Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good ol' Shel

I have been thinking a lot about "stories" ever since it was announced that this would be the March Creative Every Day theme. I love to read and I love to people watch, so stories enter into about 60% of my entertainment (you know art gets the other 40%, right?)  Since this makes stories an ever more daunting theme for me, I decided to try and narrow it down and start from the beginning of actual written-word stories and how they have shaped or affected me.
As a child, I loved to read and had an advanced reading level at a young age so I read faster than the other children, and I did it a lot. More than anyone I knew. But one book in particular was a constant read, re-read, read again and again and again and....need I go on? Suffice it to say, this book received some wear and tear. Not only did I like it, but I liked acting it out, and I loved the illustrations.This lead to carting it everywhere with me, perhaps not very gently, and also a lot of my elementary school self trying to copy the drawings in the book, IN the book. And then of course there is the fact that I'm the eldest of multiple kids, and so I had to share the book with too grubby-handed little monsteeerrrrrr-brothers (don't worry, they know I love them).
And despite all of this that I put the book through, I still have it today. It is barely hanging on and has seen MUCH better days. It is fairly unrecognizable save for the copper faded  "signature" on the front cover. The original cover to the hardbound book is long gone, and the book deteriorates just me thinking about opening it. But open I must, for although I know all the words to every page and every curve in every line of illustration, I still love the book.
Here to show you I have my dear book, the drawings I did in imitation and imagination, and I'm sorry to show you such a pitiful water-logged disgrace of book maintenance but what can I say, I was young. :o)

Had you guessed it would be A Light in the Attic? I know this is not the favorite of most people my age who grew up with Shel Silverstein, but I have never found one that quite compared in my eyes. 
This picture shows my own boredom and imagination, practicing drawing in my book. 

I went through a phase where I thought that in order to draw a "cartoon" living things had to have bulging eyes. Kind of creepy when you look at it is almost as if no one has eyelids. ew. What did I know? I think I was 11 or 12 at the time.
The next picture is the title page and it looks like there is a date on one of the drawings..February 1995. I would have just turned 13 when this one was done.

I thought that this next one was notable because it is 1 of only 3 pages that I applied color to. So the drawing itself is by Shel himself, but I must say I rather like how and what colors I added. Too bad I can't truly take credit!!


And lastly I took the last drawings I did in the book, because they're just kind of funny to me. hehe. 

And can I just say, I still love and use the words "Punk" and "Dweeb", Steve Urkel, not so much.

So now you have had a small insight into part of my childhood and my early attempts at art, creativity, and linking them to stories (although most of these pictures did not link with stories, I was inspired by Shel the author and artist. Other pages I did not show have drawings where I actually tried to draw the illustration on the same page). And in honor of the theme of "stories" and Shel's b-day  I have decided that part of this month I would like to try and create new illustrations for 4 of the poems in the book. I plugged them into a random generator and the picks will be:
1) Pg 36 - NEVER
2) Pg 89 - HIPPO'S HOPE
3) Pg 16 - WHAT DID?
4) Pg 149 - LADIE'S FIRST

We shall see how it goes!

1 comment:

Grown Hazy said...

Okay, so I still haven't gotten around to doing this project. I kind of hit huge road blocks creatively with it. For some reason I just have a hard time re-imagining what Shel already did so well. It is still on my list though!