Friday, December 5, 2014

Okay, now I'm just fan girling over artists...it's fine! All for the creative process!



It was Wanda Gag who actually inspired me to take the long, treacherous journey to becoming a children's book illustrator/author. Before my third year of college, I had decided that maybe I could do illustration...or maybe I couldn't. The criticism was harsh, the assignments were difficult for me at the time (I was so used to being a fine artist who did work for myself) and the classwork was critiquing the awful homework I produced.

The change happened when I needed to give a presentation on an artist I had researched, an artist that inspired me. I looked over all the artists under the inspiration category and this is what I came up with: Salvador Dali, Heironymus Bosch, Robert Irwin, Kandinsky, Judy Pfaff, Rothko, Chagall...none of them were illustrators. None of them really had anything in common that I could figure out. Now I can see some abstract similarities but then I couldn't. I had another project similar to this one in which I chose to write something on Fail, a group of graffiti artists who still weren't illustrators. My influences were all over the spectrum, leaking into different categories like music, books, food, riding a train by myself,  and even some of the personalities of my co workers at the time when I worked at Dunkin Donuts. Anything seemed to inspire me BUT other illustrators.

I came across Wanda Gag when I googled "illustrators who drew in pen" or something like that. I started looking for ones that used materials that I normally do. And BAM. Also BAM when I realized she liked working both fine arts and illustration. She made me question what the difference was and why I needed to do both. I found that for me, the actual creating part was no different. I added the same elements, worked with the same mixed media, and kept the same personality in the nature of the markings. The only difference was I use fine arts to connect to myself and illustration to connect to other people, to communicate the ideas that the fine art had but didn't tell.

Thank you Wanda Gag for your love of fairy tales, for I love them too. Thank you for the inspiration!