Happy New Year! A new year and a new book! SEEING INTO TOMORROW: Haiku by Richard Wright, is less than one month away from publication! The image above was a style frame for the book. In my early drafts, I planned on using haiku that represented all four seasons, but at my first editorial meeting, held on a magnificent spring day with clear skies and warm sunshine, it was agreed by all that the optimism that spring brings was the right emotion to carry this book. This winter image was filed away, but feels so right on this cold January day.
This book began when I came across few of Wright’s haiku in an anthology of poetry. I hadn’t known about this body of work before and, intrigued, I ordered his posthumously published collection – HAIKU: THIS OTHER WORLD. As I thought about how I might use these poems in a picture book, I considered the best way to approach the illustrations. I wanted the images to reflect the fresh and open quality of the haiku.
After a few unsatisfying starts, I remembered work by David Hockney that I had admired for a long time. He created photographic collages using a technique of combining small pieces of a scene to recreate the whole scene. I loved the positive and negative shapes created by the sprawl of photos and how the twists in perspective created a heightened sense of temporality that seemed perfectly suited to a book of haiku. This image was one of the first experiments I did with the technique, photographed on in a winter storm in upstate New York.
SEEING INTO TOMORROW: Haiku by Richard Wright is available for preorder now and will be available in stores in February!