I must admit, I am jealous of illustrators. Especially the double-threat folks – illustrators who write, or should that be writers who illustrate? Either way, despite practically minoring in Studio Art in college, I’m toast. I can’t draw – or rather, I can’t draw well. Let me tell you a little story:
It’s a lovely spring afternoon, and I am wiping down my litho stone, having run a final series of lithographs for my advanced printmaking class. My esteemed professor walks by and leans in. I swallow hard. We all know his true criticism is given on the fly, not left for the end of semester critiques. He smiles and lays a hand on my arm. I relax. Then he tells me that I have a future in printmaking. As a printer’s tech. (Meaning I’d be great at running prints of OTHER people’s work. Ink the plates and stones, lay the paper, run the press.) Sigh.
Talk about a left-handed compliment. Now I can laugh – and realize that he honestly meant well. Often, printers make more money than the artists who employ them.
I followed a different path, and one that uses what gifts I have. Still, I love illustration. Even if just as a fan. So, I’m going to make sure that I get to see a new exhibit that literally popped into my e-mail:
The Society of Illustrators is celebrating Maurice Sendak! From June 11th until August 17th, Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work is showing at the Museum of American Illustration, located at 128 East 63rd Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. How can I resist the chance to see over 200 original works by Mr. Sendak? (Plus it’ll give us something cool to do on a hot June day.)
Here’s to all the illustrators who make such wonderful art to cover our books, head our chapters, and offer a new perspective on our words!