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Dear James: Letters to a Young Illustrator Hardcover – Oct 13 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Oct. 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439136874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439136874
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,038,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Under the guise of letters of advice to a young illustrator, R. O. Blechman has written a profound and witty discourse on the nature of all creativity, not just the artistic kind. It reads like a nimble treatise on life itself." —John Ashbery

"This little book is professionally essential, as well as sweet and wise." —Milton Glaser, author of Drawing is Thinking

"I often receive letters from struggling young artists looking for, begging for, advice. I shall point them to this book for it says all they need to know." —Maurice Sendak

About the Author

R.O. Blechman, born in Brooklyn 1930, is an American animator, illustrator, children s book author, graphic novelist, and editorial cartoonist. In 1984, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animated Programming for The Soldier s Tale. In 1999, he was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame, and in 2011 he received the National Cartoonists Society's Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also known for The Juggler of Our Lady (1953), Alka-Seltzer commercials, and multiple New Yorker covers. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f6643c0) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f48799c) out of 5 stars Celebrating the Chosen Path...and more Nov. 8 2009
By LKP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this small-but-choice book, R. O. Blechman conveys his love of his chosen career, and so much more. This intimate book gives one the feeling of a rare chat with an experienced and generous artist, willing to reveal his bag of tricks as well as some favorite quotations gathered over many years. Far beyond a practical guide for emerging illustrators this book is for ANYone who is fascinated by Where Ideas Come From, and the necessary dance that takes place in the artist's studio.
Encouraging, insightful, humorous, moving -- I felt that I had tripped over a wonderful bounty of private correspondence between a wise mentor and an eager beginner. This is a book to be read, and then re-read, and then re-re-re-read. I plan to keep it on the shelf, next to my favorite-quotation journal. Treat yourself!
HASH(0x9f59fc3c) out of 5 stars wonderful advice and encouragement from a master of illustration April 22 2011
By evelyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is a lovely little volume from one of my all-time heroes, r.o. blechman, an important illustrator of our times, whose commentary through his art is always sensitive, understated, yet effective. his simple style has been copied by many, yet his technique and voice remain unique. blechman gives advice to younger and just-getting-started illustrators, explaining how his business works, and how he approaches projects. i found the book to be motivating, being a frustrated ex-art director/wannabe illustrator. my biggest challenge is getting started and fearing my own lack of perfection, and blechman addresses these and other relevant challenges faced by many creative people. his tone is always kind and encouraging. this is a fast and enjoyable read, for anyone who is or wants to be more creative. it would also make a great gift.
HASH(0x9f59fbe8) out of 5 stars Wonderful and wise June 23 2014
By Khrysserx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I came across this little book at the exact moment when I needed it; I had suffered a major setback in my writing career and found I had to start over again from scratch. 'Dear James' helped me tremendously - it's not full of shattering revelations, but rather sound encouragement, good common sense, and wisdom. Plus it's funny! I was so impressed I wrote an email to Mr Blechman to thank him for writing the book, and to my surprise he wrote back to me, thanking ME for my message. Maurice Sendak was right when a called Blechman a real mensch, I will always treasure that reply from the man himself and I will always treasure this book.
HASH(0x9f8cfd38) out of 5 stars A Blechman treasure March 6 2011
By D. Hatcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an absolute delight from the first to the last page. Filled with good common sense advice to an obviously keen beginner but also laced with philosophical musings on the world in general, making it suitable for anyone with an interest in creative work.
I've always considered Mr Blechman's art to be thoughtful, witty and sensitive and his writing echos exactly the same feeling. A little treasure I shall re read many times.
HASH(0x9f818f78) out of 5 stars Generous artists are rare Jan. 14 2014
By J. Randall Davidson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A generous artist is rare. R.O. Blechman is remarkably generous to his young colleague, James, and to any one who wishes to be a professional artist. "Bob's" wisdom is tempered with humility and practicality in this half of a correspondence. Highly recommended.