Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The realization that you've been influenced by a Hallmark artist

I have a deep, dark secret. It is hiding in my closet. It 100% undoes any cool points I may have had. But I'm putting it out in the open: I have a fat Joan Walsh Anglund collection. I mean, a trunk full of stuff. Books, dolls, board games, stationary, needle points, ceramic figurines, bed sheets, plates. Yeah. It's pretty severe. "A Friend is Someone Who Likes You"? I have it. In paperback and hardback. "What Color is Love?"? Yep, it's in there. "Love is a Special Way of Feeling"? Totally.

For those are you who have no idea what I'm talking about, Joan Walsh Anglund is a writer and illustrator. She is still alive, but many of her most famous books were published in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Her style is what your grandmother would describe as "sweet," and her books are something that you would probably get somebody at the last minute when you're desperately browsing the Hallmark aisles for something that says, "I don't know you, but I care."

I was most active with my collection from roughly ages eight to 12. I don't quite remember how it happened, but I think my mom had picked something up at a store and I commented that it was cute, and then it snowballed into a big ol' straight-up Joan Walsh Anglund brouhaha. All kinds of years later and it's still occupying a good portion of my closet as well as much of my guilt-quota. For some reason, I feel bad that I abandoned them and their disproportionate head size in favor of vintage dishes and board games and type-related what-nots.

A few days ago, I was in a Goodwill nearby and saw some sort of Joan Walsh Anglund swag. It was then, and only then, that I realized something; my thought process being as follows: Oh dear what, no, no, oh geez, yeah. Crap. Yeah. Joan Walsh Anglund's style has like, totally rubbed off onto my drawings. I have been subconsciously influenced by a Hallmark artist.

It was a rude awakening for me, but I can't exactly say that it's unexpected. Many of my formative years were spent admiring her work, so it makes sense, I GUESS. It's not severe, but it's definitely there. Small details, simple faces, busy backgrounds. Dotty little eyes. A preoccupation with bears and love (see: "The Brave Cowboy").

drawing from the book I'm working on
Here's a little somethin'-somethin' of mine...

And here's something of her's.

I mean, surely the differences outweigh the similarities (right?), but nonetheless, it's totally there. Oh well. At least it's not Garfield.

As a side note, I have 11 whole readers subscribed to my blog on Google Reader! Okay, so one of them is me, but still! It didn't even make the list of the 20 "most obscure" blogs I'm subscribed to (it did, however, make the top 21). That's pretty cool. Thanks, whomever you are!


  1. Raises hand. (le_soleil_noir)
    I subscribe via google reader.

    Also, this was awesome.

  2. hmm, I'm looking really, really hard but I can't honestly say that I see it.

    Came here via Flickr. Your blog is delicious!

    I bet you'd have a massive amount of followers if you had the clickable "follow this blog" thing in your sidebar, *hint hint*

    ♥ Maria-Thérèse blog.afiori.com