7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #539: Featuring Dow Phumiruk

h1 June 18th, 2017 by jules

It’s a pleasure to have Dow Phumiruk’s artwork here at 7-Imp today. Her illustrations for Jeanne Walker Harvey’s Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, May 2017) mark her debut in picture books.

This picture book biography starts with Maya’s childhood in “her house full of light and open spaces.” Her parents, Harvey explains, had fled China for the U.S., and her childhood was filled with art. Having been inspired as a child to study architecture one day, she studied overseas. It was during her last year of college that she entered the contest to design the Vietnam War memorial. Her design—entered anonymously, as all of the submissions were—was chosen out of 1,421 entries:

“Simple yet strong. Creative and new. But when they found out Maya was the winner, the judges were shocked. She wasn’t famous. She was a young woman still in school. …”


(Click to enlarge cover)


The book also goes into the public backlash over her decision to build a “long, polished wall”; that is, some people objected to her very design. “Maya was young, but she was brave,” Harvey writes. “She didn’t back down.”

“The clean lines in Phumiruk’s deliberately sparse, light-infused spreads,” notes the Booklist review, “and the placement of slender, pillar like passages of text reinforce the breathtaking beauty of Lin’s sleek landmark.” These finely-detailed illustrations are sharp, nearly photographic in nature, and both author and illustrator communicate great reverence for the subject matter, this accomplished architect and artist.

Below are some spreads from the book, as well as an image from a work-in-progress piece and a selection of other images. I thank Dow for sharing today.


“On long walks alone, she searched for birds in the forest. Maya sat still as a statue, hoping to tame rabbits, raccoons, chipmunks, and squirrels.”
— From
Maya Lin
(Click to enlarge spread)


“One day when Maya looked at the patterns of light and lines on the ceiling of her college library, she imagined she would become an architect who created buildings
with art, science, and math.”
— From
Maya Lin
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The first time Maya visited the finished wall, she searched for the name of the father of a friend. When she touched the name, she cried, just as she knew others would. Thousands came that Veterans Day to see and touch and remember. Salutes, hands on hearts, honoring. And every day since then, visitors have done the same.”
— From
Maya Lin
(Click to enlarge spread)


* * *

(Click all but first image to enlarge)


MAYA LIN: ARTIST-ARCHITECT OF LIGHT AND LINES. Copyright © 2017 by Jeanne Walker Harvey. Illustrations © 2017 by Dow Phumiruk. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, New York. Illustrations—ad all other artwork—reproduced by permission of Dow Phumiruk.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) When someone who has come 7-Imp-kickin’ many times before (such as, Dow) publishes her first illustrated book.

2) Time with my girls in the summers.

3) Strong networks of friends.

4) Sherman Alexie’s new memoir.

5) So far, so good with my picture book grad course this summer.

6) Those students who get really fired up about the picture books I’m asking them to read.

7) Setting up that one last set of shelves in a house that still feels new. It may have taken nearly a year, but every thing in the home now has a place.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

8 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #539: Featuring Dow Phumiruk”

  1. Oh this book. I saw it earlier somewhere and knew i would have to get it. Hooray for Dow.

    Jules, Sherman Alexie will be here in August. Enjoy the time with your girls.
    My kicks:
    1. Friends
    2. Books
    3. Decktime
    4. Oldest grandgirl
    5. Reading
    6. Husband
    7. Writing group
    Have a wonderful week.

  2. Good morning, Imps!

    Hello, Dow. I hope that mouse gets the cheese without any violent happenings… 🙂 Congratulations!

    Jules: Yay, teacher Jules! That’s awesome.

    Jone: Sounds like a lovely week.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Music
    2) New routines
    3) Cheer
    4) Steady
    5) Achievable
    6) Sure
    7) Certain

  3. I am so happy you are featuring Dow, this book and her other illustrations. I have not met her but her online presence is completely delightful. I think this picture book biography is wonderful and much needed.

    I am so happy your picture book grad class is going well, Jules and I know how much you must be enjoying your girls.

    You have many special things on your list Jone; a wonderful bookish life to be sure.

    Whenever a song pops into my head it reminds me how much music has been a part of my life. I’m glad you have music Little Willow.

    My kicks:
    1. Reading wonderful books
    2. The arrival of new books
    3. Working in the gardens
    4. Rain…finally
    5. Doggie snores
    6. Roses
    7. Walking with Mulan

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  4. Hi Imps!

    Oh, it is such an honor to be featured here!! 😀 I am so very excited about it! If I could do a triple back flip right about now, I would.

    Glad your course is going well, Jules, and I hope the summer is full of adventuring with your kids.
    Jone, a great deck is the best place to be in summer! Little Willow, don’t worry – the little guy got his cheese, no problem, and I love your 5-7 kicks. Margie, thank you, and I hope to meet you (all of the Imps and our Head Imp) one day soon. Hooray for books and new books!

    1) being featured here!
    2) feeling like a “real” artist!
    3) having my dad here for Father’s Day
    4) taking him to the Colorado Springs Air Force Academy today
    5) the girls and their “now and then” recreated family photos for their dad – so funny.
    6) time to breathe this week
    7) the super dad my husband is to our girls.

    Hugs to all!

  5. Jone, ooh, I hope you get to hear Alexie speak.

    Little Willow: You ARE cheer.

    Margie: Hugs, as always, to Mulan. Do you have veggie gardens, as well as flower gardens?

    Dow: Thanks again for visiting! I’d love to meet in person too. And how. Happy Father’s Day to your dad!

    My biggest kick, everyone: The father my husband is to our girls. They are lucky.

  6. Congratulations Dow! Your illustrations are beautiful! How nice to have your Dad visiting on Father’s Day.

    Jules – yay for summer and time with your girls, good friends, and that your girls have such a great mother and father!

    Jone – Hope you got to enjoy some of today’s amazing weather in your deck!

    LW – love your kicks of music, new routines and cheer, but especially love kicks 6 and 7 – Sure and Certain.

    Margie – working in the garden and doggie snores are pretty terrific.

    I have one giant kick this week:

    A former client who I’ve known since he was 15 invited me to his high school graduation ceremony. So I got to go and see him graduate on Friday. I cannot tell you how proud I am of him for all of his hard work the past few years, and what an incredible and wonderful accomplishment this is. Even better? He is heading to college in the fall.

    Have a great week everyone!

  7. Oh how wonderful that you featured Dow Phumiruk’s absolutely amazing illustrations! I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see her illustrations develop for our book. Stunning! And thank you for your kind comments about the writing — I truly do have great reverence for the topic and Maya Lin.

    So my wonderful kicks:

    1. Reading about Dow her!e
    2. Seeing Dow’s new illustrations that make me smile
    3. Toying with new book idea
    4. Kayaking
    5. Time and laughs with friends
    6. Laughing at my cat’s antics
    7. reading, reading, reading

  8. Rachel: That is wonderful. And I think I saw photos on FB!

    Hi Jeanne! Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with the new book idea.

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