Dani's Blog: THE JUICE TV Behind the Scenes

Sweet Inspiration: Where the Wild Things Are

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The thing I dreaded the most about Illustration crits in college, was constantly being pegged for someone with a “childlike style”.  It was never stated in a positive way- or at least that was how it felt. The truth was I was kind of caught in the middle with my style and in the realm of children’s books I could only aspire to draw like the greats who always came to my mind- the incomparable Dr. Seuss and the incredible Maurice Sendack… These were illustrators who seemingly drew effortlessly while their imagination operated the pencil or pen.

Maurice Sendack’s drawings actually scared me as a child and it was only later in life that I grew to admire his work greatly. In an interview with The New Yorker he was quoted as saying “I am trying to draw the way children feel,” and that explanation kind of said it all. I was so sad to hear of his passing yesterday but inspired to many of tributes and responses to the news everywhere. There was even news of a “Wild Rumpus” tribute being held in Brooklyn.

In 2009, the Martha Show’s Halloween special was inspired by “Where the Wild Things Are“. The movie had just come out and there was lots of buzz behind it, but when we brainstormed inspiration for the show we recollected the original storybook characters and scenes. Martha’s Halloween Show sets were always transformative and incredible, and the “Wild Things” set was one of my very favorites.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from that very inspired show!

Blown Up Maurice Sendak sketch
A few signature Maurice Sendak sketches were blown up and mounted on foam core
set changover
The set changeover happened over a few days...
where trees for our kitchen set forest were made leaf by leaf
...where trees for our kitchen set forest were made leaf by leaf (Crafter Kirsten Earl)
stalagmites and stalagtites
...and we learned the difference between stalactites and stalagmites... (Stylist Kait Taylor and Lead Crafter Hosanna Houser)
Kristin sewing w monster
Wild Thing monster eyes peeked at us while we worked... (Crafter Kristin St. Clair)
Anduin and Kitchen Monster
...and glowing eyes presided over... (Production Designer Anduin Havens)
a monster boo-ffet...
...a monster boo-ffet...
Wild Things Worms
"Wild Things Worms! Yum!" (Stylist Javier Avilla)
Trees in the kitchen
The set transformation...
Craft Room Cave
...was amazing!

The true topper to the staff “Wild Thing” fun though, were the furry monster masks made for us by Crafter Aaron Caramanis

Sarah, Nora and Josefa with masks
As we put them on...
Calia, Kristin, Me in wild things masks
we were transformed too!
Martha Stewart Wild Thing costume
Martha's costume (as always) was incredible, even with a "Wild Thing" boot malfunction!
The Martha Show Staff, "Wild Things" Set, Halloween 2009
The Martha Show Staff, "Wild Things" Set, Halloween 2009

Thank you for the inspiration, Maurice Sendak- even if, at times, it was a little bit scary. Your stories prepared us for all things in life… the good and fun, the bad and scary, and the incredible “wild rumpuses”.  Xo Dani







About the author



Sweet Dani B is my small business and my mantra is Life Is Sweet! Both my business and life center around celebrating life’s occasions and making those occasions amazing. We design one-of-a-kind cookies, invitations, paper goods and pull them all together to deliver fabulous parties and events.

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