I love these quotes from Maurice Sendak that I read today in an American Way Magazine. He is the illustrator of the children's book Where the Wild Things Are, and his work is being exhibited at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia.
On being an illustrator:
"An illustrator, in my own mind... is someone who so falls in love with the writing that he wishes he had written it, and the closest thing he can get is to illustrate it."
On the illustrator’s subversive role:
"The next thing you learn is that you have to find something unique in this book, which perhaps not even the author was entirely aware of. And thats what you hold on to, and that’s what you add to the pictures, a whole other story that you believe in, that you think is there".
On the enigma of creativity:
"That will be the mystery that will haunt me until the day of my death: What is that thing that comes into the work that is not premeditated, that you didn’t think of, that actually belongs there but you don’t know how it got there?"
On the enigma wrapped in that enigma:
"it’s really about the spirit, and I find that hard to talk about because, you know, I’m a cynic. I don’t know from the spirit and yet I do. And that is a great puzzle of my life. ... Something deeper is involved, deeper in myself than I know what it is".