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!
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