Storyteller: TeMika Grooms
TeMika Grooms is an author-illustrator with a passion for sharing stories. Raised in a military family, she lived in Germany and grew up in Columbus, GA. Her parents supported her love for the arts at an early age, while her mother’s experience as a librarian provided a haven amongst books, words, and pictures. TeMika earned a civil engineering degree from Georgia Tech and practiced engineering for many years. She now devotes her time to creative pursuits and creating books for young readers.
Her most recent illustrated nonfiction book, Save the Crash-test Dummies, was written by Jennifer Swanson and released by Peachtree Publishing. She volunteers as the SCBWI US Illustrator Coordinator and enjoys supporting others on their creative journeys. TeMika was selected as a 2021 We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentee and has books scheduled for release in 2022 and beyond.
Learn more about her work at www.TeMikaTheArtist.com.
On writing for children:
“Storytelling, in its many forms, is a powerful medium that can change the fabric of our society. It allows us to question ourselves and what we know about the world. It helps us to examine complex scenarios and imagine new outcomes. When artists create and collaborate with intention, they heal us and help us envision a new future. Change indeed happens when we create through an activist’s lens.”
What was the most valuable or memorable experience of AMPLIFY for you?
The program was filled with several significant moments for me. Being greeted by beautiful, brown faces on screen was affirming as an artist. I immediately felt a sense of belonging, joy, honor, and excitement! I specifically remember sunlight shining into my studio while Vanessa Brantley-Newton brought me to tears as she spoke affirmations and a prayer over us. This set the tone for our journey together. Over the next several months I was able to gain key insights to being a successful author-illustrator. From developing my craft to marketing books to forging valuable connections with Black creators in my field, this program has been a game changer for me.