Share, and say “Look at this…”
It’s a sleepy Sunday snow day and my brain is a hot mess.
Why, You may ask?
Submitting things as an artist/writer/ illustrator is always a slow form of torture. The agony of deciding if something is ready to submit; if it’s good enough; is it appropriate blah blah blah…
This year I added another to my list of laments: did I already submit this last year? Oh Gosh, was I this unproductive in a full 365 days?
I’ve been wondering about what makes a good illustration vs. what makes a pleasing piece of art.
Obviously one has to tell a story; but many good painting do that anyway. It has to be enticing to a child, so in my book that means vivid, compelling and slightly off beat.
Every year the New York Times Book Review asks the same question to “those in the know”. This was 2008 ‘s conclusion:
If you press on the gray bar, you can peruse the ‘illuminated manuscripts’ with me.
1. I loved the dichotomy of the two pages together. It was like a love child between scrapbooking and traditional illustrating.
2. Number Two bowled me over. Pun intended. Hot darn but the perspective is electric. Suddenly I’m a snotty nose kid who had snuck into the pit during a major league ball game.
3. Number three by K. Kohara is so deceptively simple; you might smirk and give a Jackson Pollock painting response, “I can do that.” But we didn’t. This fellow did, and with remarkable good line work, color choices and fantastically done transparent ghosts.
4. As they say in Japan, “Kampai (good fortune/ cheers) Young sun!” Ed Young captured all the wonderful tradition of Japanese prints with an amazing layout. The way the pages vertically reads with the reeds, was superb. By the way, not his first nod by the NY Times Review.
5. To click a button and see the slide of this book, blew my mind. An illustrated book for blind children…about color. I’d say more but quite frankly I’m too choked up.
6. See the words, “…held tight. Alone”. Well yes, yes, yes. I CAN see how the small, trembling leaf is barely holding on. And how he has to do it will all the weight and power of that one word: Alone.
7. Splash! I love….
No, wait. Now it’s your turn.
You tell me what you thought of number seven through eleven.
After all, one of the best characteristics of children’s book illustrations are that they make you want to share, and say
“ Look at this…”