March 7, 2016

My years with Sesame Street...

I love Sesame Street & Children's Television Workshop, since they saved my career at a point when I was just starting out - I remember one rough patch where I didn't have any other clients going except for CTW, who dependably kept me working for years. When I was in New York, I used to love going down to Lincoln Center to drop off my artwork - and I always hoped I'd catch sight of Jim Henson or Frank Oz or Big Bird in the lobby. But I never saw any live muppets.

Sesame Street kept sending me work after moving to Seattle. I spent many happy years painting Big Bird and Muppets.

By then I had two little toddlers of my own, so it all seemed natural that I would be painting Big Bird in my studio and my kids could see Big Bird on TV. Sometimes I'd have my toddlers help me finish up a painting - just adding a few dabs of color... before mailing it off to New York City, 2000 miles away. And it was always fun when the magazine arrived to point out 'my pages'.

I greatly enjoyed the documentary on Amazon: I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story.

I know I've met trade book editors who shudder as the sight of 'muppets' in my portfolio. But I think the world Jim Henson created is unique and has a lasting magic. There's something so reassuring in the set designs - I could spend afternoons on those city stoops and back steps.

Anyhow it made me proud to have spent years working with Children's Television Workshop and the Muppets. They bring a lot of good into the world of childhood learning and making families whole. A noble cause.

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