First I take some triangles....



Besides Richard Scarry and Al Jaffee, another artist-hero of my Marvy Marker-stained youth was Ed Emberley, whose how-to-draw books taught me and countless other kids how simply drawn lines and shapes can be put together to make fish, trains, dragons, spiders, barns, Indians, sauce pans, pigs, hot rods, weirdos, entire worlds, etc...
A rare opportunity to see some of his original drawings and book layouts is on now, so if you're in Los Angeles in the next week (hurry!) you should absolutely check out this show:

From the LA Times:

For generations of creative kids, some of whom are now fine artists, Ed Emberley's step-by-step cartooning manuals such as the 1970 classic "Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals" can be summed up in a few words: Best. Books. Ever. On Saturday, Emberley will make a rare Los Angeles appearance at an exhibition featuring original mock-ups from his beloved drawing books -- 13 of which are still in print -- along with new works.

Ed Emberley drawing bookThe show, "Ed Emberley & Friends," will also feature murals by five contemporary artists including curator Caleb Neelon and Los Angeles-based painters Seonna Hong and Saelee Oh -- all of whom learned to draw the Emberley way.

Breaking a drawing down into simple shapes and squiggles, the award-winning children's book illustrator crafted easy-to-follow visual recipes for colorful characters that have an innocent charm and super-cute factor that have endured for 40 years after they were created. (I mean, just look at that little yellow mouse, below.)

For the show, Emberley has created a signed, limited edition of 18-by-24-inch prints of the animals, above, and one of his lessons, right.

Ideal for a nursery or kid's room, and mighty tempting for nostalgic adults who also admire midcentury design, the prints will sell for $30 each. Original Emberley drawings are priced at $300 and all proceeds will benefit children's hospitals and the Art for Kool Kidz program.

The artist reception, which is open to the public, is Saturday from 7-10 p.m. at the Scion Installation L.A., 3521 Helms Ave., Culver City. The show runs until Aug. 7.

-- David A. Keeps


the rarity of The Wizard of Op, including endpapers, at Stopping Off Place, (and the missing couple of pages, but no endpapers, in 1997 gif-style at Maurice D. Wagschal's homepage)

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Strath said...

My brother and I were OBSESSED with Ed Emberley when we were kids – this is the first time I've thought about him since then, thanks for the reminder!

Golden Smith said...


So Lovely said...

I stopped by the exhibition today - it was amazing. Sadly all the prints were sold out ($30 each - fantastic price).

Anonymous said...

I haven't even thought about Ed Emberley since elementary school. What fun - I remember the books well! Thanks for the post.

onelonelyapricot said...

I was reading a newer post and there was a link to this post at the bottom...I was so obsessed with Ed Emberly when I was younger! I can definitely see his influence on my drawing style now. I'd love to get my hands on some of his books...I never owned any, but would wait patiently for my turn to check them out one by one at the school library. They were a hot item when I was in elementary school!