MICHELLE REIKO KUMATA (illustrator of picture book Flowers From Mariko) -
"I have worked at The Seattle Times for 7 years as a designer and illustrator.  I have a BFA degree in illustration from the School of Visual Arts.  My previous design and illustration experience includes work for community newspapers and freelance for local publications and organizations.  Before the Times, I worked for several years as an exhibit coordinator at Wing Luke Asian Museum.
In many ways I try to give people of color a voice in my illustrations. I began my career with an illustration of Vincent Chin for Seattle’s International Examiner. That first illustration helped me understand not only the role of community newspapers, but also my role as part of the ‘voice’ for the community.  Through experiences like this, I’ve learned the importance of my own identity in my work."

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