In my last post, Steal Like an Artist, I mentioned some of the amazing new ideas that I am learning and processing from reading Austin Kleon

's book. Today I really understood what he means about creating your own (artistic) family tree. Building your collection of influences and inspirations that become your new artistic genetic mashup for your future work.

"Seeing yourself as part of a creative lineage will help you feel less alone as you start making your own stuff."

And as we talked about before, it's more than just imitating the style of the work you love, it's understanding WHY it looks that way and WHO the artist is behind it and WHAT inspires THEM...

My newest hero-obsession-artist-role model is Oliver Jeffers. I own a few books of his already since I have been obsessed with childrens books since I was a kid and still collect them and have lots of signed copies... I had found his Hueys book last year and was attracted to it because of the Lilah Bean feel of the characters. But today, a few hours ago... I was reading through my email - quickly - and saw a post from SwissMiss (one of my favorite design blogs) featuring a cool map by Oliver Jeffers. As I said... that was a few hours ago! I explored his website, blog... videos... this guy is amazing! His sense of humor, the way he works, his art, his studio, his sketchbooks.... My newest hero-obsession-artist-role model is Oliver Jeffers.

He has two videos about himself on Vimeo, one from a few years ago and a more recent one, they are both wonderful and the new one is even funnier. Here's the one from 2010, and here is the one from 2013.The videos are a lot like his books (and he has great trailer video FOR the books too!). The funny little details... notice in the second video when he is "hunting" his sandwich for lunch? At the end of the video, he takes a bight of the sandwich, and the spear is still in it! Yes, I think that is hysterical!! :-)

When Oliver talks about all the materials he works with and where he keeps the stories inside himself... there's just no limit to what he is capable of. When he is shuffling through his flat files and notebooks I wanted to pause the film and take a closer look. I love looking at the behind the scenes sketches. But I have flat files and sketchbooks just like those - and that made me feel really good too. Like finding a kindred spirit. I've added Oliver Jeffers to my artistic family tree! His Oliver Jeffers

Amazon Author Page has a list of all his books if you are interested.

And here is a photo of my own collection of sketches and notes shot just now on my hotel room floor. This represents about 1/1000th of all my notes and sketches!! :-)

Today is my last day of my oh-my-god-I-need-to-get-away Retreat. I should be doing more drawings for the Fashionista book, or taking a walk, or sleeping... but the internet has distracted me once again! And I felt compelled to distract you as well to share this cool insight. But, I will save you hours of time by providing direct links to all the good stuff! Very considerate, eh?

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