SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Academy Award-winning filmmaker, writer, and illustrator William Joyce will add yet another award to his collection when the Society of Illustrators honors him with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Shreveport native grew up admiring the work of Society of Illustrators members like Norman Rockwell and was able to visit it for the first time when he was in his early 20s.
“When I first went to New York two weeks out of college in 1981, this editor named Ole Risom at Random House took me to the Society to talk about doing one of my first books and I was just in awe because there were all of these paintings from all these people I had admired forever,” Joyce recalled.
Risom was the editor for Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
He would soon become Joyce’s editor. Now, both Joyce and Geisel belong to a prestigious list of illustrators who have won the Lifetime Achievement Award, including Eric Carle who illustrated “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and Maurice Sendack, illustrator of “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Joyce has returned to the Society of Illustrators many times since that first visit in 1981. He will return on Thursday, November 9 to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society’s Museum of Illustration.
“I’ve had shows there. I’ve had friends who’ve had shows there,” Joyce shared. “I’ve spoken there but going back there for this award is really, really special.”
Even though Joyce has won six Emmys, three Annies, and an Academy Award, he says this award may hold the most meaning for him.
“It sure is nice of them to say we think you’ve been doing a really good job for a while,” Joyce said. “That’s the place and the people and the artists that got me started. So, to be honored by them and that organization, it just means something, something very deep.”
Joyce is currently working on new books and the film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.” Also, the Netflix series “Lost Ollie“, which is based on Joyce’s book “Ollie’s Odyssey”, has received 10 Emmy nominations. The winners will be announced in January 2024. Joyce says he has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
“I feel like I’m doing my best work now. I feel like I’ve got a lot ahead of me.”