Early in my career, I was influenced by a personal library of early 1900’s magazines, old illustrated books and children’s picture books. I love Jessie Wilcox Smith’s classic illustrations. My professors were abstract expressionists, beatniks from the 50’s, so my retro tastes were all too sentimental for them. But, my mentor, Bob DeWeese, in spite of being an abstract artist himself, also taught me to be true to myself, to embrace who I am, what I experience, and what I love.
Today a friend sent me an email filled with images of ads from another era, including a woman embracing a Hoover vacuum under the Christmas tree, an ad for beer for babies and mothers to thrive from drinking a nutritious hops mixture, a man blowing smoke from his Tipalet in a woman’s face and “she will follow you anywhere”. These old ads reminded me of the hours I would pour through stacks of old 1920’s and 30’s magazines and catalogs, admiring the styles of illustration and typography.