I am Vincent X. Kirsch.
Twenty-two things to know about me:
X is for Xavier; my childhood nicknames were “Boo-Boo” and “Johnnie.”
I am a Pisces with a Libra rising.
I grew up in a tiny town called Massena on the northmost border between New York and Canada. I hated hockey and loved figure skating.
After making my stage debut as one of the three kings in my first-grade Christmas pageant, I decided to be an actor.
I attended two colleges: Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.
Half of my junior year at SU was spent in Firenze, Italy doing fine arts classes, art history, and Italian language, and I loved it.
I wanted to switch to filmmaking in my junior year after I made my first student film-within-a-film titled “The End of Lily Fontaine.”
I worked as an “Artist-In-Residence” at the Williamstown Theater Festival for seven summers (1982-89), and I fell in love with theater all over again.
My first job out of college was as a stock boy at Dean & Deluca on Prince Street, and I loved stocking shelves.
I illustrated book jacket covers in the 1980s and did five covers for Joyce Carol Oates.
I developed my black-and-white illustration style by accident when a parrot walked into my studio while I was inking some scratchboard, and I spilled the ink, and when I blotted it up, the splotch looked perfectly messy, and I loved the look.
I landed a job in the early 1990s as the window designer and interior director at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. With the display crew, I created new windows each week for three and half years and initiated Christmas décor to the store for the first time.
I did editorial illustrations for newspapers all over America. In The New York Times, I was the featured artist in the Metropolitan Diary column for a year and did a spot a month for fifteen years in the Book Review.
Many years later, I landed a job as Visual Merchandising Director at Dean & Deluca and could’ve done that for the rest of my life.
I tried to get into children’s books for twenty-five years without any luck.
My first picture book came from an editor after she noticed my last illustration in the Book Review. The book was inspired by my years at Bergdorf Goodman.
I have been an avid swimmer since my sophomore year in college. I started swimming because I was afraid of water.
I build toy theaters in my spare time.
I play the piano and compose music ( I was a Music Theory minor at SU).
I write stage plays and screenplays and hope to have my first play produced soon.
I have two toy poodles named Ogbert and Scout.
I live in Pasadena, California, with my husband, Jim.
Thanks for visiting,
NATALIE & NAUGHTILY / Author & Illustrator / Bloomsbury USA / Fall 2008 / Selected for the 2008 Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators
TWO LITTLE BOYS FROM TOOLITTLE TOYS / Author & Illustrator / Bloomsbury USA / Summer 2010 / Selected for the 2010 Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators
FORSYTHIA & ME / Author & Illustrator / Farrar Straus Giroux / Winter 2011
THE CHANDELIERS / Author & Illustrator / Farrar Straus Giroux / August 2012
NOAH WEBSTER & HIS WORDS / Illustrator / Houghton Mifflin / October 2012 / Golden Kite Award 2012: Best Non-Fiction Picture Book / Selected for the 2013 Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators
Included in the traveling Original Art exhibition (A Junior Library Guild Selection)
FREDDIE & GINGERSNAP / Author & Illustrator / DisneyHyperion / January 2014
FREDDIE & GINGERSNAP FIND A CLOUD TO KEEP / Author & Illustrator / DisneyHyperion / January 2015
GINGERBREAD FOR LIBERTY! / Illustrator / Houghton Mifflin / January 2015 (A Junior Library Guild Selection)
THE HOLE STORY OF THE DOUGHNUT / Illustrator / Houghton Mifflin / Spring 2016
(A Junior Library Guild Selection)
CAN YOU FIND PUP? / Author & Illustrator / Holiday House / Autumn 2018 (A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection)
HOW I LEARNED TO FALL OUT OF TREES / Author & Illustrator / Abrams Books for Young Readers/ Spring 2019
A well-cultivated story that plants a seed about the value of friends and what they leave with us, even when they're gone.
~ Kirkus Reviews 2019
Kirsch's tender tale is illustrated in seasonal watercolors and ink with cut tracing. The story and illustrations are a champion team, like Adelia and Roger.
~ School Library Journal 2019
This tender story, sweet without being saccharine, is an eloquent metaphor for saying goodbye and allowing memories to cushion the blow.
~ The Horn Book 2019
FROM ARCHIE TO ZACK / Author & Illustrator / Abrams Books for Young Readers / December 2020 (2021 SCBWI Golden Kite Finalist: Best Picture Book)
CAN PUP FIND THE PUPS? / Author & Illustrator / Holiday House / January 2022
EXTRA EZRA / Illustrator / Harper Collins / Spring 2022
O. K. IS GAY / Author & Illustrator / Abrams Books for Young Readers / Spring 2024
SELECTED AWARDS & HONORS
2008, 2010 & 2013 - Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
2013 - SCBWI Golden Kite Award/Non-Fiction
2013 - Bank Street Best Book
2013, 2015, 2016 & 2018 - Junior Library Guild Selections
2016 - Children's Literature Council of Southern California/Best Picture Book
2018 - Garden State Children's Book Award/Non-Fiction
2018 - Land of Enchantment Book Award/Coyote(Grades 3-5)
2021 - SCBWI Golden Kite Finalist/Best Illustrated Picture Book
2021 - LAMBDA Literary Awards Finalist/Children's & Young Adult category
2022 - SCBWI Los Angeles - Best New Middle-Grade Fiction Book: FIREFLY: ACT ONE
2008, 2010 & 2013 - Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
2019-20 - "Show Of Hands" Exhibition, Dana Younger Gallery, Mazza Museum, Findlay, Ohio
INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES
Speaking with Pilar Alessandra on the ON THE PAGE podcast about picture books and screenwriting, listen here.
Teaching Authors with Prof. April Halprin Wayland read it here
Writing & Illustrating Blog by Kathy Tamean, read it here
Another with Kathy Tamean; read it here
Henry Herz's Blog read it here
Tots, Tweens & Teens Blog, read it here
Warburton Labs blog read it here
Amazon Look Inside How The Book Was Made/Gingerbread For Liberty! Scroll down on this link.
From Dani Duck's blog post, read it here
Lee Wind's I'm Here. I'm Queer. Blog read it here.
The New York Times | The Washington Post | The Los Angeles Times | The Boston Globe
The Nation Magazine | St. Martin's Press | Random House | Scribners | Dutton
Can you find me in this scene from NATALIE & NAUGHTILY?