One of the books that I remember most from my childhood is, without a doubt, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The man I have to thank for those memories of bright colors and early, playful words is Eric Carle. His book is a classic in every way, but perhaps more recognizable is his style of art. It is distinct, unique, and brought colors and nature to life.
Mr. Carle passed away in May at the age of 91.
I’m grateful that his art lives on. He gifted the world so much more than the one book so many of us remember him by. He gifted us memories, inspiration, and encouragement.
One of my favorite examples of this is when Mister Rogers had Mr. Carle on his show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” as a guest. They visited the art studio where he worked and explained how his art was made, for children and adults alike. It’s a beautiful 10 minutes to spend honoring the lives of two inspiring gentlemen.
About his art, Mr. Carle said the following:
“Ever since I was very young, as far back as I can remember, I have loved making pictures. I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints — these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago.” ~
He said he knew he would “draw pictures” Personally, I think he did more than that. But in his wisdom, he speaks about following your inner voice in the commencement speech below. His honesty is refreshing and, again, inspiring:
As Mr. Carle suggests, and in his memory, let’s never forget to include art in our lives.