Eric Carle | Lunch & Learn

Colors Beyond Our Sight

Black and white photo of 6 people in front of a life size picture of the Very Hungry Caterpillar
By // Carver Lee

Walking into the Frist Museum on a rainy day and stepping through a doorway framed by a very large, Very Hungry Caterpillar honestly felt like stepping into warm days on the neighborhood playground. Despite being published 23 years before my time, memories of singing “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me!” aren’t lost in my elementary school memories.

Head of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me were just a few of the books that I grew up with; but what makes seeing their pages on the wall of a museum special wasn’t just that they were a blast from the past, it was their testament to being timeless. I’ve read these books, and so many more of Carle’s more recent publications, as recently as two months ago, to my elementary school students and to my own niece and nephews. 51 years old and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is still as vibrant and captivating to children now as it was to children then. 

Back of woman's head looking at three framed illustrations by Eric Carle on wall
Backs of three people looking at illustrations at Eric Carle exhibit

Along with seeing originals and unpublished pages and artwork, the exhibit included videos of Carle talking about the peacefulness of his process, “You start a picture and it gets quieter and quieter. You get to live in this world with just your color and your brush…here you get to forget about the world.”

 

For artwork that is so bold, colorful, and full of life, it was surprising to see this 90-year-old man moving so calmly, methodically, and peacefully through his creations. The only sense of unease from him came when speaking about color, “I have this one frustration, that I cannot be even more colorful, that we are limited in what colors our eyes can see.”

 

I can only imagine a world created by Carle with colors beyond our sight, but for now, the exhibit with its larger-than-life installations will have to do.

Girl sitting in front of oversized sun with face on wall

Colors Beyond Our Sight

Black and white photo of 6 people in front of a life size picture of the Very Hungry Caterpillar
By // Carver Lee

Walking into the Frist Museum on a rainy day and stepping through a doorway framed by a very large, Very Hungry Caterpillar honestly felt like stepping into warm days on the neighborhood playground. Despite being published 23 years before my time, memories of singing “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me!” aren’t lost in my elementary school memories.

Head of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me were just a few of the books that I grew up with; but what makes seeing their pages on the wall of a museum special wasn’t just that they were a blast from the past, it was their testament to being timeless. I’ve read these books, and so many more of Carle’s more recent publications, as recently as two months ago, to my elementary school students and to my own niece and nephews. 51 years old and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is still as vibrant and captivating to children now as it was to children then. 

Back of woman's head looking at three framed illustrations by Eric Carle on wall
Backs of three people looking at illustrations at Eric Carle exhibit

Along with seeing originals and unpublished pages and artwork, the exhibit included videos of Carle talking about the peacefulness of his process, “You start a picture and it gets quieter and quieter. You get to live in this world with just your color and your brush…here you get to forget about the world.” 

 

For artwork that is so bold, colorful, and full of life, it was surprising to see this 90-year-old man moving so calmly, methodically, and peacefully through his creations. The only sense of unease from him came when speaking about color, “I have this one frusteration, that I cannot be even more colorful, that we are limited in what colors our eyes can see.” 

I can only imagine a world created by Carle with colors beyond our sight, but for now, the exhibit with its larger-than-life installations will have to do. 

Girl sitting in front of oversized sun with face on wall
Lunch and Learn thumbnail depicts an amerstand on white background filled by grey outlined graphics overlaid with the stacked words Lunch Learn nested inside a orange box with the Circa Logo at the bottom.

About Lunch & Learn

At Circa, we have a bold understanding that education never just stops after college. This has been the motivation for our new series: Lunch & Learn. Every month we will have lunch with some of the brightest people in the creative field ranging from painters to SEO masters; and poke their brains to get a better understanding of the world and our role as visual communicators.

About Eric Carle

Eric Carle is an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He’s contributed to more than 70 books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, his most noted title, has sold more than 50 million copies since being published in 1969 and has been translated into more than 66 languages.

 

Born in New York in 1929 but raised in Germany, Carle graduated from the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart. When Carle returned to New York in 1952 he landed a job with The New York Times as a graphic designer. After being drafted into the military during the Korean War he returned back to New York and continued in advertising until his illustration of a red lobster got him an invite to collaborate on a picture book. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lunch and Learn thumbnail depicts an amerstand on white background filled by grey outlined graphics overlaid with the stacked words Lunch Learn nested inside a orange box with the Circa Logo at the bottom.

About Lunch & Learn

At Circa, we have a bold understanding that education never just stops after college. This has been the motivation for our new series: Lunch & Learn. Every month we will have lunch with some of the brightest people in the creative field ranging from painters to SEO masters; and poke their brains to get a better understanding of the world and our role as visual communicators.

About Eric Carle

Eric Carle is an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He’s contributed to more than 70 books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, his most noted title, has sold more than 50 million copies since being published in 1969 and has been translated into more than 66 languages.

Born in New York in 1929 but raised in Germany, Carle graduated from the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart. When Carle returned to New York in 1952 he landed a job with The New York Times as a graphic designer. After being drafted into the military during the Korean War he returned back to New York and continued in advertising until his illustration of a red lobster got him an invite to collaborate on a picture book. The rest, as they say, is history.