Blue Bus Art

Welcome to the blue bus! The home of the art of Josh Tuininga. I’m an artist, author, and creative director working in the Pacific Northwest. I’m always busy working on a variety of new art projects. Take a look at what I’ve been up to, and feel free to contact me anytime.


“Children are naturally curious, creative and wonderful. They look at the world with fresh eyes, quite different than our own. How can we ensure that this kind of creative thinking continues to exist in our students’ minds during a time when they are fed a steady diet of “information overload” ? Well, I think we need to balance out that digital diet with intelligent, imaginative and inspiring books like Why Blue?” - Karli Lomax, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

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Reading countless children’s books to my kids  inspired me to create my first children’s book, Why Blue?.  With the help of my daughters, who posed for pages and offered invaluable critiques, the book was published and distributed last year. I am currently working on a series of follow up books, all of which explore themes of creativity, discovering aspects of the imaginative worlds within, and inspiring art for our youth.

Why Blue? 

Maya is always wondering. On this particular afternoon she looks up at the sky and asks herself the classic question, "Why is the sky blue?" Through a series of encounters with people she meets throughout the day, Maya is presented with several intriguing explanations. As she goes about her day, the reflecting sky above transforms to illustrate these concepts. This is a story about everybody's unique and valuable perspective of the world. It is a story about inquisitiveness, wonder and in the end, finding the answer within yourself.

"To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." - e.e. Cummings

"Why Blue?" is a picture book that will get kids thinking. Kids ask tough questions and that should be encouraged. "Why Blue?" will appeal to parents and educators who want to instill creativity in their children and encourage them to interpret what they see and then come up with their own ideas.

Tuininga_Josh_The sky wasn't blue at all.jpg

The Publisher


Xist Publishing is making sure that 'Why Blue?' will be available in both print and digital copies. Xist Publishing is paving the way in a rapidly changing industry. Their mission is to help children develop a lifetime love of reading—no matter what form it takes. As the biggest digital-first publisher for children they also know that parents love to snuggle up with their kids and flip through a picture book—so 'Why Blue?' will be available for both paperback and hard cover. As technology evolves, kids will too. Xist wants to make sure that no matter how kids are reading in the future, they’re reading and loving it. Find out more at


Special Thanks

First and foremost to Lisa Tuininga for living in this book with me and for sticking with me through its endless iterations and versions. You believed in this project from the beginning, and as you know this book never would have happened without you.

Mom & Dad, for growing the love of art in me from the beginning. Your advice during the process of this book was so important.

Judith Skillman, for being my editor and pep talker. I will never forget your wonderful ideas and wisdom.

Jacqui Lott for your trusty eye and critiques.

Ian Whiteford for an invaluable round of text edits.

Melanie Majerech, for your energy, support and final edits.

Peter Beck, for your initial advice and encouragement.

Aaron Bell, for some really great revisions.

Calee Lee & Xist Publishing for believing in 'Why Blue?' and making it a reality!

To all of my family and friends who have supported and encouraged me since the beginning:

Joe & Thea Tuininga, Jocelyn, Drew and Tom Skillman, James & Nora, Jocelyn Boose, J.J. Engler, Adrienne Wang, Papoo & Grandma, Jeff, Deb, Nikki, Marco, Mac, Luke, Elena, Mara, C-LOC & Molly, Kasedogg, Team Apptentive and the Chicago Crew, I have so many amazing people in my life I just can't thank them all. If you know me, you know I love you. :)

Lastly, Thank you to my daughters, Klara & Hazel for being my inspiration for this book. I hope that I don't get in your way too much as you find whatever it is that you want in this world.

The Medium
Josh Tuininga's art & design studio

Radiolab: Why Isn't the Sky Blue?

Listen to this awesome Radiolab episode that talks about the history of color in literature.

Interactive infographic explaining the science behind why the sky is blue:




Copyright   |  Josh Tuininga