By Daniela Cacho
Lorin Morgan-Richards is an author and illustrator, primarily of children’s literature. His work is contained of sharpened pencil-like sketches with a dash of crawly images added at times from drawing to drawing. His story-telling follows the rhythm of his artwork, a mind-capturing way of expression.
Richards’ movement to his creative career began at Cuyahoga Community College. Richards attended two of Tri-C’s locations. ‘’I first attended Tri-C Western campus where my focus was on Liberal Arts. At the time, I kept a journal of random thoughts, doodles, and lyrics and used the filter of music as my art. So, the bulk of my classes were in this field of study. I made connections with other artists who shared similar passions, and we were all eager to form various projects of expression. I moved to Lakewood to be closer to the performance spaces and switched to Tri-C Metro where I was awakened out of my shell by an Anthropology teacher named Dr. Mark Lewine,” said Richards.
‘’Having several campuses helped me continue from one to another. The diversity and access to students of various backgrounds is notable,” Richard expressed upon Tri-C having four campuses accessible to those in the Cleveland area. During the early experience at Tri-C, Richards was making music that was quickly influenced by his great interest of Anthropology.
Richards’ music naturally became a storytellingexperience with a background concept from Zecharia Sitchin’s book, The Twelfth Planet. ‘’I wrote a book about it to coincide with my album ENKI which I developed into a theatrical production. ENKI debuted to a sold-out audience in 1999 at the Cleveland Public Theater under the guidance of renowned Cleveland Choreographer, Michael Medcalf,” Richards said.
Along the way to Richards’ creative outlets, he found resources at Tri-C to keep the flow going. ‘’The skills taught at Tri-C formed the framework for my future endeavors. I credit Dr. Lewine with helping inspire me to pursue the production of ENKI which built up my confidence to produce other theatrical works such as An Occurrence Remembered in New York City. Likewise, I honed in on writing and illustrating, having published over 13 titles in both fiction and non-fiction. Then what I learned in Anthropology led to creating and co-directing events including the Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival and Bringing the Circle Together. I was also publisher of Celtic Family Magazine for four years, and have worked in the Arts and Culture sector since 2002.’’
Richards also explained, ‘’If you are struggling, speak to your teachers. Don’t just be a student, become an active part of the community campus. Make connections. Make it a mission to find your inspiration.” The time spent in Cleveland was much valued for the published author and illustrator.‘
“In many ways, a Clevelander has the same opportunity as any other person in this country to follow their dreams. But they will need to believe in themselves, listen to insiders, understand that if you are not wealthy, you will have to do a lot of legwork including self-promotion, and be sure to silence the naysayers in your life. Get involved in local writing groups, support your local library, join poetry corners, and don’t be afraid to travel,” Richards said.
Now, Richards resides in California and is working on a novel titled, The Goodbye Family. After completion, he plans doing shows with his new publication. Tri-C West campus library holds titles done by Richards for those interested to check it out.