Sketchbook Club: Me

This week, I went through all the books I’ve published and told the stories behind making them. It was fun to reexamine some of the dusty tomes.

Have you read ’em all? Probably not. Wanna round out your collection? Click the links to the left.

Reading me.

I don’t usually read my books for a long time after I write them. I’ll have some occasion to look back and read what I wrote and the experience will be quite odd. Sometimes it will seem familiar, and very much me. At other times, I’ll think, “Did I really say that?”, sometimes with pleasure, sometimes with dismay.

Often I am possessed by some other version of me when I write, a version that is a co-creation of the book itself, the inexorable march of ideas and words that surge forward as I write at length, ideas taking on their own voice, connections stopping out of the shadows. That’s one of the prime pleasure of writing, how the process takes over. When I wrote a novel a few years ago, I was constantly surprised at things the characters said, at the way bits of plot came full circle to tie up ends, at the life the story had quite beyond me. I sometimes think back on the characters, wondering how they are now, as if they lived on even though I stepped away from the keyboard.

I can have the same feelings when I draw. I begin with an impulse of what sort of drawing I want to make but invariably where I end up is pretty different. Making a drawing, like writing, is an exploration, an adventure. The destination is subject to change. My mission is to discover myself. And sometimes what I find may be pretty unfamiliar and surprising.

I write my books. But I read them too. And I hope I’ll always get lost in their pages, lost so I can find something surprising and new.

An interview I really liked

kymn%20working%20fileI did a long interview on the radio this morning with Paula Granquist on “ArtZany!: Radio for the Imagination” on KYMN Radio in Minnesota. We talked about A Kiss Before You Go but the conversation was far more wide ranging and covered many important creative concepts.   It’s about 45 minute long and you can hear it here. 

I was also on some other shows in the past couple of weeks including:

  • TURNING PAGES, KCBX Public Radio FM 90 San Luis Obispo, CA (March 11)
  • THE ROUNDTABLE on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio. Hear here. (March 12)
  • IT’S YOUR HEALTH RADIO, WUML, Boston Talks, Boston, MA (March 19)
  • MORNING EDITION, WOJB 88.9 FM, Hayward, WI (March 19)

An Illustrated Journey continues down the road.

While copies of A KIss Before You Go are being loaded into warehouses, work continues on my next book, An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers, the sequel to An Illustrated Life.

I just did the lettering for the cover (you’ll notice on Amazon that they uploaded the art for the cover before including my handlettering — that’ll be fixed soon) and the design for the interior continues. It’ll be a lavish book with work from forty of my favorite artists and will be out at the end of February, next year.

I’ll talk about it more in the months ahead but meanwhile you can see some of the art work from the book on my Pinterest page.