Greg Hardin is a professional illustrator and author.

Greg Hardin is a professional illustrator and author.
He wrote ‘When I Grow up I want to be a Jayhawk’ and his latest book is called ‘When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a K-State Wildcat.’
In this Quick 5 interview, he talks about the new book.

1. Greg, what is the new officially licensed K-State children’s book that you are working on and will it be similar to the KU children’s book you published called When I Grow up I want to be a Jayhawk?
From the moment I launched the KU book, I got nonstop requests online and in person for a K-State book.  I decided to do a “cousin” book for K-State that shared some characteristics as the KU book but was also totally different because we would be exploring Kansas State University.

2. Will the new book be told from a young Wildcat’s perspective and what will the title be?
The book is told from the perspective of a young Willie the Wildcat, and the book is called “When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a K-State Wildcat.”

3. Are you illustrating as well as writing this book and how will the story differ the most from the KU book?
I did write and illustrate this book.  The story differs from the KU book in that we’re putting young Willie in on K-State’s campus, showing what’s unique and special about K-State.  
We go to Call Hall for K-State’s student-made ice cream, and also to Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum to watch sports.  We get to see professions K-State specializes in, from being a pilot to a farmer to a veterinarian.  And we get to see locations unique to K-State and Manhattan, from the Flint Hills to K-Hill to Higginbotham Gate.

4. How has your career given you the opportunity to work with the world’s most famous cartoon characters and which has become your favorite over the last 20 years of your career?
I worked as an illustrator at Hallmark Cards in their Licensing Studio, where I got to work with just about every famous character conceivable from Superman to Snoopy.  I also worked at the animation company Big Idea Productions where we made “VeggieTales” movies. 
My most favorite character to draw is probably Mickey Mouse, he’s just so much fun to pose and has tons of personality.

5. Will the new book be a good preview of college life for kids and will it motivate them to value and seek higher education? How can people get a copy of the new book?
The book does explore living on your own for the first time and the joy of pursuing higher learning, of learning how to become that thing you wanted to grow up to be. 
By doing that, you’re also growing up to be a K-State Wildcat!  Currently the book is on seeking funding to cover printing costs.  Many people don’t know what Kickstarter is and think it’s a store, which it is not.  It’s a way for people to pledge money to cover the amount of money I requested for printing costs, and you get something of your choice in return, such as a book or poster or both or more.  Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so if I don’t get the full dollar amount I asked for, I don’t receive anything and the project doesn’t get made.  If you love K-State, please visit and help make this project a success!

— Rimsie McConiga