New children’s book, illustrated by Madison artist, celebrates Prince’s creativity

Annik Dupaty has studied and worked around art for many years, but has not been the artist herself – until now.

Dupaty, who works as an events and volunteer manager at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, illustrated the new children’s book, ‘My Imagined World’, inspired by the life and work of Prince Rogers Nelson – better known simply under the name Prince.

Annik Dupaty. Photo provided.

“I worked for a long time in an art museum. But obviously it’s very different to be a visual artist and to work professionally as an artist,” she told Madison365. “All my life I have been someone who loved to draw, paint and photograph. So I certainly used all those skills to produce a book like this. But this is my first foray into the profession of professional artist. It was new in many ways… I studied art history. I studied artists, I, you know, studied art theory. I took studio art classes, but it was really a big and different step for me, both personally and professionally.

The book was born out of shared memories when Prince died in 2016. Dupaty, who calls herself “devoted” to the musician, wanted to commission Prince-inspired artwork for her home, but also began publishing some of her own designs in a Facebook Group of other Prince devotees.

One of them was already a friend, Yolanda Everett from Atlanta. Everett, a fourth-grade teacher who works with gifted students, had read Prince’s memoir, “The Beautiful Ones,” and wanted to translate his lessons about creativity for young readers.

Photo provided.

“Reading the book, parts of it seemed quite lively. I felt like the idea presented in it would make a good children’s book,” Everett said. “And the message of his book was about creativity, wanting tell the world, tell people to create.”

She said that in her more than 20 years of teaching, creativity is something she has seen even gifted children struggle with.

“The brightest child struggles to pass that part of the test” to get into gifted programs, she said. “It’s not something you can necessarily teach but…I can encourage it.”

She said Dupaty’s illustrations caught her eye.

Yolanda L. Everett. Photo provided.

“As I was reading the memoir, I said, ‘I need someone who could help me illustrate this. Someone who understands,” she said. “And then (Dupaty) started posting pictures that she had drawn. And I was blown away by the pictures and his illustrations of Prince. When we talked about it, I pitched my ideas to him. And the next thing I know, she took it and ran away with it.

Dupaty started out with ink and paper but quickly turned to digital technology.

“There are so many amazing things you can do with digital illustration now. So after drawing each page with pencil and ink, I popped them into a digital illustration app to really edit the files, or edit the designs and then add color. And then I also worked on the text for the book,” she said. book illustration. And it all goes into that. And then I also had to teach myself a new skill, which was digital illustration.

The author and illustrator said they deeply appreciate the collaboration.

“We have become very, very close friends. We found we had a lot in common,” Everett said of Dupaty. “And she’s just a great mind to work with. And it was just an awesome collaboration. I mean, the ideas that came from just our conversations on the phone and our week-to-week meetings…it was something I had never experienced before. It was an incredible experience.”

“Working with Yolanda on this project was a joy from start to finish,” said Dupaty. “We put a lot of love, joy and heart into it, and hope it inspires kids to be creative!”

“My Imagined World” is Everett’s second children’s book, having published “Peter and the Boycott” in 2014. This book tells the story of his father’s participation in the Montgomery Bus Boycott when he was 9 years old. .

“My Imagined World” is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online and

“Our hope is that this book will fall into the hands of as many children and Prince lovers as possible,” Dupaty said. “There’s a lot of tough stuff going on in the world, and I think we need to present kids with something positive to think about.”