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Local artist illustrates for the stars
PAW PAW, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) A world-class illustrator, whose career is skyrocketing, lives right here in a small West Michigan town.
Dan Monroe of Paw Paw is the artist behind Dennis Rodmans recent childrens book, among other celebrity projects.
Ive seen Jimmy Fallon hold that book on his show and fan it open for people to see the artwork that I've done, Monroe says. I mean it's amazing.
Dan Monroe tells NewsChannel 3 he has always been an artist. In fact, he says at twelve years old one of his comic books was even published.
But even he was surprised when he landed a deal with an NBA superstar.
You know, you live your life in a small town, Monroe reflects, and the first time I was contacted by a writer who said, Hey we're putting together something with Dennis Rodman and we'd like for you to work on that, of course I was blown away.
Rodmans book, Dennis the Wild Bull, may have been Monroes big break.
Its strange how life happens. You do one book and people see it, they like it, publishers pass it around then you're called to do another and another, Monroe says.
Dan does all of his illustrating from his home in Paw Paw, including five big name books in the past year.
Ive done a book for Jesse James Leija, who is a boxing champion, Monroe adds. I did a book for Kostya Tszyu, who is actually in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. And right now, I'm working on a book for Erika Eleniak. People may know her from Baywatch.
Each book takes anywhere from ten days to a couple of months to complete.
But that's nothing compared to Dan's now quite successful illustrating career, which has been a lifetime in the making.
Since the time I was a child I've been working towards this moment, he says. Its not such an easy thing that dreams really do come true. You have to make them come true.
Monroe is also currently working on a commemorative comic book for the U.S. Department of Defense that will be handed out to schools and military groups throughout the country.
He has several other celebrity projects in the works as well that we cannot share the details on quite yet.