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Brian Selznick's Quotes

Brian Selznick profile photo

Born: 1966-07-14
Profession: Artist
Nation: American
Biography of Brian Selznick

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When I was in high school, everyone used to tell me that I should write and illustrate children's books. Or mostly illustrate, because I guess there was something about my style that made people think it'd work in children's literature. I didn't really know anything about it, and like many people who don't, I didn't think it was a serious art form.

Tags: Art, School, Work

For most of my career I illustrated books for other people.

Tags: Books, Career

I think from an early age I was aware of how a camera can tell a story, how a movie camera can affect how the narrative is told.

Tags: Age, Story, Tell

I think I always knew that I would do something with art because it was the one thing that I knew I was really good at.

Tags: Art, Good, Knew

I think when I'm drawing, I'm seeing what's happening on the page almost as if it were unfolding like a movie in my head.

Tags: Almost, Head, Movie

I've been taking art lessons since I was little, and I've always drawn. I think in pictures.

Tags: Art, Pictures, Since

It's fun to see how other artists adapt my work.

Tags: Artists, Fun, Work

Once I'm given an idea for a story I have a million ideas on how it should be illustrated, but I don't have a big shoebox full of unfinished ideas.

Tags: Big, Idea, Once

Since I spend such a long time making each book, I only choose books that I'm really interested in and that I really love.

Tags: Book, Love, Time

Well, everything surprises me about the writing process because illustrating comes much more naturally to me than writing does.

Tags: Process, Surprises, Writing

A friend suggested that I get a job at a children's book store so I could meet kids and read books, and that turned out to be the single best bit of advice I've ever gotten.

Tags: Best, Children, Job

A lot of people who don't write for kids think it's easy, because they think kids aren't as smart as they are, or that you have to dumb down what you would normally write for kids. But I think you have to work harder when you write for kids, to make sure every word is right, that it's there for the right reason.

Tags: Reason, Smart, Work

A lot of times, people complain about how books and stories change when they're translated to the screen. But I think sometimes people forget that a lot of changes have to be made because we're not in a book when we're watching a movie.

Tags: Book, Change, Forget

But I'm a fairly mechanical worker - I tend not to think about themes so much as plot. I want to get the feeling right. If it's moving through tunnels, I ask myself, what is it like to move through tunnels?

Tags: Ask, Feeling, Moving

I can draw pencil lines to show something is moving, but if I'm writing, I struggle with how to write it. The boy ran down the hallway? The boy ran quickly down the hallway? The boy ran down the marble hallway? I agonize over the words. So my editor works very hard. I'm lucky to have her.

Tags: Moving, Struggle, Writing

I definitely think my work comes from things that I liked as a kid, and things I still like now. Monsters and magic and museums and movies, a lot of things that start with 'M' for some reason.

Tags: Movies, Reason, Work

I guess I see a part of myself in everyone I write about. I tend to write about kids who are obsessed with something, and even though I have never been good with machines the way Hugo is, I did love miniature things when I was a kid.

Tags: Everyone, Good, Love

I love being an illustrator because I get to read really great stories, work with amazing people, travel and see places I never would've seen. And I get to draw all the time.

Tags: Love, Time, Work

I love illustrating for other writers because I am given stories I never would have thought of, and my work as an illustrator is always in support of the story.

Tags: Love, Thought, Work

I majored in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, although I never had any intention of being an illustrator and didn't take any classes in illustration there. It was just that the illustration degree had no requirements.

Tags: Degree, Design, School

I think everything belongs in a certain place, for kids who feel they don't belong anywhere. A museum is an institution like a library where everything has a place, everything belongs.

Tags: Kids, Library, Place

I think the most important thing you can do is to keep drawing no matter what. And to not be afraid of drawing whatever interests you. If there is something that you want to draw, to make, then I think you should pursue it and not let anybody tell you that you can't do it.

Tags: Afraid, Keep, Tell

I've always loved the wild rumpus in 'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak, because the words disappear, the pictures take up the whole page, and we move forward in the story by turning the pages.

Tags: Forward, Whole, Words

Sometimes, I have themes that interest me or that touch on larger issues but, really, I'm just trying to figure out the plot, or how the characters work. I'm trying to make the best story I possibly can.

Tags: Best, Trying, Work

The orphan in children's literature allows the child protagonist to move the story forward themselves. I think that, however happy a family, every intelligent child thinks: 'How did I come to be born to these parents?' - it is about finding your place in the world.

Tags: Family, Forward, Happy

What interests me about clocks is that everything is hand-made, and yet to the person looking at the clock, something magical is happening that cannot be explained unless you are the clockmaker.

Tags: Cannot, Looking, Unless
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