When it comes to 2D work, I find that people are either line or color people. It’s a stuffy distinction going way way back for centuries, but I think it’s true. NRM is a painting (color) person; me, I’m definitely a drawing (line) person. I collect children’s books and my favorites (for illustration, anyway) are inevitably the ones with the strongest line quality, those by Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, Nancy Ekholm Burkert (Snow White), Ron Barrett (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), and Ray Cruz, who did all of the Alexander series by Judith Viorst:
Those of you who know me know I’m a sucker for the seventies, and line drawings are so seventies to me (what could be groovier than Coke bottle shades in your sweet Beetle?). Case in point: Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, which debuted in 1977 looking like nothing else on the market with Katzen’s hand-lettering and hand-drawn illustrations:
Not like it ever went away, but line drawing has a hip crafty vibe these days. I see it a lot more.
This one’s (L) from the architecture/interior design book Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake by Barbara Bestor, who is an uber-trendy architect and has been featured in the likes of Domino (RIP, sniff). It’s the sort of book that illustrates the kind of “bohemian modern” (re: hipster) cache you get with line drawings (and hence, it’s also the kind of book that makes you simultaneously admire the crazy beautiful homeowners and their crazy beautiful dwellings and hate them with green envy at the same time).
And then one of my very favorite posters (R) from one of my very favorite stores in Argentina, Papelera Palermo (si, they have a website, en Español) –which, if you are into paper and ever down in Buenos Aires, get thee down to Palermo Soho and experience joy). Yes, the piece is risqué, but line itself has such a sensuous quality to it anyway.
Line drawings would, I think, make a really neato DIY save-the-date or invite to a more informal affair. These are a few drawings I did as a prototype sample for a friend’s wedding about a year ago:
I loved the idea of line-drawing so much back when I did these that I cannibalized my copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and lovingly framed my favorite shot. A year later, it still makes me happy at breakfast time and inspired me to write this post.