Maira Kalman has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities. She has written and illustrated thirteen children's books, is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine and the creator of an illustrated column for The New Yorker that morphed out of her travels to museums and libraries.
Q: What’s the most significant risk you’ve taken professionally?
Maira: i never think of any project as being risky. i have an idea and then decide to go ahead. later on i realize that i am incredibly anxious that it be something wonderful. knowing that it could be a mess, or a bore. collaborating is also risky i suppose. it is very very hard to be completely honest. brutally honest with another person. of course there has to be love and mutual admiration, (though they are not always apparent), otherwise it won't work so well. if you find a smart person that you can be absolutely honest with and who is absolutely honest with you, hold on to him or her for dear life.