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Great Artist, or Mere Illustrator?

September 13, 2008

I share Maurice Sendak‘s contempt for the question about someone being a great artist or a mere illustrator. Someone can be a bad illustrator, just as someone can be a bad writer, but I don’t think there is such a thing as “mere illustration”. Great illustration enriches the book, adding humor or emotion not found in the text, enhancing and extending the story line, even transforming the story into something entirely different that what’s in the text. And who could argue that Mary GrandPré, Tommy dePaola, Eric Carle, Chris Van Allsburg are not great artists? Click on the links for an interesting NYT article on Sendak, and see below for one of GrandPré’s gorgeous spreads from Pockets. 




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