Aren't they funky? I had a great time creating them. Honestly, some parts of the process was frustrating, but everything about the concept was intriguing and engaging. The series started with the prompt "Banned or Challenged Book." I chose In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.
I chose the book for two reasons. Firstly, I do love picture books. I have quite the collection. Secondly, the idea that a picture book might be banned or challenged flabbergasted me. Maurice Sendak's book wasn't in my collection. In fact, I was not familiar with it, though I was familiar with Sendak, and like most people, I knew him from Where the Wild Things Are. I promptly bought In the Night Kitchen, read a few articles explaining the process of challenging a book, and read other articles on Sendak's book in particular.
In the Night Kitchen was challenged because Mickey, the protagonist, appears naked in a couple scenes. Now I don't want to go into challenging and banning books and what I feel about it here. I will add that I did a video on my YouTube channel highlighting this very book, though that, also, has nothing to do with the challenge to this book and has everything to do with the food mentioned in the book.
There are many interesting articles about this book and why people find it offensive and why people find it interesting. What struck me after reading the book was Mickey's unapologetic proclamation of self. "I am Mickey." And this is where my images come from. Each unapologetically embraces themself quirky hair, surface and subsurface pattern, scarf, hat, and all else that makes them an individual.
Here are a few more tidbits about the images. In the story Mickey is almost baked into the morning cake, so each of my people wears a cake on their head, and Mickey escapes by fashioning an airplane out of bread dough, so each of my figures wears copious folds of scarf made out of scored bread. (I also mimicked Sendak's color palette.)
This series fits into the inspirational category of domesticity, to me, because of the influence of food and the influence of children's literature.
Last bit: Bill Moyers conducted an interesting interview with Sendak on NOW: https://vimeo.com/33284145