The late Maurice Sendak is one of those illustrators whose work is so powerful and full of imagination and originality that it is universally adored. His uniqueness and need to constantly evolve led to a legendary career doing what he loved: creating picture books. Sendak’s refusal to repeat ideas for the sake of profit — “People say, ‘Why don’t you do Wild Things II? Wild Things I was such a success!’ Go to hell! Go to hell. I’m not a whore. I don’t do those things.” — his fearless approach, risk-taking and unyielding opinions, although they sometimes landed him in hot water, are incredibly inspirational and valuable for artists of all sorts.
Members of London’s Tate Art Gallery traveled to Sendak’s upstate New York home back in November 2011 to interview the beloved author and illustrator. What resulted is one of the most inspiring shorts we’ve feasted our eyes on. Surrounded by the woods, Sendak and his German Shepherd illuminate the screen with hysterical anecdotes of landing in the world of children’s literature, his love and confusion of poet William Blake, Herman Melville’s advice for artists, and the enchanting power of childhood. Peek inside the Where The Wild Things mastermind’s workspace — oddly full of Mickey Mouse figurines, poetry books, and large wooden desks — along with a few photos and noteworthy quotes after the jump.
Sad news everyone: Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the children’s book Where The Wild Things Are, passed away this morning. It’s a great loss, not only felt in the literary and art worlds — he was a self-taught artist, illustrating many children’s books — but across the globe, as kids of all ages have been reaching for his beloved works since the 1940s. Over the decades, his colorful characters and drawings have served as a whimsical escape from real life and as source of inspiration — influencing ink, art, music, crafts and film. We’ve rounded up a few quotes, projects, and art in memory of Mr. Sendak, so come celebrate his life with us after the jump.