I first discovered Maira Kalman’s funny and colorful illustrations in the Illustrated Elements of Style (Strunk and White). What could be better than a stuffy grammar book made entertaining by irreverent visual interpretations?
From there, I enjoyed Maira’s other books such as The Principles of Uncertainty. I’ve been an ardent fan and student from afar, studying her style and voice. She’s fiercely smart and joyfully expressed, and I’ve learned a lot from her visual narratives in the New York Times.
One day a few years ago, I was walking the High Line in New York with a friend. Suddenly, I spotted Maira walking with her friend. OMG! I grabbed my friend’s arm. It’s Maira Kalman! I SO SO wanted to talk to her, but when I am in the presence of someone I deeply admire, I turn quite shy. We followed her for a few steps before I realized I couldn’t bring myself to approach her.