Here's a quick slide show of Jerry's book covers. Though, while I was grabbing all these images, I had to take a break, my mouse died, so many good books!
I'm already planning a pilgrimage in 2012 to one of the galleries slated to exhibit Jerry's latest show, WITNESS. It was at the Norman Rockwell Museum until May—check out this incredible summary of the show I swiped from Jerry's site:
Witness presents an overview of fifty years of a varied career as a designer and illustrator. This retrospective consists of 150 watercolors, process drawings, dummy books, reference photographs, and also a museum provided video along with inter active displays. There is a companion eighty page catalog with essays by Leonard S. Marcus, Gerald L. Early, Ph.D., Steven Heller, as well as Stephanie, Joyce, and myself. My essay titled Call and Response offers up the building blocks of how I became the artist I am today. The exhibition will currently be traveling to the Flint Institute of Art, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Hudson River Museum, High Museum of Art and the African American Museum in Dallas.
Some quick questions with Jerry to get us inspired:
Jerry: 2B pencil
Jaime: Classic! (Editor's note: Though I will venture that Jerry's 2Bs are made of holly and have phoenix feather cores.) Favorite working snack?
Jerry: Walnuts and Almonds
Jaime: (Editor's note: I know, this is hard to understand. There are too few words above. I'm sure Jerry meant Walnut CAKE. And Almond BRITTLE. He's a busy guy, I'm happy to correct him.) Who is your favorite illustrator in history?
Jerry: Arthur Rackham
Jaime: Hooray! Arthur Rackham has 2,233 Likes on Facebook. Thank heavens you can't Poke someone on a Facebook Page because I can only imagine that poking the ghost of Arthur Rackham would make him angry. Though it might be nice to be haunted by the ghost of Rackham, he might hover over your shoulder and tell you if your sketch is off. Right?
Favorite up and coming illustrator?
Jerry: Kadir Nelson
Jaime: Up-and-coming! With at least two Caldecott Honors, and a Sibert, and a Coretta Scott King, and his art on US postage stamps I will agree, Kadir is up-and-coming, he's practically in the stratosphere. And Kadir'll be presenting a live demo at the Illustrators' Intensive, too!
Final question: What do you do every day that makes you a better artist?
Jerry: I have hundreds of publications on the art of illustrators, painters, printmakers, and photographers. At some point in most working days you will find me scanning my bookshelves searching for that right book to set my creative juices flowing.
Jaime: Lovely. I am adding to my library of art books as I type. Thank you, Jerry! His website is a treasure trove of information, too. Please go wander around it. And check out Jerry's new-ish studio, beautiful: