to do is say, hey, art is awesome. Have fun with it. Do art however you want and it’s okay. Just be creative.”

On a personal note…surprise, surprise, I was the kid that got in trouble from writing outside the lines. I’m glad that Greg Newbold kept going on.


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