Leo Dillon, Celebrated Illustrator of Children’s Books, Is Dead at 79
I read this obit while on tour in New York, and clipped it from the paper because I loved it so much. (I posted the pic above with the caption, “I want this to be my obituary.”) Dillon and his wife were an interracial couple and dynamic duo of illustration :
Though artistic teams have long collaborated on illustrated books, it is far more common for one partner to furnish the text and the other the pictures. It is far less common for both to make the art in tandem, as did the Dillons, who began their career jointly illustrating album covers and jackets for adult science-fiction books.
Their modus operandi, honed over time, involved an initial discussion — a negotiation, to hear them tell it — of their visions of the text. When these were more or less reconciled, one of them made preliminary sketches, which were passed to the other for coloring, then passed back for refinement.
After sufficient back-and-forth, and sufficient spirited argument, the resulting image appeared, they often said, to have been the work of an unseen but very much present third party, whom they called “It.”
Just as you need a good name for a band, I think you need a good name for your collaboration, and especially your marriage. (Meg and I call ours “Team Kleon.” It works.)