Thursday, September 3, 2009
Some years ago I became enamored with illuminated manuscripts and their use of image and text. Initial capitals were always so fanciful, often telling a story of their own, that I decided to create my own alphabet which incorporated my love of architecture. I liked to imagine of each letter welcoming you to his or her house, and even wrote a rhyming text to accompany the images. After assembling the letters and having posters printed, which I gave to anyone who was mildly interested, people began to request hand painted letters for their children and grandchildren. Thinking that my work would be a child's first art acquisition truly amuses me. People sometimes undervalue art, music and literature geared toward children, but it is a mistake not to enrich their environment and their childhood experiences with the arts. Author Joan Aiken, who wrote the incredibly helpful book The Way to Write for Children, said that books written for children are incredibly important and influential. Because young readers have read so few books, the author's responsibility to foster a love of reading is great. I think that holds true for all the arts. Remember the books which made you an avid reader, or the music that captured your imagination? I'm sure you do.