When Jeremy Holmes’ first book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly came out I thought it was ground-breaking. How could something so creepy yet beautiful get published for children? It is a brilliant re-telling of a classic story, and definitely worth adding to your bookshelf.
I've been paying attention to his work ever since, and recently invited him to come to MICA to discuss his process with my students. He brought tons of printed books and original drawings and sketches.
Jeremy is a designer turned illustrator. His sense of type merges so beautifully with his illustrations. The amount of time he puts into each piece, especially the newer ones, is mind-boggling. I love the result. Jeremy might be one of the hardest working illustrators I know. But his work is smart too, which is a pretty great combination.
If you have an older reader, check out The Templeton Twins, written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy. This series follows John and Abigail Templeton, twins with a tendency for adventure who get kidnapped by... wait for it... a set of twins.
We even got a look at the original art for his new book which just hit the bookstores in January – Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems, by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian.
Seeing his pencil drawings on vellum was inspiring. The coloring process was intense too, with many variations, but I think you'll agree that the result was completely worth it.