Meet Our 2023 Festival Poster Artist: Jon Flaming


The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to announce Jon Flaming as its 2023 Poster Artist. His piece Cowboy Reading in Big Bend was selected as this year’s Festival Poster image.

Born in Wichita, Kansas in 1962, Flaming moved to Texas in 1967. The artist grew up in Dallas/Richardson. His fine art is in the permanent collections of the Tyler Museum of Art, The Grace Museum in Abilene, The Museum of the Southwest, and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art. His work is also in many private and public collections and has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows. Jon lives with his wife, Kathy, in Richardson. They have three married children and four grandchildren.

TBF Interim Executive Director Dalia Azim had a chance to ask Jon Flaming some questions about his work, background, and this year’s poster image, Cowboy Reading in Big Bend:

How long have you been in Texas?
I grew up in the Dallas area and have been in Texas for 55 years.

When did you start pursuing a career as an artist?
I started painting at the age of 30 but pursued fine art full-time at 55, after a 30-year career as a designer/illustrator in Dallas.

Which artists did you admire most when you first started out?
Norman Rockwell was the artist I admired most as a kid and young man.

Who are your favorite artists these days?
The designers Saul Bass and Paul Rand.
The painters Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, and Edward Hopper.

How did you find your way to your very unique artistic style? Do you ever begin with traditional collage as a prototype for a work of art?
Inspired by designers Paul Rand and Saul Bass and painters Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Picasso, I started to experiment with bold, blocky, graphic shapes to create cowboys and western scenes. I was heavily influenced by my years as a designer/illustrator. I create my “collages” on the computer and then use those as my studies for my paintings.

How do you pick your medium for a particular work of art? Ie. when do you opt to paint a subject versus experimenting with imagery as a print?
My paintings always start out as an idea and then move quickly to rough pencil sketches. I then scan them into my computer and create my color studies in Adobe Illustrator. I often use oil, but also paint with acrylic. Many of my images become prints but they are typically created from the the digital version that I use for my painting studies.

I know you like to spend time out in West Texas? Tell us more about what that part of the state means to you and how it inspires your art?
I love the wide-open desert vistas of Big Bend with all the accompanying elements – cactus, agave, ocotillo, mountains, abandoned buildings, etc. And, I love the sparse, flat country of the panhandle and other parts of west Texas. These places and the people in them often become the subjects of my work.

How does the landscape of Texas influence your graphic style?
The state of Texas is bigger than life and my art reflects that with canvases that are executed on a large scale. My work tends to be big, bold, and colorful—like the Lone Star State.

Who are your favorite writers and what have you been reading lately?
AMERICAN BUFFALO by Steven Rinella.

How does it feel to have your work Cowboy Reading in Big Bend represent the 28th annual Texas Book Festival?
Very honored & humbled . . .

Posters and T-shirts featuring Cowboy Reading in Big Bend will be available for purchase at the Texas Book Festival on November 11–12, 2023 in Downtown Austin.

TBF in El Paso, March 24–25!

Texas Book Festival is excited to announce upcoming programs in El Paso, Texas!

For the first time, Texas Book Festival will bring its signature literacy program, Reading Rock Stars, to El Paso! El Paso will be the fifth Reading Rock Stars region joining Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Rio Grande Valley, and Austin.

Texas Book Festival El Paso will feature children’s authors Rebecca Balcárcel, Zeke Peña, and Raúl the Third visiting Aoy and Hart Elementary Schools in the El Paso Independent School District. Students at the schools will each get a chance to hear from one of the authors, and every student will go home with a signed copy of the author’s book!

In partnership with El Paso Community Foundation, TBF will host trailblazing journalist Maria Hinojosa, anchor and executive producer of Latino USA, in conversation with Robert Moore, founder and CEO of El Paso Matters, at the Philanthropy Theatre in El Paso at 5 p.m., Friday, March 24. If you are near El Paso, you will not want to miss this free, public event. Tell your friends and reserve your spot!

El Paso Community Foundation will host a ticketed reception at the Foundation later that evening, to benefit Texas Book Festival and El Paso Matters. Guests will have an opportunity to dine and mingle with Maria Hinojosa, and each will go home with a signed copy of her memoir Once I Was You. Purchase tickets using this link.

TBF El Paso will conclude on Saturday morning, March 25, at the El Paso Museum of History. Authors Zeke Peña and Raúl the Third will engage children and families in a fun and dynamic storytime event featuring a book giveaway El Pasoans won’t want to miss.

We look forward to seeing all those who can join us in El Paso on March 24 and 25!


Full YA Lineup at TBF

The YA and teen programming that you loved at the Texas Teen Book Festival will be featured at the Texas Book Festival Weekend on November 5-6 in downtown Austin, in and around the State Capitol. Check out the full 2022 Author Lineup. All YA programming is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, November 5 you can see . . .

Anna Gracia, Crystal Maldonado, and Natalie Sylvester on the panel “Writing Our Own Stories”

Lyla Lee, Katharine McGee, Kellis Rowe, and Steven Salvatore on “Modern Romance”Omar Epps in conversation about Nubia: The AwakeningLamar Giles and Andy Mientus on “Ancient Evils, Mysterious Boarding Schools, and Doomsday Resorts”Brigid Kemmer and J.Elle on their new fantasy booksAnd on Sunday, November 6 you can see . . .

Laekan Zea Kemp and Ashley Shumacher on “The Power of Music”Joan He, Judy I. Lin, Anne-Marie McLemore, Goldy Moldavsky, and Aiden Thomas on their “YA Buzz Books”Samira Ahmed, Francesca Padilla, and Marit Weisenberg on “Discovering Truths, Finding Justice”Ayana Gray, Varian Johnson, and Aiden Thomas on their “High Stakes” storiesMaggie Stiefvater on The Dreamer TrilogyGuadalupe García McCall and R.M. Romero on “Ghosts, Premonitions, and Transcending Time”And don’t miss the Library Foundation’s conversation with the Austin Youth Poet Laureate!

Festival books will be for sale from local indie bookstore BookPeople, and author signings will be happening all weekend.

The YA HQ Tent will be on 11th Street in front of the Capitol from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday and from 11 am – 5 pm on Sunday. Check the entire schedule for exciting authors, illustrators, chefs, poets, and storytellers.

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