Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where Did My Art Come From? (part two)


My first crush. When I found him, I fell head over heels in love. I can remember my sister telling me to not fixate just on him, but to keep my options open. Nope. Not for me.

Richard Scarry was (and still is to a certain extent) a huge revelation to me. I was learning to read and loved how he tied meaning between mundane visual objects and the letters right beside them. The Times New Roman font spelling out "fly, flies, few, flown, flying Baron von Crow flew into the railroad tunnel." Replete with a picture of a plane barreling into the dark cavern.

Humour between words and pictures - it woke something up in me. Taking the concept of a simple word "fly" and making it memorable with a simple drawing. He could have taken the simple way out, the way most children's storybooks take. He could have drawn the plane in the air, he could have drawn some nondescript birds. Instead he chose to be memorable.

Nonsensical things like Lowly Worm or a Banana Car with no explanation provided gave invitation to a whole new quirky world where one didn't always need to have an explanation to enjoy.

Anyways, I remember checking out only his books from the library (I don't recall actually owning any) and returning them and hoping desperately that there would be different ones the next time. This lasted quite some time.

My most vivid Richard Scarry image is one of the cross section of a ship with mice engaged in various aspects of ship life. There was a jumble of cars in the auto deck, a mail room, a kitchen, a swimming pool.... all the things that would not be obvious to a little girl growing up in the Canadian prairies. I would sit and study that picture for ages.

3 comments:

Joanne said...

Do you own any of his books today for your children to enter that wonderful unique world of his?

Christi said...

Abi is love with Busytown right now! I am hoping to get some books for her really soon.

Michelle said...

Joanne, I own quite a few of his works. I don't have the one with the ship on it. I have a picture of the ship in a Biography on Richard Scarry though. Good read.

Christi, Abi NEEDS some of those books. Christmas is a good time for that. We picked up a lot of ours in great condition from used stores.