How did I not know that such a fabulous annual lecture was to be heard in my own little city? How did I happen to miss Cynthia Kadohata last year, Daniel Handler in 2008 and Christopher Paul Curtis in 2007?? How, I ask you?? Gaaah!
Well, I am pleased as punch that I didn't miss it this year, and even more pleased that I didn't have to use a personal business day to miss work (Spring Break, I love thee) in order to listen with rapturous appreciation to Chris Van Allsburg talk about how he might be pretty good at drawing.
Here's some proof:
And here's me getting the proof signed:
Some highlights of the lecture:
- Chris Van Allsburg had zero art lessons until he went to college. Zero. Art lessons. Even then, he only drew pictures of the sculptures he designed (do not miss these... my favorite? The Invisible Man Bookends).
- He bluffed his way into the University of Michigan by lying about how he'd been having lessons "on weekends" and that he was good enough to go into the College of Architecture and Design. You can hear more at the video interview on the Reading Rockets website.
- His wife got him into children's literature by talking him up to a publisher, who offered him some boring didactic manuscripts to illustrate. When he turned them down, the publisher suggested he write his own book ("Notice he didn't offer me a contract"), which, of course, he did.
- Speaking of which, Abdul Gazazi is pronounced "ga-ZAY-zee." From the author's mouth, folks.
- He's currently working on a biography of the 62-year-old retired charm school teacher who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. We saw pictures. It looks fabulous.
I recorded the whole thing on my iPhone, but it looks as though CPC's 2007 lecture was not only audiorecorded, but videorecorded as well, which means I may not have to release my bootleg version. Stay tuned.
Happy 100th post to me!
Labels: author, chris van allsburg, illustrator