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About Kam Mak

T-town is getting a little closer to Chinatown this February. At our next event we team up with Booksmart Tulsa to welcome Hong Kong-born illustrator Kam Mak. Kam’s book, My Chinatown, won a long list of awards including silver medal from the Society of Illustrators. But Kam has much more to his resume than book illustrations. His long list of clients, work and awards is well worth a closer look.


Kam Mak was born in Hong Kong but came to New York with his family in 1971. He realized his passion for painting thanks to an organization focused on bringing art to inner-city kids. Though his mother expected him to focus on math and science, Kam knew his future was in art. This resulted in a BFA from the School of Visual arts, the groundworks for his career of over 200 illustrations, and a barrage of awards.

“Paper Kites,” cover art for “My Chinatown”
“Paper Kites,” cover art for “My Chinatown”

A majority of those 200 illustrations were created for truly impressive clients. From National Geographic, The New York Times, Time, and even Newsweek, Kam has earned his reputation. Besides these editorial pieces and his own book, Kam has also illustrated The Dragon Prince which won him the Oppenheim Platinum Medal for the best children’s picture book of 1997 and the National Parenting Publication Gold Metal for the best children picture book of 1997. His cover for Kite Runner won the gold award from the Society of Illustrators in 2012.This year the Society of Illustrators also awarded him with the Stevan Dohanos Award.


One of Kam’s best known projects goes back to 2008. The USPS commissioned a 12-year installment for an annual New Year stamp, one for each of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Kam is now half way through the series, saying he is honored to “showcase how beautiful [his] culture is.” This year’s design celebrates the Year of the Snake.


Stamp Sheet for the Year of the Snake
Stamp Sheet for the Year of the Snake


So join us for a belated Chinese New Year celebration, including snacks and special fortune cookies. Meet Kam and hear what it has been like to win such amazing clients and awards. We’ll even have a surprise for ADCT members. You won’t want to miss this event and our wonderful sponsor, Neenah paper. We’ll see you at Living Arts, February 21st at 6:30 pm.

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