Monday's Inspiration: Trina Schart Hyman

One of my favorite childhood picture books. Possibly THE favorite.
With a childhood where I learned to read before I learned to remember, there were a lot of memorable and much-loved books. This one, Jane, Wishing, by Tobi Tobias and Trina Schart Hyman stands out as one of the first I actually remember reading at our local library. I read it again and again and again.

It wasn't just the story (and that was just marvelous) that held my attention -and my imagination- but the marriage of pictures and words that happened within those covers more beautifully than in any other book I remember reading in those early years.

Jane wished she had long red hair, thick and waving, down to her waist...

Ms. Hyman's work was my first experience with the idea that an artist could have their own distinct style. Before any other artist, I learned to recognize her work wherever I found it. The varying lines, the gentle curves, the rich details, the expressive faces, the soft colors - all unmistakably hers. 

Rich detail - so much to look at!
To this day, I am deeply inspired by her style of illustration, and some of the things I like best in my own style are inspired by hers. Gentle, expressive faces, soft curves and lines, plants and animals.

My better half says that my own drawing style is distinctive to him - that he could recognize my work wherever he saw it. I like the idea that like Trina Schart Hyman, I have my own visual thumbprint. If I ever manage to make it so beautiful and skilled as hers was, I will be a very happy artist. 


  1. i so agree, though i have never seen this book, her illustrations are beautiful and dream inspiring.

  2. This is a great book! I'm so glad someone else out there in the wide world has read and enjoyed it :)