Why? Explained...

Laura Vaccaro Seeger Explains WHY?

June 28, 2019
By Tara Lazar

At the risk of dating myself, I’ll mention an old commercial tag line from the 1970’s—“when E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.”

Well, when Holiday House contacts you and asks if you’d like to chat with two-time Caldecott and Geisel Honor book winner Laura Vaccaro Seeger, you also stop everything and LISTEN!

Laura’s latest book is a charmer, snuggle-worthy for the littlest ones. It’s titled, simply, WHY?

I met Laura last year at the Irma S. Black Award ceremony where she served as keynote speaker. She showed us her newest book at the time, BLUE, about a boy and his best friend. (Notice how the die cut on each page forms a new part of the image with each turn.)

Laura, you must know you are the only PB creator to make my husband tear up, as you read BLUE. And he’s never even had a dog! He was incredibly moved. How do you inject so much heart into your stories?

With every book, I try to distill the story down to its essence and I always draw upon strong feelings and beliefs while writing and illustrating.

With BULLY, for example, I’ve always felt a deep sense of empathy for anyone who was bullied or feeling left out, so it was important to me that above all else, empathy is the most important aspect of that book.

BLUE is probably the most difficult book I’ve ever created. It really comes from a deeply personal place. As a young child, I’d experienced the sudden loss of a family member—my brother—and that very complicated trauma was never really worked through. Consequently, I’ve always had an overwhelming fear and dread of loss. BLUE is a kind of therapeutic, cathartic personal exercise, but more importantly, it’s an attempt to offer comfort, as well as a starting point for deeper discussion with young children, (or anyone, really).

Your husband’s reaction truly means a lot to me!


So with your new book WHY?, what did you distill its essence down to?

WHY is a about curiosity, patience, and understanding. The little rabbit is having a bit of an existential crisis, and at one point in the book, the apparently all-knowing bear is faced with a similar crisis as he realizes that he can’t explain everything after all. Ultimately, their loving and enduring friendship is more important than anything, even when there are unanswerable questions. (I’ve always been fascinated with unanswered questions…)

Why do you think WHY? is a child’s most pressing (and frequent) question?

Well, given that children are witnessing everything pretty much for the first time, I think it makes sense that they would seek to have a deeper understanding of what they’re seeing and hearing.

I think adults often take for granted their surroundings, even if those deeper meanings were never fully explored or questioned.

Why are the characters in the book a bear and a bunny—instead of a bear and cub (or rabbit and bunny)? Why is the relationship shown as one of friendship instead of parent-child?

Ah, I thought long and hard about that.

With this book, as with many, I had an immediate vision that I wanted to stay true to. I knew that I wanted one of the characters to be very large, and one super small, which in many ways ended up dictating the decision about whether or not they’re related to one another. I also wanted them to be friends rather than relatives because friendship is a voluntary relationship, which I felt made the story more interesting in many ways.

Also, from the beginning. I’d envisioned a bear and a rabbit, but I did explore a substitute for the bear because I was worried that there might be confusion between the bear in WHY, and the bear in my DOG AND BEAR series. In the end, I felt the bear was undeniably perfect, and I was confident that the character would be distinctive in its own right.

He is distinctive! And so lumpy in a furry-cuddly way. Plus, it’s more visually interesting to showcase contrasting characters! 

Speaking of your art, it’s gorgeous, full of depth and texture. Can you tell us a little about your illustration process for WHY?

Sure! With each book, I try to envision an art style that will match the text I’ve written. Hence the multiple, various art styles over the years.

With WHY, I envisioned a softer style, unlike any of my other books. It’s been years since I’ve worked with watercolors, and I had such a great time painting the art for this book!

So, I began each painting with a pencil drawing, and then I painted over the drawings with watercolor paint. I repeated this process lightly, many times, which gave the art depth and a layered feel, without any thick paint or brushstrokes. This way, the softness was retained and the pencil lines showed through.

Once all of that was done, I still felt it needed something – a bit of grittiness and a little more depth. I wanted it to feel more organic.

So, I finally broke out a fabulous gigantic Japanese brush I’d bought a few years ago in Singapore and I soaked it full of water so that it was completely saturated. Then, I brought it into my backyard where I dipped the sopping wet brush into India ink and flung it at watercolor papers. When I was finished, I had a huge stack of paper, each sheet full of splotches, spots, drips, etc. I created so many sheets because I didn’t want to repeat any of the elements.

Then, I scanned my original watercolor paintings and all of the “splotch” art sheets. For each painting, I overlaid several different “splotch” art sheets, I isolated the splotches, and I either lightened or darkened those areas on the original paintings.


Your process is fascinating! I love the thick and chunky Japanese brush!

What’s so lovely about the illustrations is that they feel soft and safe for a young child who is asking WHY, who is questioning the world around them. What do you hope that young reader will take away from your story?

I think with WHY, I’d love to encourage curiosity and the freedom and “permission” to question absolutely everything, which ultimately I believe, would encourage independent thought and informed decision-making. I also hope WHY is an example of patience and understanding, for sure. And lastly, I hope that young readers understand that not all questions have immediate answers, and that’s okay.

What a wonderful take-off point for a meaningful discussion between adult and child. 

Thank you, Laura, for giving us a glimpse into your creative process!

WHY? is available from Holiday House on August 13…

The Making of WHY

In August 2019, my newest book, WHY?, will be released. Here’s a sneak peak of how it came to be!


I became intrigued with the idea of a book involving a character who incessantly questioned everything. From the very beginning, I’d pictured a rabbit and a bear, but for the longest time, I resisted having a bear as a main character because I didn’t want him to be confused with Bear from my DOG AND BEAR series. Ultimately, I knew he’d be painted to look very different from Dog’s friend, Bear, so I let go of that nagging worry.

So, in the first few journal entries, I tried to figure out (as always) what the story would be. I played my usual “what if” game, and explored as many directions as possible.


At a certain stage of bookmaking, it’s always a good idea for an author to stop and definitively decide, WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT? As you can see from the journal notes, WHY? began as a seed of an idea back in 2011. It often takes years of ruminating before an idea begins to take shape. Finally, I’d decided that the book would be about curiosity, frustration, and patience.


I was also pretty certain that I wanted to make the questions clear even though the reader never actually sees/reads the questions. To me, this is the ultimate in visual literacy! And I was also intrigued with the idea that the unspecified questions might actually vary, depending on the reader’s perspective. I began to think of as many answers to a myriad questions as I could. This was surprisingly difficult!


Once I had a good idea of who the characters were and which direction the story was headed, I began playing around with art styles. I always try to develop each art style to match each book and story.


There was a lot of “back and forth” - sketching and painting, and painting and sketching - until it felt just right. This is usually the case with all of my books, though this one had the added challenge of making sure that the rabbit’s questions were absolutely clear, based on the bear’s answers and the illustrations.


And ultimately, there were a few spreads that just didn’t work or make sense. It’s always an exercise in trust and courage for an author to be able to let go of any art or writing that, for whatever reason, just isn’t working.

In the example below, I’d become attached to the idea of creating an image of the bear carrying a huge mound of leaves, but after discussing it at length with my editor, we’d decided that the image raised more questions than it answered. Like, where is he going with those leaves? And, why does he need to clean up the forest in the first place?


As you can see from some of the earlier rough sketches, many of the unnecessary words were eventually removed, like, “repeated the rabbit” and “responded the bear”. After establishing who was asking the questions and who was answering, it was clear who was talking, so only the answers were needed to convey what was going on.

That is, until much later in the book when the bear becomes exasperated by the inquisitive rabbit, and is exhausted and frustrated because he’s finally been asked a question that he doesn’t know the answer to. It is then that he begins to walk away, and when the rabbit says, “don’t go”, it’s the bear who asks, “why?” There again, it’s important to identify who is speaking given that the two characters have switched places, but in general, I always employ a “less is more” approach to writing - and painting, too!

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Starred review for BLUE - Judy Freeman's “What’s New in Children’s Literature and Strategies for Using It in Your Program"

Review of Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Blue
from Judy Freeman’s handbook for her seminar for teachers and librarians: “What’s New in Children’s Literature
and Strategies for Using It in Your Program (Grades K-6)”

✪ Blue. Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook, 2018. {ISBN-13: 978-1-62672-066-4; 36p.}

Wow. That’s what you’ll say when you finish reading and taking in the sweeping full-bleed acrylic paintings in Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s dazzling companion book to her Caldecott Honor-winner, Green. Just, wow! And then you’ll go back and dive in again. Then you’ll look for someone you can share it with. (I made my husband read it aloud to me and show me all the pictures from several yards away, the way children at the back of a class will see it during story hour, and it was magnificent to behold.)

On the first double-page spread are a yellow puppy and a baby, both asleep on a light blue blanket, the dog’s blue bone-shaped chew toy by his paw, and the baby’s rattle and stuffed light blue bear by his arm. There are only two words on the page: “baby blue,” in lowercase letters. Children will want to pat the dog’s soft-looking fur. As you turn the first sturdy, heavy stock page, you’ll see there are two die-cut circles on either end of the light blue rattle that become the wheels of the red wagon the boy, now a toddler, is pulling on the next right-hand page, and the blueberries growing on the left. It’s so effortless and organic, you’ll want to turn the page back and forth several times to marvel at the transformation.

From “berry blue,” turn to “maybe blue,” a painting the boy has done of his dog and himself. The dog has walked across the wet painting, leaving yellow pawprints behind. Then there’s “very blue,” with butterflies filling the page. Wait—let’s look at that again: “baby blue / berry blue / maybe blue / very blue.” Is this text, all thirty-two words of it (with sixteen of those words being “blue”), a rhyming poem? Why, yes. With each page turn, the boy and the dog are growing up together.

Remember that light blue blanket on the first page? The boy wears it as a bandana around his neck in subsequent pages of “ocean blue,” “sky blue,” and “midnight blue.” He and the dog wrestle for it in “my blue,” after which the dog wears it, tied around his neck in “silly blue” where the boy is giving the dog a bath in a metal tub outside, the garden hose in his hand erupting with a spray of water.

Then there’s “chilly blue,” where they walk through the woods together in the snow, the boy pulling his sled on a rope in one hand and holding the dog’s leash in the other. And now the sorrow creeps in with “old blue,” the dog lying on his blanket on the porch, his food bowl untouched, his eyes looking worried and tired. “True blue” shows the boy, now a young man, holding his beloved dog on his lap, and then “so blue,” as he sits, alone and grieving by the ocean in the indigo evening as the sun goes down.

Our pets are only on loan, as children find out the hard and heartbreaking way at some point in their young lives. The final two pages are upbeat, with a new dog (and a girlfriend) bringing joy and love into his life. Notice the blue bandana now in the young man’s back pocket, a tribute to his dear companion.

Wow. Just wow all over again, the second time you read it, and even the twentieth. Will it win Laura Vaccaro Seeger another Caldecott? I sure hope so.

GERM: There’s an effective and affective video of the book, set to music, on YouTube.com here. The pages turn mechanically somehow so you can see each die-cut as the book progresses, and the whole thing is scored with a beautiful instrumental music piece composed by Laura’s son, Dylan Seeger that put me in mind of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Nothing, however, beats having that big, sturdy book on your lap and turning the pages yourself, back and forth, to exclaim over the sheer brilliance of those die cuts, to marvel at the many shades and situations of blue, and to sniffle into a Kleenex when you get to the end.

See how Laura thought through the book in this revealing and remarkable interview with Julie Daniels on her blog, “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” here. She discusses Blue’s backstory and includes sketches, finished art, and even a reproduction of the first draft of the original poem she wrote as the book’s text. She reveals this poignant detail: “Little did I know that, by the time I began painting the ‘true blue’ spread where the teenage boy is holding his dog in his arms for the last time, my dog Copper (the star of the Dog and Bear series), would become unexpectedly ill and pass away. The timing was remarkable, and the last few spreads were painted while my own tears dripped upon the canvas. Writing Blue, as it turns out, explored my own loyalty and sadness — in real time.” We’re crying, too, Laura, for all the pets we’ve loved and lost. This year’s The Rough Patch by Brian Lies explores some of the same themes; it would be interesting to compare and contrast the two books, if your heart can take it.

RELATED TITLES: Carle, Eric. Hello, Red Fox. Simon & Schuster, 1998. / Carle, Eric, and Friends. What’s Your Favorite Color? Henry Holt/Godwin Books, 2017. / Cohen, Miriam. Jim’s Dog Muffins. Greenwillow, 1984. / Cooper, Elisha. Big Cat, Little Cat. Roaring Brook, 2017. / Cottin, Menena. The Black Book of Colors. Groundwood, 2008. / Demas, Corinne. Saying Goodbye to Lulu. Little, Brown, 2004. / Frame, Jeron Ashford. Yesterday I Had the Blues.Tricycle, 2003. / Gonzalez, Maya Christina. My Colors, My World/Mis Colores, Mi Mundo. Children’s Book Press, 2007. / Howard, Ellen. Murphy and Kate. Simon & Schuster, 1995. / Klise, Kate. Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List.Feiwel and Friends, 2017. / Lies, Brian. The Rough Patch. Greenwillow, 2018. / O’Neill, Mary. Hailstones and Halibut Bones: Adventures in Color. Doubleday, 1989, c1961. / Paschkis, Julie. Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color.Henry Holt, 2018. / Rohmann, Eric. Bone Dog. Roaring Brook, 2011. / Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. First the Egg. Roaring Brook, 2007. / Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Green. Roaring Brook, 2012. / Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. The Hidden Alphabet.Roaring Brook, 2003. / Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Lemons Are Not Red. Roaring Brook, 2004. / Seeger, Laura Vaccaro.One Boy. Roaring Brook, 2008. / Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Walter Was Worried. Roaring Brook, 2005. / Shannon, George. White Is for Blueberry. Greenwillow, 2005. / Sidman, Joyce. Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors.Houghton Mifflin, 2009. / Viorst, Judith. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney. Atheneum, 1971. / Wolff, Ashley.Baby Bear Sees Blue. Beach Lane, 2012.


Horn Book - Five Questions for Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Click  here  for full article

Click here for full article

In her 2013 Caldecott Honor Book Green, Laura Vaccaro Seeger considered the many literal and metaphorical shades of the title color. What does she do with Blue?

1. First in Green and now in Blue: what inspired the die-cuts?
My rule for die-cuts is that they must be integral to the book. In Green, they are necessary because it’s a book about how everything in our environment is connected. The paintings are literally connected to one another. Since Blue is Green’s companion book, it needed to share its format. But that’s not reason enough — in Blue, the die-cuts are absolutely integral because all of our experiences from birth onward are connected and define how we live our lives.

2. What’s your favorite blue?
I love them all! But in Blue, I do have a favorite spread. As I was working on the “true blue” scene, my dog Copper (the inspiration for Dog from Dog and Bear) became unexpectedly ill and passed away. Creating that painting was at once painful and cathartic.

3. Are you in possession of a worn-out LP of Joni Mitchell’s Blue?
I am not, but thanks to you, I have had the pleasure of discovering that stunningly beautiful song. Now I need to download the entire album!

4. How can blue skies, blue movies, and blue mood mean such different things?
That question is really what inspired me to create Blue. After Green, I’d heard repeatedly, “Please make books about other colors, too!” I was reluctant to do that for fear it would feel forced or formulaic. But books often tell authors they need to be written. I started to ponder the many ways in which the color blue can evoke emotion — innocence (baby blue), loyalty (true blue), sadness (so blue), hope (new blue). And so that exploration began…

5. Tell me a story about blue paint.
When I was a child, I was given an assignment to create a pointillist painting. We had the choice of using shades of blue or its complement, orange. I was the only one who chose orange, and my painting was hideous! I brought it home and hastily threw it in the trash. The next day, it was sitting in our living room — my father had retrieved it from the garbage. I threw it away again. About a week later, I came home and found it framed and hanging on our living room wall. It’s astonishing how a simple act of encouragement can make the difference of a lifetime for a young artist.

BLUE's Backstory on Julie Danielson's Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

I am honored once again to be featured on Julie Danielson's wonderful blog. Click here to see more of her fantastic pieces on the making of picture books.
Thank you, Jules!

Screenshot 2018-08-12 21.58.44.png

August 10th, 2018 by jules


Last week, I wrote here about Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Blue (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook), coming to shelves this September. I’m following up today with a visit from Laura, who talks about her process, while sharing lots of art. I thank her for visiting. 

Laura: When I set out to write Blue, I knew that I wanted to make a companion book to Green, sharing its poem structure, design, connectivity through die-cuts, and trim size. While Green explores the many shades of green in the world around us and (hopefully) encourages an appreciation of our environment, I knew that I wanted to approach Blue from a new narrative standpoint and explore the color blue in terms of loyalty and sadness.


So, I wrote a poem somewhat like the text that appears in the book, but at that time the visual narrative was very different. It was about a newborn baby and his toddler brother, growing up together through the years. Finally, the older brother packs up and moves out, and the younger brother is blue.


After completing three or four final paintings, something began to nag at me. I called my editor (the oh-so-wonderful Neal Porter) to discuss my concerns. I told him that, sure, the younger brother is sad, but it’s not like he’ll never see his older brother again. When Neal questioned what I really wanted the book to be about, I explained that I was interested in exploring loyalty but also sadness. True sadness. The ultimate sadness. Loss. That’s when I realized that I had to start the painting process all over again and change the narrative to include a baby and a puppy who grow up together. And, eventually, the boy (now a young man) experiences great loss.


It was challenging to create paintings where the characters are getting older with each page turn. It needed to be clear — but not distracting.


The paintings were created one layer at a time — and often re-painted. Most of my canvases are quite heavy, because they contain so many layers of paint!


And, of course, the die-cuts were (as always) quite the (at times) headache-inducing challenge. Like Green, each painting is a part of the one before it — and the one after. In this example, the pom-pom on the boy’s hat is a die-cut in this night-time scene, which on the next spread reveals a rubber ducky atop the dog’s head in a day-time scene. So, the area on the left of this spread needed to be a bright yellow and not at all distracting from the tender action between the boy and his dog. A challenge for this scene, indeed!


I thought I had it solved with these fireflies but, because it’s late autumn (the boy is wearing a cool-weather hat, and the ground is brown — both necessary because of the die-cuts!), fireflies wouldn’t be out at that time of year.


Finally, a solution: garden lights!


The scarf that appears in almost every spread is highly symbolic — it belongs to the boy at first, and then halfway through the book, his dog takes ownership — and in the end it symbolizes that, though life does go on after loss, the love and the memories remain. Always.


Little did I know that, by the time I began painting the “true blue” spread where the teenage boy is holding his dog in his arms for the last time, my dog Copper (the star of the Dog and Bear series), would become unexpectedly ill and pass away. The timing was remarkable, and the last few spreads were painted while my own tears dripped upon the canvas. Writing Blue, as it turns out, explored my own loyalty and sadness — in real time.


Here is the book trailer for Blue — with original music composed and performed by my son, Dylan. And here’s the book trailer for Green, also with original music composed and performed by Dylan. 

BLUE. Copyright © 2018 by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Published by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, New York. All images used by permission of Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

BYU Radio - Dog and Bear Interview

I recently had a chance to speak with BYU Radio about DOG AND BEAR, and Neal Porter, too, so that always makes me happy. We spoke about the inspiration, process, and challenges of writing and illustrating books for children.

Special thanks to Christine Nokleby, Jessica Verzello, and Rachel Wadham for a totally fun interview.

Click here to have a listen! (The interview begins at about 2:48.)

Ignorance is Bliss!

I am excited and honored to have illustrated a new picture book, written by the amazing Dick Jackson, (due for release later this year). It's the very first time I've illustrated another writer's manuscript, though in this case, it was an easy decision for me.

Back in 1999, when I decided to make a huge move to publishing from a career as an animator/producer in network television, I knew nothing about the business and I had no contacts. But ever since I was a child, I'd been logging ideas for picture books in my journals, and I'd created quite a few one-of-a-kind books that I'd never shown anyone.

So one day, I took the plunge, and called Dick Jackson at DK Publishing in New York City. The incredibly kind person who'd answered the phone told me me that he works out of his California office, and when I asked if I could have that number, she gave it to me.

The next morning, first thing, I picked up the phone and rang Dick's number. But just as he answered the phone, I remembered the time-zone difference - it was 9:00am in New York (where I live), but it was 6:00am in California, which explained his very groggy voice. "Oh no," I thought, frantically. "I'm calling the president of a major publisher at his home, and I've woken him up!" But after apologizing profusely, I explained that I'd written and illustrated a whole bunch of books and would love to get them published. "You and everyone else," he told me, but suggested I send them to him and call back in couple of weeks to find out what he thinks of them.

So I did. And exactly 2 weeks later, first thing in the morning, I rang his phone again. And he answered, groggily, again. I'd woken him up. AGAIN! But he was so sweet and encouraging, and he arranged immediately for me to meet with his Vice President at DK, Neal Porter. The rest is history. Neal has been my editor on every single one of my books - in fact we're now working on books number 19 and 20, simultaneously. 

So about a year ago, when Neal casually mentioned that, though he knows I write and illustrate my own books, he couldn't help but visualize my paintings for a new book he was publishing, I asked whose manuscript it was. As he said, "it's Dick Jackson's", he'd completely forgotten that it was Dick who had introduced us to one another in the first place. I said "yes" immediately.

I am forever grateful to Dick for his kindness, patience, encouragement, and most importantly, for not hanging up on me. TWICE!

I Used to Be Afraid - But not anymore!

Last week, I received a letter from a librarian whose class of first graders spent the entire session discussing the little girl's book in "I Used to Be Afraid". They'd determined that because her book appears in several spreads, it must be her favorite. And through closer (and very impressive) observation, they'd decided that it, too - the meta-book - must be a book about fears. Perhaps it's one that helped her to change the way she looks at things and not be so fearful after all!

Here are a couple of wonderful reviews:

Caldecott Medal Contender: I Used to Be Afraid


I Used To Be Afraid

I USED TO BE AFRAID will be released in a few weeks. Here is a little bit of backstory on how the book came to be...

I USED TO BE AFRAID is a book about perspective. It's all in the way you look at things. In the case of our protagonist - this one little girl - she used to be afraid. Very afraid. Until she learned to change the way she viewed her world.

These are the book's first journal sketches from way back in 2007...


Sometimes a book needs time - time to be thought about. This one needed lots of time! 

Finally, in 2014, it was time to create I USED TO BE AFRAID. The first step was to identify fears. The encircled fears are the ones that might work well as illustrations...

The art style went through many changes along the way. Every book's art is determined by its story. A brand new art style was created especially for this book...

Die-cut holes are incorporated throughout to illustrate each fear which, with a turn of the page, transform from frightening to not so scary after all.

The die-cuts were particularly challenging at times (or really, all the time!). For example, in "I used to be afraid of shadows", the die-cut hole is the little girl's shadow cast upon the wall. The shadow is the exact same shape as the girl, of course.

When the page is turned, the die-cut becomes the shadow of the girl's right hand in her heart-shaped shadow puppet, which is the exact same shape as her hand, of course.

But what this means is that her hand and her crouching body are also identical in shape!

And then there were the fears that never made it into the finished book - like "getting teased" and "heights" - in order to make room for deeper, more universal fears like "change" and "being alone"...


And sometimes, no matter how hard one tries, fears are simply impossible to overcome completely. Like how our little protagonist used to be afraid of her big brother...

And she still is!


Favorite Painting in Green

I’m often asked which of the paintings in GREEN is my favorite.  

I really love this question and after lots of thought, I’d have to say that the “all green” spread is my favorite because it’s the only place in the book where the die-cut holes actually disappear.  

In order to achieve this, it means that what is seen through the holes on this spread is at once part of the art on this painting, and part of the art on the paintings before and after this painting, as well.

And what THAT means is that, in effect, different paintings share identical portions making them truly part of one another.


Teachbooks.net Interview

I had a chance to speak with Danika at Teachingbooks.net about the backstory behind a few recent books:

2-minute audio, Laura Vaccaro Seeger discusses GREEN


2-minute audio, Laura Vaccaro Seeger discusses FIRST THE EGG


2-minute audio, Laura Vaccaro Seeger discusses DOG AND BEAR: TWO FRIENDS, THREE STORIES


Green Process

GREEN is about to be released, so here are some images from the making of the book.  Because each and every page contains die-cuts, this book was a challenge as each painting, in effect, is a part of the painting before it and the painting after.

While working on GREEN and using the color green as a vehicle for my exploration of the world around us, I realized that everything in our world is connected, sometimes in very subtle ways.  It was for that reason that I decided that die-cuts were a way for me to show this connection and encourage the reader to look more closely at things we all see every day.  My feeling is that we first need to truly appreciate our environment and if we do, then we are more likely to take care of it.

Here is a link to the book trailer on YouTube: GREEN BOOK TRAILER


At first it was a struggle to create a book about the concept of green.  It was, of course, to be about green as an environmental concept, but the overwhelming challenge was to achieve this without didacticism.


Finally, the idea of writing a simple poem about the color green was a way in which the environmental issue could be addressed in a subtle yet powerful way.


 The process isn’t always neat and tidy.


And with this book more than ever, the journal was integral to the process as the possibilities for each layout were explored and the paint mixture for each shade of green was carefully documented.