Thursday, February 02, 2006

inspirational books

since i've discovered the world of cut paper, i've hunted for children's books illustrated by those with the same medium.... of course, nothing under the sun is new and yet, i was shocked by all the retro illustrators who chose cut paper as a way to create such alluring storybooks... leo lionni is one of the main artists whose books have received awards and have been the center of storytime on the rug for decades... you know, i first found out about lionni in my senior year of college as i was writing my thesis... when i worked at an elementary school, they had a wonderful rummage sale where i snagged up every lionni book in sight (six, to be exact)... and every keats book too (i could only find 3)... one teacher yelled at me for buying too many books... i'm an artist, a rusty writer, a child at heart, a mom, and a lover of children's books and yet i am not supposed to buy books from their rummage sale?! sorry, but these books are going to a good home, and will be loved greatly for their beauty, their sincerity, their skill!!! it is these books that give me hope that maybe one day, my cut paper will be found in a child's book, found on a bookshelf, cherished...

and meet ezra jack keats! another award-winning author... his retro illustrations are in my opinion raw and he uses his cut paper in the same method as his painting... loose... a style i'd love to imitate but am too much of a precise perfectionist... i always thought mr. keats was african-american just by all his characters in his book... most times, we artists look like our characters in some way..... and was shocked that he wasn't... but then again, my hubby is black and he doesn't draw many african kids... and i am hispanic; most times my girls are just tanned... so maybe my theory is wrong...

but i am venturing off... i really enjoy reading these books to myself (and to diego if he is listening)... i study the types of papers he uses, his composition... his layouts... i need to refuel myself in order to regain my skill as a writer AND illustrator... i need to remember the importance of composition; of size, of looseness... you know, i really just need to learn how to relax... i want too much too quick and get disappointed when i fail... in the meantime, if i could just sit back and watch something other than sesame street, maybe my creativity will flood into my brain, my blood, my marrow...

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