Wednesday, May 9, 2012

we'll eat you up, we love you so

Yesterday I heard the very sad news that one of my favorite children's book authors/illustrators had died, Maurice Sendak.  He wrote one of my favorite books of all time "Where the Wild Things Are" and he has been an inspiration to me for as long as I can remember.  Sendak's way of writing a book for children is both terrifying and intriguing. I can only dream that I could someday have a similar response from any work that I do, be it art or written (although Ill have much better luck in art).   Above you'll see the pieces I've made inspired by Sendak's Wild Thing book.

The first one is also inspired by the "Keep Calm..." fad that has already disappeared, but I really loved the idea of this wild thing concept.  I made it yesterday as a small tribute to Sendak for his passing, I especially love that its pretty much a contradiction, in a way.  But its also pretty much the philosophy that I try to live by when raising my Little. I want him to "keep calm" by focusing on whats important and not letting small things get to him (at this age its when he can't get the bear shaped toy into the whole). But I also want him to "wild thing on"; he is always allowed to be himself, to be creative, to be outgoing, to be hilarious, to be crazy, to be a kid, to be silly, to be anything that resembles spirit or anything that somebody might interpret as "wild".

The second piece is the back and front of the baby shower invite I used when I was pregnant with my Little.  When I got pregnant I started collecting children's books because I knew I wanted to raise a reader, the way my mother raised me.  So when I bought the Wild Things book and started reading it over and over to my tiny Little in my tummy, I could always feel a flutter of kicks. Maybe it was my voice reading that encouraged the kicks, but I like to think it was because he was recognizing his story and then I realized I had a wild thing on my hands.  While my Little wild thing kicked away, I again became engrossed in the words and illustrations of this remarkable book.  So I decided that if a wild thing was coming, everyone should have a warning that he was on his way.  My mother was skeptical about my theme, but Little being her first grandchild she agreed (she has a special love for this little boy).

The third piece is an invitation for Littles first birthday party.  The first few months with Little had me doubting a wild thing nature, he was too calm and too sweet.  But I quickly learned that "few" was the operative word!  Yes that first year was filled with wild thing moments from morning to night, he was so excited all of the time and not to mention active!  He was definitely a handful! So naturally when it came to choosing a theme for his Big First Birthday Bash, "Where the Wild Things Are" was the obvious choice! Even Dada had to agree that we were raising a wild thing and he should have a party to celebrate it (or celebrate our surviving that first year).  So we came up with the idea but since I wanted a lot of DIY for this special birthday, Dada worked on the invitation and did a spectacular job (he's also a graphic designer!).  Maybe one day Ill "Rewind" here again and post of the pictures from that birthday (I even made wild thing piñata)!

That last picture is Little at 1 year old at his birthday party.  He is wearing his crown, after all he was king of all wild things that day!  He's also wearing a shirt that Dada and Mama designed and made for him to wear especially that day! (I should mention that was the first time we'd ever tried an iron on type thing)

Yes its true that Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated a number of books beside "Where the wild things are", but this is the book that gave me the most inspiration and I wanted to share it.  Here are some of his other works that are sure to inspire anybody with a wild thing inside.

<3 Mama Chuca

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