On March 9, 2013, we had our second Sketchbook event for Southern Breeze, SCBWI illustrators to the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta, Ga. Being a native of Atlanta ,I have many memories of going there as a child.  It has always been a place of wonder and magic to me and I have enjoyed sharing it with my children and grandchildren through the years.

Part of my fascination with the Fox Theater is the experience when you are inside, but feel like you are outside when you glance up at the ceiling to see stars twinkling and wisps of clouds floating by. In this modern age of talking on a phone and seeing and hearing a person at the same time this might not seen like such a technological breakthrough, but the remarkable part of this is that the theater was built in 1927.  This is even more difficult for me to grasp now than when I was a child and constantly looked at the twinkling stars and clouds instead of the performance.  I wonder how did they construct this.  How do you make the stars in the sky twinkle with a flick of a switch and clouds leisurely float in a make belief sky that is indoors? It is the same type of experience we as illustrators try to convey when we are telling stories through pictures, belief through visual images. See it and you will believe.

The Fox Theater was originally built as a Masonic temple, but because of economic times and hardships was repurposed as a movie theater and then for productions and musicals.  For many years it has served the citizens of Atlanta as a place of entertainment and unique venues.  In 1976 there was a huge campaign to save it from being torn down.  Joe Patton bought it and formed Atlanta Landmarks, a nonprofit organization that has  raised more than 30 million dollars to renovate the structure.

Our visit to the Fox was to spurn our creativity and give us ideas  for our projects.  We were given a list of  suggestions  for the sketches. The suggestion I chose was to draw a selection of the interior and insert a character from my imagination.














Another selection was to choose an influence from the interior and create a monogram with our initials.








We had a great time sketching and making lots of photos to use as reference  in our studios.  Afterwards we ate at Baronda’s, an Italian restaurant near by, and enjoyed reviewing our visit and sharing sketches.

SketchBook Event 2 Photo Gallery


Jan Watford
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Jan Watford

Manager at JCW Prism LLC
artist, author, illustrator
Jan Watford
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