Eric Carle: An Inspiration to “Starving Artists!”
Hello friends. Today I found a great video of Eric Carle talking about his work and a special treat during his talk is that he reads a few excerpts from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I had never heard of this book until I went to college at 30 years old. In fact it wasn’t until about a year or so after that when I began taking Child Development classes and working in the Child Study Center at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California, that I heard this book read aloud by one of the staff instructors. From then on I was hooked on Eric Carle.
When my first child was about a year or less old in 1997, I began reading him this book. I also read two other books to him by Bill Martin, Jr. that Eric Carle illustrated called “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do you Hear?” But the one that Eric Carle wrote and illustrated that my son still remembers that he loved was “The Very Busy Spider.” I have board books of all of these except The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I have a larger picture book of that one!
When I was still in college I also took a short-term class with Ed Lewis who was one of the main Child Development instructors called Story-Telling. He taught us how to tell a story as you read it, but also how to tell a story without reading a book. I was single without kids at the time so it was pretty challenging for me. I had never really read books to any kids at that point, but once I had my first child, it came easily. Fortunately, even as a toddler he loved to sit and listen to books. He even began using the excuse “read another story!” to stay up longer! And to this day he still loves to read and is a writer himself. I am proud of him needless to say.
Well, I didn’t plan to write so much about myself, but I want to share this video of Eric Carle because you will not only get to hear his faint German accent, since that’s where he grew up as a young child before coming to America, but you’ll get to see a glimpse of the process of how he does his art. He paints white tissue paper with acrylics in all kinds of ways, draws his characters, then cuts and pastes each piece to the drawing. It is pretty tedious but amazing! I love his art very much. In fact I checked out his book called “The Art of Eric Carle” published in 1996 from the library a while back and then had to buy a copy, because I want to be able to read it again. What I loved about it most is the middle of the book! It has two fold out pages that show him creating his caterpillar step-by-step and a picture of his art studio. Very amazing indeed!
Soon I am planning to do a little art Eric Carle style just to go through the process. I know myself, though. It will probably feel much too time-consuming to me, but watch for something soon! In the meantime enjoy these videos! The first one is of Eric Carle. Also, if you have time, the second one is a video I stumbled onto of a live presentation of the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by some children from Woodhaven, Queens, NY, who made this video through their local library. It’s adorable!
And oh yes, have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂