Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mack on Miller

First a thank you to Leif for asking me to contribute a short write up on an artist I admire so much. Also, Thanks to the previous posters for enlightening me so far this week.

Above is the wonderful illustrated work of John Parr Miller. J.P. Miller has heavily influenced my style of illustration. I think it’s easy to see the charm of his work because his work is all about simple “charm”. He is a master designer, illustrator and craftsman. Every shape is considered (just look at that wonderful bucket) and every color is bright and powerful. To me his style is the benchmark of the Little Golden Book style. Though his illustrations seem deceptively simple it is never easy to boil down a subject. Ask any illustrator who has attempted this style. It involves refining and more refining to achieve that “simple” structure. This apparently did not come easy to J.P. Miller. He was a perfectionist with his work. His books were often turned in late past deadline so that he could achieve the level of quality he expected of himself. Some of his Golden Books are still in publication today and this serves as a testament to the long hours he spent “getting it right” and proving great illustrated design is timeless.

John Parr Miller 1913-2004

J.P. Miller links:

Cartoon Brew – A definitive write up On J.P. Miller from his Brother
Fun All Around – Eric Sturdevant’s collection and tributes
Jingle Bells A Golden Book by J.P. Miller – Some scans of mine from a cherished J.P. Miller Golden Book


  1. Hello! I read this blog entry after linking to it from a google search I did on J.P. Miller. I'm a big fan of his, too, but I wish his work got more serious attention. Mary Blair, Alice and Martin Provenson and J.P. Miller all had a similar approach and style and were around at the same time, but J.P. is my favorite. Have you seen the little Golden Book "A Day on the Farm? So beautiful.

    I also wish there was more biographical information out there! He needs a coffee table book!

  2. Thanks for commenting, Amy! I'm very glad you found us. :-)

    If I ever find more info on J.P. Miller I'll certainly post it - stay tuned!