What Marian Bantjes, Ed Emberley, Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor have in common? They are passionate about what they do, they always move forward and they are true to themselves. Recently I’ve been exploring a collection of documentaries on lynda.com. The quotes below come from three documentaries I’ve watched a couple of days ago, and these were: Marian Bantjes, Graphic Artist; Ed Emberley, Children’s Book Illustrator and Jerry Uelsmann & Maggie Taylor: This is not photography.
You do what you’re told, and you do what you’re told over and over again, and eventually you learn. You learn what is the right way and the wrong way to do things. I mean, that’s one of the things I like about typography is that there is a right way and a wrong way. There are variations within that. There are personal tastes and various things, but you can really–you can screw it up.
Everything I do, I do for love.
So my goal at that time really was to just keep putting stuff out there, keep making things, keep exploring these ideas I was having, honing my skills, and just kind of stay busy during this time I wasn’t actually getting any commission work.
Not everybody has to be an artist. The big thing is feeling good about yourself. That’s more important than the art part.
I don’t want the children to fail. The most important thing is that they are amused. The second most important thing is they do not fail.
I was having fun doing it this way, and the pages are made to be fun. And I think if I have fun, the fun is transferred to my listener. If I’m bored, that boredom is going to transfer to somebody.
The dominant aesthetic, well, what we learned or we thought was the dominant aesthetic–it probably still is–is the decisive moment. That was coined by Cartier-Bresson. I tried to imply that those same decisive moments can occur in the context of the dark room, that the dark room was essentially a visual research lab. If you just do the mental gear shifting required to think that way, because I’ve had decisive moments when suddenly, whoa, that tree will blend to that building. Now, that’s a decisive moment.
Edgar Western said he defined art as the outer expression of inner growth. … I can’t define art any better today, but my work has changed. Art is not something to be learned apart from books and rules. It is a living thing that depends on full participation. As we grow in life, so we grow in art, each of us in his unique way.