Books to remember (6)

There are some books that will always stay with us. In this blog series, illustrators share a book that has made a big impression on them. Here, LA-based Carolyn Suzuki tells us which book she will never forget.

“As a child I was always drawing and making things, but I didn’t grow up in a particularly creative household—my parents weren’t artists and I never went to an art school. I used to be self-conscious about not having a proper artist’s pedigree, that I was somehow an impostor artist. For many years I assumed that thinking I wasn’t good enough came from that place. Of course, I’ve since learned that these are thoughts and feelings most artists experience, regardless of education. The desire to improve our craft and to keep making is an artist’s compulsion.”

“I read the book Daily Rituals, by Mason Currey a few years ago and still think of it often. It’s a meticulously researched book that compiles the daily rituals (work habits) of luminary artists, writers, composers, etc. When did Picasso begin his work day? What did Simone de Beauvoir have for breakfast before she dove into her writing? It might sound a bit basic, reading about what people ate for breakfast and when they broke for lunch, but I felt a strong connection to these artists who worked for themselves, in solitude. They didn’t wake up every morning feeling inspired, but they had the will and deep understanding that it is ultimately not about the work, it’s about showing up every day and making an attempt. Your practice is what makes you an artist. I try to honor this whenever I’m feeling particularly uninspired. It connects me to artists, be they alive or dead; we are all in this together, and I gain such great strength from that.”

Carolyn Suzuki loves to draw and paint. The patterns and illustrations she creates are both colorful and cheerful, and she hopes that she manages to capture her enthusiasm for life in her work.

Illustrations: Carolyn Suzuki, you can see more on her website.
Illustration homepage: Jennifer Orkin Lewis