When I worked with Paula Wiseman at Harcourt Brace nearly a decade ago, I was surprised by her comment, which I paraphrase: "Your style is different from anyone else's."
Then I heard it again today in a review in a Scholastic's online tool for teachers:
I think frogs must just be boastful creatures because Foo is on a roll, bragging to his friends Mao-Mao and Sue-Lin. But he gets his comeuppance and lands on his feet both figuratively and literally. Described as having a "remarkable style influenced by childhood memories of Taiwan and Japan, her experience immigrating to the United States at age seven, and her studies in Scotland and China," Belle Yang has an interesting illustrating style that continues to grow on me. Nice work Belle!
This makes me happy and yet it still puzzles me. Yes, anyone who illustrates or writes want to be unique. "Belle Yang has an interesting illustrating style that continues to grow on me" can also mean that when people first perceive my work, it strikes them as alien, odd and unlikable? Does it really take time to like me? Please, I am not trawling for compliments here, but I just realized that we really can't see ourselves the way others percieve us.
Steve Hauk tells me clients have come in to Hauk Fine Arts and taken a dislike to my painting, then they walk around the gallery, come back to the same piece, and say they are beginning to take to my style. Some go on to buy the painting.
Belle Yang reading Foo the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond
Booksigning for Foo Frog at Hauk Fine Arts on Saturday, April 11th, 11 AM to 2 PM
Causes Belle Yang Supports
826 Valencia Street