Friday, April 17, 2009

April Book Review(S)

Back for monthly book review - a new regular feature here @ the blog.
This month - not 1- not 2 - but 3 books!

First- staying in the children's book arena ; "Blueberry Girl" by Neil Gaiman; Illustrated by Charels Vess

The way I shop for books or even clothes for that matter... I wander, scanning the store... until something catches my eye. For me to pick it up it has to draw me in and grab me. One look at this cover- and I was grabbed. It harkens back to the great children's illustration of the turn of the 19th/20th Century. Art Nouveau loveliness.

Cracking open the book - reading the text, I realized it was written as a gift book for a new Mom. Usually- that would be enough to make me put it down, but the art kept me engaged. The text grew on me as it went along cause it's a little weird and very old fashioned. It's flowery and lush and reminded me of some of my favorite Buzza Motto's I have collected. I have since read and drunk in this book a dozen times. It's a timeless wonder. A cure for what ails children's books. IT"S GORGEOUS - and my eyes like gorgeous and I believe many other people like gorgeous too. Amongst the quirky or cookie cutter books on that big wall at B&N- it stands-classic.

And Now.....

Two of the most important books - I can't tell you loud enough - BUY THESE BOOKS!! - that means you illustrators, cartoonists and fine artists.....

"Drawn to Life" -20 Years of Disney master Classes by Walt Stanchfield Volume One AND Two
-edited by none other than Don Hahn

These books arrived in a brown Amazon box last week- I ripped that box to shreds to get at them. I have been carrying one or the other of them around like a teddy bear ever since. - Cradling the words of wisdom.. these books speak truths that my head and heart and hand knew already but needed to be reminded of. Life is the artists' school. Go out and draw it. It will inform whatever direction you take as an artist - painter, sculptor- cartoonist- drawer of aliens in comic books or teddy bears that brush their teeth. Draw life first- put that info into the old noggin and watch how your illustrations come alive.

The books are filled with life lessons too - I will quote from them as time passes. For now- here's one to chew on as you order these books, like, today:

"Those who never start- can not finish." -W. Stanchfield (Oh- cut to my procrastinating heart why don't cha?)

PS- I do realize my enthusiasm for these books will only lead to further drawing in an animated style. But following my heart - that's what I love, and publishing may or may not love back- but I will love what I do - and that is the raison d'etre, non?

PPSS- no new art at the moment- I'm actually writing -can you believe it?


Chrissy Fanslau said...

Thanks for recommending the books Kelly, I'm going to check 'em out. =)

sam said...

OOO Kelly! Lemme See Lemme See! The drawn to life books look so Good! And it is so good to see something from you! Can't wait to see and read what's brewing! Hope Life's Mashugas are leaving you alone for once. said...

Thanks so much, Kelly, for these recommendations. I'm on it!

Cracked me up and I related completely to how you carry those books around like teddy bears. I do that all the time with books that inspire me. It's as if carrying a book around, the information will seep into my cells and reach me the way merely reading it couldn't... or something.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

This is just so wonderful. What information. I live at the bookstore and amazon as well. I say follow your heart my friend. I love your stuff! It's wonderful!!! he he he!

Anonymous said...

I could use a gift. Those 2 books sound great. ;)

Adrienne Hedger said...

Just got my copies of Drawn to Life in the mail. I'm excited to dig in! Thanks for the recommendation. :)