Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ed Emberley Inspiration

Last week, Anna and I had the treat of attending Elaine's North Shore Reading Council dinner and seeing Ed Emberley!

For those of you whom the name does not ring a bell, Ed Emberley is an icon to children's book illustrators, creating books like :

as well as his famous drawing book series like:

I'm a huge fan. To me, he embodies so many of the traits of what I aspire to professionally-- a career of longevity and quality books that always make a connection to their intended readers. Of course while my attempt to reach his pinnacle is mainly for his creative accomplishment, when he spoke of his two houses, his boat and his schedule of leisurely drawing in the morning and then choosing his afternoon activity of either biking, boating or skiing, I have to admit the motivations became a little stronger!

But he deserves it. Not only was he completely charming, his talk was inspiring. His theme was "Anyone can draw, at least the Ed Emberley way!" and it was easy to see how kids--usually so scared to make a mistake--would find their courage, both artistic and personal, from his books.

He drew the whole time he was speaking, which is why my photos are blurry! Never kept still for a minute, that man.

His talk was so good, both Anna and I began to reevaluate our own school visit programs. Were my presentations boring in comparison? I have to admit, I began to feel a bit of a panic. But luckily, both Lucille Beeth (Hi, Lucille!) and Pat Keough, librarians at the Weston School that I visited, were there and calmed my fears by mentioning their plans of inviting me again. Phew!

I'll try not to disappoint. Maybe I'll be better then ever--I would think so after seeing Ed Emberley as an inspiration.