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.
The 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