Why We Like Picture Books!

I spend a lot of time at my local library doing researching, seeking out information, and relishing the quiet (at least most of the time) to feed my curiosity. One of the amusing things to watch are the young kids standing on a stool at the checkout counter with a stack of picture books. The pile of books is almost as tall as these little tikes, and their giggles and joy is undeniable.

Picture books are full of color. They illustrate the author’s idea of what the characters, flora, and fauna would look like from their point of view. The authors create a world allowing the children to make connection. We follow(ed) along matching the aspects of the illustration to the words we’re reading or someone is reading to us. We get lost in the combination of the words and the pictures.

As artists we create our own picture books. When we create anything, although it may not be in book form, we’re creating a story. When we have a piece in an exhibition we write artist statements, or blurbs about the piece for the viewer, don’t’ you think that’s a picture book? We’re connecting with the world taking them on our journey through a visual medium.

I bought a photograph a few years ago. It’s a black and white photo of silk drying in the wind in China. I was mesmerized by the piece and the artist noticed my interest. He took me aside and told me the story of how he had captured the photograph. He went into great detail about the wind, the people unintentionally photo bombing, and the other difficulties associated with capturing the shot. I tell everyone I show the photograph to that I bought a $500 story that came with a free picture. This is the modern day picture book.

What are you looking to illustrate in your life? How will getting the story out visually serve you? How will it lighten you load or punctuate a momentous occasion in your life? How will your picture book heal your body, mind, and spirit?

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