Heroes (More Maurice! Where the Wild Things Are... Are)

Wild Things found in Philadelphia

Looking for Wild Things in Philly

Looking for Wild Things in Philly

Hello, it's been blimmin ages since I wrote a blog, I've been so busy these past couple of months cross hatching away on some very exciting projects! I was working on illustrations for two books (which I promise to blog about shortly)  I did manage to have a little break in-between and Clare and I were fortunate enough to take a trip to New York and Philadelphia. We roamed the not so mean streets of New York in search of inspiration for future illustrations/works of art, it's such an exciting place it's hard not to be inspired although I was a bit sad to see a few shops and diners I had visited on my previous trip 11 years ago had gone and lots of bland chains had popped up... everywhere! We caught the train to Philadelphia (which is about an hour away from the NYC) to visit the Rosenbach Museum And Library.

    Somebody else hunting for Wild Things in Philly

    Somebody else hunting for Wild Things in Philly

The Rosenbach is home to the work of one of my illustration heroes Maurice Sendak.  The collection of Sendak's work is rotated in themed exhibitions, when we visited it was called The Night Max Wore His Wolf Suit: 50 Years of Wild Things, I couldn't have been more excited!  The exhibits included manuscripts, preliminary drawings, mock-ups and originals from Where the Wild Things Are.

               The Wild Things are kept in glass cases to stop them causing a rumpus!

               The Wild Things are kept in glass cases to stop them causing a rumpus!

It was amazing to see the original illustrations, a wonderful opportunity to fully appreciate the quality of Sendak's draughtsmanship, delicate pen work and beautiful washes of colour. 

         Sketches of Max and the Wild Things

         Sketches of Max and the Wild Things

 A beautiful little mock-up for Where the Wild Things Are

 A beautiful little mock-up for Where the Wild Things Are

The Rosenbach also holds a large collection of paintings and sculpture, rare books and manuscripts including James Joyce's manuscript for Ulysses and letters/manuscripts by the likes of Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker.  Unfortunatly we didn't have time to look at this wonderful collection as we wanted to have a look around Philadelphia before returning to New York, it would be great to make a return visit one day to see everything!  You can visit their website here http://rosenbach.org/  

Philadelphia had a similar feel to Manchester and the industrial north of England, factories and rows of houses dominated in the suburbs. I read that the film-maker David Lynch lived and studied in Philadelphia for a number of years and it that it had made a great impression on him, particularly with regard to Eraserhead and The Elephant Man, the hiss of a piston and the hoot of the factory whistle n'all that!  Anyway, here are a few photographs I took in Philadelphia and New York which I'll use as inspiration one day.

           Philly buildings

           Philly buildings

Industry in Philadelphia

Industry in Philadelphia

New York Rooftops

New York Rooftops