At first I was drawn to Keri Smith because of her illustrations, which have been featured in The New York Times and publications by Random House among many. And while I'm still drooling over them, I feel like I've stumbled over something much, much more profound and of interest to how I view the world. Don't you just love when that happens. Keri has published a book called How to be an explorer of the world and you just MUST visit her website to get a sample of what it's about - there are some page extracts above, too. Oh, I'm in heaven.
Which five words best describe you? Rebellious, inventive, curious, passionate, daring.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Worked in a coffee shop (for one day), it went bankrupt. I worked in bookshops for a few years and read and read and read. Art school. Full-time illustrator. Created my own path from then on. Now I follow my gut and only create and take on projects that are in line with my beliefs and path of investigation.
What’s your proudest achievement? Giving birth to my son. My family. Next comes my books.
What’s been your best decision? To go out on my own. I used to have an illustration agent and was afraid to leave them. It was the best decision I ever made because I slowly built more confidence in my own ideas. I am now able to take more risks with my work and not be too concerned with what people will think.
Who inspires you? People who are not afraid to tell the truth. People who take risks. People who crack themselves wide open. Charles and Ray Eames, John Cage, Marti Guixe, Jurgen Bey, Bruno Munari, Georges Perec, Masanobu Fukuoka, Hermann Hesse, Italo Calvino, Corita Kent to name a few.
What are you passionate about? Every day. Nature. My family. Small details. Food. Cooking. Colour. Books. Ideas. My journal. Sound. Taste. Touch. Smells. Sight. Typography. Experimenting. The imagination. Chance. The moment.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? That all the planning, controlling, goal setting and attempts to get ahead in the world do not actually help you to move forward. I have learned to trust in myself, that I can deal with whatever comes up without the need to prepare and control it all. All of the great things that have happened for me occurred in moments of release. Letting the universe tell me what step to take next.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Walt Whitman, Masonubu Fukuoka, Einstein, or Gandhi.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Influencing the public education system in the US and infusing it with my subversive ideas.
What are you reading? Things, and A Man Asleep by George Perec
Images courtesy of Keri Smith