On November 18, 2021, students from several schools taking part in The Origin Project participated in the third in a series of virtual author events featuring the author and illustrator of several children’s books and greeting cards, Barry Gott. The Origin Project’s co-founders Adriana Trigiani and Nancy Bolmeier Fisher welcomed students from Holston View Elementary School in Bristol, Tennessee as TOP’s first school outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Gott’s books Moon Camp and Dino Thanksgiving seemed to be favorites among students. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions of Gott about the processes he uses to develop ideas, create drawings and write. One student’s question, in particular, capitalized on the notion that one should never give up on fulfilling his or her dreams.
Mr. Gott told students he got his start illustrating as a small child when he drew pictures on the backs of paint can labels. His father and grandfather owned a paint factory in Cleveland, Ohio. His father would bring home misprinted or damaged labels for Gott to use as paper for drawing. These drawings developed into stories. He impressed upon students the need to persevere in realizing their dreams for the future.
The news report on Gott’s visit with The Origin Project’s students may be viewed below: