Who We Are!

Malachi Bazan believes that technology and nature can work together, and through Simply Nature Media he has joined forces with Dawn to make it happen for children, parents, and teachers. “Some folks will hide out on a hill and eschew technology, but there doesn’t have to be a fight between nature and technology,” he says. “We’re coming into an age where the digital world can help us appreciate and protect the natural world.” 

Malachi calls himself a digital sculptor. What’s that? “I make 3-D characters for movies and video games,” he says. “I can take people, or animals, or maybe even a monster, and make them come alive.” 

He started his career working on web site development, including animated web sites. As an artist, he found animation to be such fun that he enrolled at the Vancouver (B.C.) Film School, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 2002. His first major work as a character modeler was for Hollywood’s animated film The Barnyard (2006). He then turned his talents to video games, working on “Shadowrun” at FASA and then on “The Agency” for Sony Online Entertainment. 

With Dawn Publications, Malachi moves away from video games to helping children become more aware of their community, their surroundings, and their Earth. “Kids will be moving onto digital platforms anyway,” he says. “Let’s help them connect with nature that way, too.” Malachi’s now has three wonderful iPad apps based on bestselling Dawn books, now available on iTunes! 

Chad Wallace is an award-winning artist from Westchester, New York. He has illustrated eight books for children including Earth Feeling The Heat (2010) and Seahorses (2012) with Henry Holt & Company. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University (1997) and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) (2011). 

Chad says: “For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a professional artist. Ok, there was a brief period when I was nine years old when I wanted to be a paleontologist, but who didn’t? I quickly discovered, though, that what I enjoyed about dinosaurs most was drawing them. It was my first and last career change. 

“Fortunately for me, my parents and peers have always been very supportive of my ambition. My Mom and Dad saved everything I drew, and hired private art tutors through high school to streamline my development. 

“While at SU, I furthered my goal towards being a professional under the guidance of well-respected illustrators such as John Thompson, Roger Demuth, Yvonne Buchanan, and Murray Tinkelman. Upon graduation I was awarded the “Outstanding Senior Award” from the Illustration Department and signed my first book deal with Sterling Publishing in NY (1998). I went on to do books with Dawn Publications(CA), Richard C Owens Publications (NY), and Down East Books (ME). I also became a member of The Society of Illustrators in NY.

“My illustrations often feature animals in their natural environments. I typically work in a more realistic style, which creates a certain amount of believability with my characters even when they are anthropomorphized to a degree. 

“In 2005 I decided to return to academic study and earn a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY. There I was exposed to a whole crop of talented artists and instructors – Vincent Di Fate, Melanie Reim, William Low, Gregory Manchess, and Peter Cusak to name a few, all of whom helped guide me into the next stage of my career. 

“I was awarded the Stevan Dohanos Award in 2008 from the Society of Illustrators, NY, for my piece “Animal Olympics – Wrestling” part of an ongoing self-inspired book project. The artwork was also given a silver medal by Creative Quarterly that same year. 

“2010 and 2012 saw the release of two books with Henry Holt & Company – EARTH Feeling The Heat and Seahorses, two books I am very proud of. Both have been named to the National Science Teacher’s Association and Children’s Book Council’s Outstanding Science Trade Books List. 

“Currently I am interested in re-imagining children’s storytelling for the digital age. In a fast-paced, ever-changing field, authors and illustrators are being forced to adapt to new markets/media. As technologies such as the iPhone and iPad continue to evolve, the demand for creative imagery and practical teaching applications will also increase. 

“It is in that spirit that I have written the The Meadow Mouse, a book/app written and illustrated by myself, currently in production with Dawn Publications. It is scheduled for release Spring 2014. 

“While this interactive technology is new and exciting, it is important to remember the importance of good storytelling, whether in print or executed electronically.” 

Chad continues to reside in Westchester County, NY with his wife Ewelina. For five weeks each year he returns to Syracuse University to teach an Illustration Concepts class. He is an active member of the Society of Illustrators, NY, and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). 

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