Today, after the author/illustrator's panel discussion at BookCourt, someone approached me and asked who my influences were. I looked around for a couple of chairs for us to get comfortable while I pondered that question. Then, I realized that he wanted the short answer, two or three names at most. I defaulted to Toulouse Lautrec, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.
On the way home, I realized that I only became familiar with those artists in high school and that I had been drawing since I could hold a crayon. Then John Bauer popped into my head. A swedish illustrator who illustrated my favorite fairy tale book ever, The Fairy Tale world of John Bauer. Bauer was born in 1882, and was best known for his illustrations of Trolls, Tomten and Gnomes. He died at the early age of 36 together with his wife and child in a shipwreck. I want to share some of his art here with you.