Ho ho...uh oh
1990. Pen & ink. 4½" x 7"
In 1990 I was living in Minnesota, far from most of my friends and family (at the time). Rather than buy Christmas cards that year, I decided to create my own. I had always been interested in children’s books: collecting them and attempting to create my own. Not surprising, my design was largely inspired stylistically by Maurice Sendak and Mercer Mayer, two of my favorite children’s book author/illustrators. I also wanted my image to be humorous and atypical, perhaps a little irreverent, a card people would notice and remember.
I created several versions; in fact, the piece started off as a color illustration idea. But when I decided to use it for my Christmas card I realized that the cost of color reproduction would be prohibitive. Therefore I opted to create a black-and-white piece that I could reproduce using a Xerox machine. After a few experiments, I settled on an ink crosshatch approach that I would continue to use for the next several decades.