Illustrations have as much to say as the text. The trick is to say the same thing, but in a different way. It's no good being an illustrator who is saying a lot that is on his or her mind, if it has nothing to do with the text. . . the artist must override the story, but he must also override his own ego for the sake of the story.
I think that if in your heart, you are seeking out a real puzzle, and you're not looking to frighten anybody, you're not looking to upset anybody, and you're looking to discuss a subject that you yourself went through when you were nine - you just don't remember the difficulties of one's own childhood.
Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original... Read more »
One of the few graces of getting old-and God knows there are few graces-is that if you've worked hard and kept your nose to the grindstone, something happens: The body gets old but the creative mechanism is refreshed, smoothed and oiled and honed. That is the grace. That is what's happening to me.
We’ve educated children to think that spontaneity is inappropriate. Children are willing to expose themselves to experiences. We aren’t. Grownups always say they protect their children, but they’re really protecting themselves. Besides, you can’t protect children. They know everything.
All I liked to do when I was a kid was draw. My childhood was like my adult life: drawing pictures with my brother, putting the comics up on the glass window, and tracing the characters onto tracing paper or drawing paper and then coloring them. That and making things was all we ever did.