So last week, I spent a whoppin’ 48 hours in NYC. It was sort of a blur, as it sounds, and I have to admit, very strange without Tulsi with me (she stayed in St. Louis with grandparents she adores). Still, The Original Art Show (the initial motivation for my excursion) was an awesome experience! — the two floors of the gallery were wall-to-wall with children’s book illustrators, editors, art directors, agents, students, and admirers of picture books. I went with my editor and two artist friends, which made it extra fun! I met several illustrators whose work I adore, and they were so friendly and open. We divulged some of our odd tools and mediums and choice places to dumpster-dive for collage material. I discovered new artists, too.

I am not embarrassed to say I had several moments of being emotionally overwhelmed during the night. It was dreamy! I got choked up when they played Tomi Ungerer‘s acceptance video for the Lifetime Achievement Award from his home in France (we are big fans of Mr. Ungerer’s Moon Man and Crictor and more). He is just as charming as his books! Ok, even more. :) Robert McCloskey (another book creator we love) also received the Lifetime Achievement Award, accepted by his daughters. Lane Smith, Kadir Nelson and Rosalyn Schanzer were award winners, too, and WELL deserved! What an honor to be included in this incredibly talented crowd! I was in awe, and of course humbled, and gratefully energized and inspired.

I did not have my camera, only my ipod, and I only managed to snap a handful of pieces. Still, I thought you’d enjoy these and wandering the artists’ websites. Top row: Melissa Sweet: Balloons Over Broadway, Carin Berger: The Green Mother Goose. 2nd Row: Oliver Jeffers: STUCK, William Joyce: The Man in the Moon, David Wiesner: ART&MAX, Calef Brown: His Shoes Were Far Too Tight, Tom Lichtenheld: Cloudette. Bottom Row: me :) from Same, Same but Different and yes, that is me on a subway — so different then the forest! Seeing original book art makes me want to create more books. And to experiment with medium, scale and even create some images with collage alone.

As you can imagine, I want to get ALL the books featured in the show for my library! Ha. Patrick would cut my credit card in half for sure! I did, however, purchase a few, and I am madly in love with them! I highly recommend these:  Melissa Sweet’s Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, Lane Smith’s Grandpa Green, Maurice Sendak’s Bumble Ardy, and Jon Klassen‘s I Want My Hat Back. Really though, if you are interested, GO SEE THE SHOW! AND, check out the list of artists/books featured!

The show is up until the end of the year at the Society of Illustrators in NYC. I think the show is such a gift to the public — not only fellow illustrators, but to kids and parents. To view the book as the art it is, adds a whole new dimension and appreciation to the artist and art form!