On Saturday I spent an hour speaking with a legend. Thanks to Mark Korsak of the Society of Illustrators, who provided me with the contact info, I enjoyed a thrilling hour on the phone with 1999 SoI Hall of Fame recipient, Mitchell Hooks.
What a gentleman.
I can't begin to tell you how gracious Mitch was about answering my many questions. He told me the details of his early career, and about the illustration business in New York during the 50's. He provided an insider's view of the Fredman/Chaite art studio: the place that was really Charles E. Cooper's main competition back then, and the place where Mitch, Bob Peak, Robert McGinnis and many other great mid-century illustrators first made their mark in 'the big time'.
While I had no recording device to capture every detail of our meandering discussion, I jotted notes frantically, and Mitch agreed to a follow-up call to clarify anything I might have missed.
I'm looking forward to sharing the details of that conversation with you... and to showing you more of Mitch's distinctive, energetic artwork.
As well, a recently acquired 1960 issue of American Artist magazine containing an extensive article on Mitch will provide valuable technical details and some excellent quotes.
So this week, let's look at what that article describes as "vividly colourful and strident [work]" and a "vibrant, descriptive line... seen at its best". Let's look at the art and life of Mitchell Hooks.
* My Mitchell Hooks Flickr set.