Monday, December 01, 2014

[scarry] influence

before thanksgiving dinner, i stumbled upon one of my favorite childhood books, richard scarry’s “best word book ever", a gift i received in 1987. i remember looking at this book constantly as a child. opening it up and thumbing through the pages again, i found myself vividly remembering several of the drawings. looking at the illustrations i was instantly taken back to houses, towns, cities, and other places only existing in this book.

having felt like i had over turned a rock deep in my subconscious i looked at the pages differently, wondering what affect these colorful illustrations may have had on me. a perspective only viewable with the distance time creates.  i noticed “how” things were drawn. houses and even cities were drawn in cross section, a technique i didn't formally learn until architecture school.  as a child though i remember thinking, “oh, I can see what goes on inside the house!” no doubt a way of viewing which makes kids think about spaces and the connections formed between them even when everything isn’t visible.

granted it’s a children’s book, but I love how active everyone is, especially in the city scene. characters are eating on sidewalk café’s or catching the bus, one is even enjoying a rooftop patio. a concept i thought was "cool" as a child, now looking at it i found myself wondering what this little rabbit pays for rent.

i’m always fascinated to look back and find objects or events which may have caused my life to take the direction it has, and it’s no stretch to see scarry’s book had some influence.  however the wonderful thing about this book is i could see it influencing a multitude of children and the paths, careers and lifestyles the ended up taking.  i could just as easily see this book influencing a future graphic artists, city planner, photographer, teacher, reporter, dentist or writer.  this book has the amazing ability to spur imagination in several directions. a tactile object you can hold in your hands with static illustrations allowing your own imagination to animate the stories, not a graphics card.

No comments: