Winter has always been a time of doing away with the old and embracing the new. And of course, right now, this is especially so, given that we just celebrated the New Year a week ago.
But that’s not the only reason why I get a bit nostalgic. As many of you know, my Dad is no longer living. He passed away 14 years ago this week.
While New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are the days that most people make their resolutions and reflect on the year past, for me it’s now January 7th.
Why My Cookbooks Look Like Graphic Novels
That’s the anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I bring all of this up, not to bring sadness, but to bring encouragement to you in this New Year. As many of you also may know, I get my drawing and my art talent from my Dad, and as I have been promising, I have a new book coming out. A couple of them, actually.
One in particular, the cookbook and coloring book, has me especially proud. Nowhere do I see my Dad’s influence more than in the pages of this book. Dad had a strong visual style. He loved old Art Deco posters and vintage magazine illustrations and advertisements. He even used to be a sign painter, and that was back in the day when signs were still painted by hand.
Some of my favorite memories of him are of us wandering through antique stores, looking at the vintage ads, wrapped in plastic as they were to protect the old pages.We talked about the merits of the layout, the message, the illustration styles. I learned to draw and design better by copying the pages of those old ads. I loved the clean look of them. And of course, I loved my Dad’s company as I looked through them.
These days, I still love old advertising posters, but I also equally love the greeting cards of Mary Engelbreit and the layout of Batman comics, especially the work of Lee Bermejo in “Batman: Noel.”
We All Are Someone’s Greatest Influence But I can never really forget where this started. I am always reminded that every time I pick up a pencil, my Dad’s influence is still with me, guiding me. It’s a legacy that I’m proud to pass on with this book and proud and honored to share with you. While this book more strongly represents my design skills - my illustration skills will come in future books - it is the first book that I am dedicating to my Dad. After all, the talent that I got from him is the talent that I bring to my work.
I consider this a lot. How much he influenced me. And I’ll bet that you have someone in your life like this, too. Even more importantly, I’ll be you play this role for someone in your own life. And while I’m writing this email today to visit with you all about my current book, I hope more than anything you take away from it how important you all are to someone. Like my Dad was to me.
Never forget that lesson as life stretches on before you this year. The illustration at the top of this page is from that upcoming book. I’ll bet you can see all of his influences in my work. But please remember this: Talent comes in many forms. Love comes in even more. You are gift to someone in this life.
Please remember that in the coming year.
All my love,
PS - I’ve chosen the winners for the Password Journal books. I’ll write to those folks in a separate email and announce them next week. However, due to the crazy weather we’re having in Boise, I may have to have them shipped to the winners directly from Amazon. They’ll get to the winners faster.