Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Notes From Rabbit Hill
Two field trips in two weeks is a cool thing indeed.
This past Saturday I joined two of my writing group buddies again, at the Rabbit Hill Festival of Literature, where we were treated to presentations by a group of awesomely talented authors and illustrators.
I took sparse notes, preferring rather to look and listen. Plus I forgot to bring my reading glasses, so I couldn't see what I was scribbling. (But you can make out the pigeon that Mo Willems taught the audience how to draw):
Some brief notes:
Steve Jenkins was interested in science at a very young age. His love of the natural world influences his art.
E.B. Lewis calls himself an "artistrator," and considers himself a documentor of life. For him the joy of making art is more in the process than the final product. He approaches illustrating a book like making a movie, but without the motion picture camera.
Barbara McClintock doodles a lot in her sketchbook as a way to inspire ideas. When she was just starting out and living in North Dakota, she phoned Maurice Sendak in New York to ask his advice on how to become an illustrator. And he graciously talked to her for 20 minutes!
Grace Lin's stories and art are inspired by her Chinese heritage. She wants to create art that has important personal meaning for her.
David Wiesner is a visual storyteller who uses unique points of view in his artwork. Much of his imagery is inspired by his childhood in New Jersey.
Mo Willems thinks of his audience while writing. As an author he wants to get out of the way and let the reader bring something of themselves to the story. He considers himself a craftsman rather than an artist. He spoke about the power of words, and also about the importance of encouraging kids to draw. "Drawing is physical empathy," as he put it, and the individuality of each person's drawing is important. (He is also quite possibly the funniest person on earth.)
For more detailed notes, click here. (Thanks, Julie, for the link!)