Talking With Artists

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Overview

Pat Cummings draws out personal stories and practical advice from thirteen talented and popular artists, including Paul O. Zelinsky, winner of the 1998 Caldecott Medal for "Rapunzel" (Dutton), and Peter Sís, author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor book "The Starry Messenger" (Farrar Straus). Artists answer questions about how they got their first job, what their studios are like, what they do all day, and where they get their inspiration. Though the artists' answers are as unique and varied as their work, ...

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Overview

Pat Cummings draws out personal stories and practical advice from thirteen talented and popular artists, including Paul O. Zelinsky, winner of the 1998 Caldecott Medal for "Rapunzel" (Dutton), and Peter Sís, author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor book "The Starry Messenger" (Farrar Straus). Artists answer questions about how they got their first job, what their studios are like, what they do all day, and where they get their inspiration. Though the artists' answers are as unique and varied as their work, all of these remarkably talented people share a great passion for communicating with the world through illustration. Childhood snapshots or each artist, examples of first illustration attempts, a section on secret drawing techniques, and even an introduction to some special pets help make the third volume of "Talking with Artists" as humorous, engaging, and inspirational as its award-winning companions and a must-have for aspiring artists. Bibliography

Distinguished picture book artists talk about their early art experiences, answer questions most frequently asked by children, and offer encouragement to aspiring artists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A special treat for budding artists and wonderful for teachers.
Booklist, ALA

Although similar in format and organization, the books in this remarkable series are not simply carbon copies of one another. The introductions alone, succinct and provocative, demonstrate the ways in which the compiler gives added dimension to her project: Volume One presented the idea of illustration as a profession; Volume Two touted the value both of practicing old techniques and trying new ones; Volume Three introduces the concept of illustration as a means of communication. Yet, like any solid series entry, the familiarity of design and content lives up to expectations; it is satisfying and it is good. There are no surprises as to quality; rather, curiosity is piqued by the seemingly infinite variety of possible responses to the same questions. Paul Zelinsky enlivens his autobiography with sly humor, noting "I was born quite young, at about age zero." Peter Catalanotto, like most of the thirteen artists profiled, demonstrated his talent early in life. However, he envisioned that becoming an artist "meant I would move to New York City, spend my entire life drawing and painting, slowly starve to death, and, after I was dead, people would start buying my paintings." Several of the subjects have roots in other cultures: RaLl Colón, Puerto Rico; Keiko Narahashi, Japan; Peter Sís, Czechoslovakia. Despite differences in background, they have much in common with the other distinguished and distinctive personalities who are included: Lisa Desimini, Jane Dyer, Kevin Hawkes, G. Brian Karas, Betsy and Ted Lewin, Elise Primavera, and Anna Rich. All are passionate, hardworking, anxious to encourage others, and willing to share some secret techniques in an engaging appendix. Informative, enjoyable, and inspirational.
Horn Book

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Children's book illustrators discuss their craft in Talking with Artists: Volume Two, compiled and edited by Pat Cummings-as in the first book, interviews are accompanied by childhood and present-day photos of the subjects and examples of their work. Artists include Denise Fleming, Kevin Henkes, Maira Kalman, Floyd Cooper and nine others (Simon & Schuster, $19.95, ages 9-up ISBN 0-689-80310-9 Sept.).
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
As she did in the first volume, Cummings has compiled another series of entertaining and informative visits with contemporary illustrators of children's books. For each of the thirteen artists, she provides a brief background sketch and then poses a series of questions. The answers give a glimpse into the artists' personalities, as do the photos of them and their studios. Brian Pinkney only works at night; David Wisniewsi was a circus clown; and William Joyce, as one might expect, is totally irreverent. A nice touch is the artistic tips or secret techniques for budding artists, and the list of five favorite books that each artist has illustrated. Inspiring and a good read.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Thirteen of her fellow children's book illustrators, among them Lois Ehlert, Tom Feelings, and Jerry Pinkney, spoke to Ms. Cummings about their early lives and answered questions about how they work. Photos and art from their childhood and adulthood accompany each dialogue. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Using the same eight questions that she used in the first volume of Talking with Artists (Bradbury, 1992), e.g., What is a normal day like for you? What do you enjoy drawing the most? What do you use to make your pictures?, Cummings probes the minds and hearts of 13 illustrators-Thomas B. Allen, Mary Jane Begin, Floyd Cooper, Julie Downing, Denise Fleming, Sheila Hamanaka, Kevin Henkes, William Joyce, Maira Kalman, Deborah Nourse Lattimore, Brian Pinkney, Vera B. Williams, and David Wisniewski. The tone of each interview is casual. These conversations are as humorous, insightful, and as original as the artists themselves. Although the author has kept the format the same as in the first volume, instead of a glossary of art terms, here she includes a section in which each artist describes a special technique that students may want to try. Excellent, full-color photos of the illustrators, their studios, and their work are also included. Full of insight and inspiration, this is an entertaining resource that young people, teachers, and librarians will enjoy. Cummings has another hit on her hands.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
School Library Journal
Gr. 3-8-Thirteen children's book illustrators discuss their lives and how they communicate their ideas. All of the profiles open with personal essays titled "My Story" revealing some biographical details but focusing on childhood dreams and ambitions, training, sources of inspiration, and feelings about their career choices. Following this section, a number of questions are posed-the same as those presented in the first two volumes-that explore the subject's personal and professional life. Then-and-now photos of the illustrators and reproductions of childhood and recent work accompany the narrative. The artists include Ra l Col n, Lisa Desimini, G. Brian Karas, Betsy Lewin, Keiko Narahashi, Peter S s, Paul O. Zelinsky, and others, and they represent a variety of styles and mediums. While many readers will find the artists' tips that conclude the volume useful, all will appreciate these insightful conversations.-Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
Stephanie Zvirin
Cummings once again addresses kids' curiosity about the people behind the picture books they love. The look of this book is slightly different from her 1992 volume: typefaces have been changed, photos of the artists are now in color, and the jacket colors have been softened. The "My Story" section that introduced each profile in the first book remains a wonderful feature here, giving artists an opportunity to tell about themselves in a vivid, personal way; the general questions posed are the same as those in volume one; and there's still a fascinating glimpse of the artists' work as children. There are also some great, new features. Instead of a glossary of art terms, this book includes a simple, technical tip from each artist and a photo of the artist's workspace. Cummings' selection of artists is especially good this time, demonstrating a great diversity in artistic style and choice of media. Kevin Henkes, Floyd Cooper, Denise Fleming, and Vera B. Williams are among the 13 included. A special treat for budding artists and wonderful for teachers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395891322
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Talking with Artists Series
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Cummings is a highly regarded artist and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration for her pictures in My Mama Needs Me by Mildred Pitts Walter, and Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz. Ms. Cummings lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    My neice has Vol. I and Vol II.

    She has asked for Vol. III for her holiday gift. This is an excellent review for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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