Here in L.A.- it's an inspiration overload. It's hard after 3 days to tell which ways is up or down or out or in. All you know is what floor you go to next and do I have time to pee and will I cry for the 25th time today?
I enjoyed so many of the talks and I saw Judy Blume with my own eyes and I have so many good books to read when I get home ..... but....
Then there was Small.
When I was a first year illustration major- we were told to go to the store, pick up a kid's book that you really liked- and come to class ready to explain why you like it. And then- try to "emulate" that illustrator's style in an illustration. I picked up "The King has horse's ears"- by David Small. I still have that book and I still have my pretty good David Small impersonation art. I have bought his books over the years - cracked open the cover and felt exactly like I did at 18 looking at his work for the first time. How does he do that? How is he so loose and so good at the same time? How does he flow with that brush and ink? How does it flow across the page and thru the story? I have loved his line- I have worshiped his watercolor - low these many, many years. I was strung out for days after reading "Stitches". I was and still am floored that a person who had such an awful childhood creates such beauty for children.
His is a Transcendent life.
HE is my conference take away. His line. His watercolor. His spirit. His example.
I have that spot, above my studio door. You know, where I hang the pics of people who inspire me? You can find them in the back catalog of the blog. I have had an empty spot for 6 years... waiting for someone. I know who is going there when I get home. David Small.