John H Howard

It must be my time of life that keeps prompting me to post obituries. The passing of Ruth Rendell whose prolific output of psychological thrillers was an inspiration to the many illustrators  who got to do her book covers- including me. Turning up with pencil sketches (prismaclor on black paper), my Bantam Books AD, Krystyna Skalski suggested we take them to finish -no painting! Pencils, along with my little note book and sharpener are my constant companions and with Ruth, will always share a permanent place in my heart and pocket.

To Tomi Ungerer-
Before I’d ever met Tomi I’d heard about him and in Milt Newborns office on 54th  where two of his messy paintings hung, he walked in with Dick Hess. These two charismatic, larger than life characters glowed in their own energy fields and I wanted to be part of this club. Tomi had already left New York and Dick would leave for a higher calling a short, few years later. I’d missed the boat but illustration was something I was determined to try. 35 years later, I ‘m still trying.
"All in One,"  a major show of Tomi Ungerer’s Work, will fill the Drawing Center this Thursday. Tomi will be there. No one comes close to  the prodigious output  and brilliant lunacy of this consummate artist and genuine original. If you can’t make it, have a look at “Far out isn-t Far enough” – Netflix.
“I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example. M.C.
Dead people are my favourites. I don't have to like anything about them except the way they look. Famous dead people are best because they leave loads of photos to choose from and old dead people have so many years where they could easily be any one of ten other people. None of them will complain you didn't do them justice.  They've stopped complaining- and everything else, RIP.
 2015, Off to a slow start but the race to the top of the charts is on! Whatever your sport, this year could be yours! Be positive, inventive and inovative, daring and dangerous - the marks you make will lead the revolution! On a more sober note- there's really not much choice - this is what we do- Right?
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Howard is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!