I know a lot of people (mostly men) who dream of visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  These people love the game, the stats, the people… they probably grew up thinking how great it would be to play with the greats.  So they trek to New York to see this guys glove and some other guys bat… (you can see this isn’t quite my thing.)  🙂

HOWEVER… I now have a trek I’d like to take one day.  I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this but did you know that Eric Carle (the artist and author of The Very Hungry Catepillar and other classic children’s books) has started a museum?  ERIC CARLE MUSEUM OF PICTURE BOOK ART WEBSITE

It opened in Amherst, MA in 2002.

Their website describes the mission of the museum like this: The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is to inspire, especially in children and their families, an appreciation for and an understanding of the art of the picture book. In fulfilling our mission, we aspire to build bridges to an appreciation of art of every kind and to provide an enriching, dynamic, and supportive context for the development of literacy. We deliver this mission by collecting, presenting and celebrating the art of the picture book from around the world and by providing interactive experiences and programs that are engaging and educational.

Since I live in Oregon, it may be some time before I can actually visit the museum, but it is now on my “to do eventually list”.  I did, however, buy the book, “Artist to artist – 23 Major illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art”.  Well I must be a child at heart because I have found this to be so inspiring!

Whether you want to illustrate children’s books one day or not, it is so neat to read about how artists you are probably familiar with discuss how they got interested in art, what they do and see sketches from different periods of their life.  Each artist has 4 pages — a page of text, a self-portrait and 2 pages of sample art.   Among the artists profiled are Leo Lionni, Tomie dePaola, Maurice Sendak, Rosemary Wells and more.

How wonderful that these artists are willing to share their stories and encourage artists, young and old alike, to follow their passion, imagination and artistic desires.  This is a book I keep by my bed side.  I pick it up and read about one or two artists every so often.  I find this especially useful when I need to be encouraged, know that I am not alone or just want to admire different techniques and styles.

If you live near Amherst, GO!  Check it out and let me know what you think!

If you don’t, go to the website, poke around and look at the book in the store.  The book is $30 + shipping and all the profits from the book, Artist to artist benefit the museum.  BUY THE BOOK

Go be inspired and have a super-fantastic-creative day!

~ Tara