Kevin Waldron’s Mr Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo has always been a BIG favourite of the eldest mousling in the family, and it is with great pleasure we discovered his new book, Harold’s Hungry Eyes (Phaidon). It is the story of Harold, a Boston terrier, has two loves: food, and his favourite chair. Or more specifically, eating food, then dreaming about food while sleeping on his favourite chair. When his favourite chair finds itself in the back of a bin lorry, Harold chases after it, and gets lost. That’s when he remembers he has inadvertently skipped breakfast. Hungry and sad, he tries to find his way back through the New York streets, when he begins to fantasise about food, seeing it everywhere he looks, mirage-style. When he finally makes it home, a surprise awaits him.
Bold lines, block colours and collage using photographs make this book a feast for the eyes. Young readers will delight in the ingenuity showcased by Waldron when it comes to incorporating photographs of food in the illustrations. The distinct retro style of the uncluttered artwork will delight the grown-ups sharing the book as well, as will Waldron’s unusual depiction of New York, particularly its distinctive high buildings. Harold’s Hungry Eyes also encourages looking at thing differently, from another perspective, and opening one’s mind to alternatives, letting one’s imagination loose. Waldron’s depiction of Harold’s food-obsessed visions will undoubtedly encourage children to seek new things into every day objects and landscapes.
Originally from Ireland, Kevin now lives in New York, and talks about his everyday routine in the Big Apple:
A Day in the Life ….
with Kevin Waldron
I don’t do any work at home, I don’t even have pens or paper there. I keep a wee notebook in my bag at all times in case inspiration strikes late at night but I never forget my ideas (as far as I know!). My cycle into the studio takes 25 minutes across the Manhattan Bridge. I cycle all year round. I turn on my computer like everyone else and check my emails with a cup of Barry’s Irish tea. Oddly, I find this easier to get in New York than London.
I set a goal for myself of what I want to accomplish for the day (today it’s writing this!). I arrive at 9:30am and stay until 7:30-8pm Monday to Friday. I try to avoid working weekends unless absolutely necessary. Books take months to complete and I aim to line one up after the other without a break. At the moment I’m drawing the thumbnails for a new book and working with my publisher to promote Harold’s Hungry Eyes.
If I complete my tasks and there is enough time before going home I make some pictures for my own amusement as a reward. I have to use the computer quite a lot which I don’t particularly enjoy, so I experiment with other techniques that may or may not ever see the light of day. For a few weeks now I’ve been sitting back in my chair like a whittler and tearing bits of colour paper by hand to make collages. Last year I was making little sculptures and a few months ago I tried my hand at animation .
I only work with one publisher in the city and it’s always a pleasure to visit them but the others are in London, so we only correspond over the computer.
My studio is in Brooklyn in a nice neighbourhood and I go out for a stroll at least once a day to clear my head. I was out walking all the time of course when I was making Harold’s Hungry Eyes looking at manhole covers that could be waffles and so on!
Thank you so much Kevin
Harold’s Hungry Eyes is out now and you can purchase it here.