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Carl Chaiet

small product photoI attended art school in the 1970s, at a time when representational art was frowned upon and minimalism was in vogue. A professor of mine was known for his stark grid paintings in which blue slowly gradated to blue-green. After I graduated, I took a trip to England, and at the British Museum I saw an Early Renaissance painting in which the grid-like floor was my professor’s oeuvre. 

During the 20th century, content obscured the essence of an artwork and illustration became a handmaiden to fine art. J. C. Leyendecker’s “Arrow Shirt Man” is, in fact, a paean to the Greek model of perfection. If Caravaggio had been alive in the 1920s, he surely would have been a pulp-fiction artist. Telling stories was the impetus for communication – and the embellishment of the story the impetus for art. The narrative, in all its diverse forms, is still the most important means of human expression.

Telford and Earnest are my impetus to explore the possibilities of the narrative. The dialogue between the real and the unreal creates dynamic tensions I could never have imagined.

BUT I DO!

 

 

Lynn Kearcher

balconyThe challenge of writing a children’s book is to find the child within.  Earnest was easy…he is sassy, irreverent, easily distracted…much like myself.  Telford was more difficult…he is very particular, extremely methodical, and very precise. 

I approach our stories in a far different fashion than most children’s authors.   Carl gives me a detailed storyboard, from which I must weave the narrative.  Creatively, it can be stifling, as the writer doesn’t have control of the storyline.  But as I write and and re-write, the process is transformative…both characters begin to speak, taking on their own personalities and on some level becoming alive.

At the risk of sounding highbrow, it is my hope that our books will introduce young readers to a bygone era where the importance of beauty, detail, and thoughtfulness were commonplace. When read aloud, the excitement of the prose should be a bit like the sensation of eating crisp, chilled celery.