Meet Gordon C James

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Gordon C. James

Gordon C. James

Keynote speaker and award-winning illustrator of I Am Every Good Thing, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, and Just Like Jesse Owens

Born in Washington, DC and raised in Fort Washington, MD Gordon C. James has been pursuing an art career ever since attending high school at Suitland Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Forestville, Maryland. From there he went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration from School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Gordon was one of only two full time illustrators hired to work for Hallmark Cards Inc. After Hallmark, he became an award-winning fine artist. His beautiful figurative paintings being featured in International Artist Magazine and his work is part of the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University of Alabama. Gordon brings the same passion to his illustrations. They are soulful, emotive and technically sound. He works hard so that we know how the characters look and most importantly exactly how they feel. Gordon C. James is now a best-selling, award-winning children’s book illustrator. Among his many accolades are Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honors and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. He is also the only illustrator to have won the prestigious Kirkus Prize for Young Readers Literature twice. His work includes CROWN AN ODE TO THE FRESH CUT, I AM EVERY GOOD THING, LET ‘ER BUCK! and JUST LIKE JESSE OWENS, by Ambassador Andrew Young as told to Paula Young Shelton. Currently alongside of his illustration work, Gordon has returned to his fine art roots. He combines the classical figure painting and vibrant abstraction as he explores the black body and its place in the world.

Gordon C. James lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Ingrid and their two children Astrid and Gabriel, and their pets Rascal the dog and Ricky the gecko. He is proud to create beautiful works of art that help to tell stories on bookshelves as well museum and gallery walls.

Gordon’s work can be seen at:


“Make friends. Talk to as many people as possible. If the moment presents itself, meet your heroes.”


Facebook: Gordon C. James Fine Art and Illustration