Claremore Daily Progress

April 21, 2013

Local artist shares inspiration for writing, illustrating children’s book

Mark Friedel
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE —

Local artist, illustrator and landscaper Mitchell Cookson displayed a story board of his latest project, a children’s book that he wrote and illustrated entitled “Understanding Where I Came From: A Cherokee Story.”
Cookson shared the project with interested patrons during the Rogers County Cherokee Association’s monthly meeting Tuesday evening at the Rogers County Building in Claremore. 
Cookson said he is in the process of deciding whether to self-publish the book or to take it to a publishing company.
“I’m currently trying to get a following locally and in the Tulsa area, and then see what balloons out from there,” he said.  
“Understanding Where I Came from: A Cherokee Story” is Cookson’s second completed children’s book. The story is about a modern-day Cherokee boy wrapped up in a world of TV and video games until his grandfather inspires him to learn about his family’s Cherokee heritage.
“I’m part Cherokee and for the most part the Cherokee culture was my inspiration for drawing as a child. As I became older that same inspiration was used for writing these books,” he said.
Cookson’s first book, “My Friend Lil’ Foot,” is a story about a boy and his father who head out on a camping trip and run into a little big foot who is lost and trying to find his father. The three become friends in the search for little big foot’s dad.
Cookson has copyrighted the story with the Library of Congress and would like to ship it to publishers to see if they are interested.
Rogers County resident and Cookson’s great aunt Wanda Stours said her cousin was a state medical illustrator and believes the artistic talent runs in the family.
“Mitchell is a natural artist,” she said. “Ever since he was little he has had a creative outlook on color and natural depth. It’s a gift.”
Once published, Cookson plans to sell his books in stores around the Claremore and Tulsa area.
Anyone interested in purchasing a copies of “Understanding Where I Came From: A Cherokee Story” or “My Friend Lil’ Foot” can call (918) 519-7248.