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Sandra Boynton: Greeting cards to Grammys

Live notes during Sandra Boynton’s session who entitled her presentation as “Epistemological Foundations of Highly Erratic Image-Based Inquiry: the role of quasi discursive optimism in a vast and apparently indifferent realism”

Sandra was born into a “government issued 1950’s family” and attended a quaker school.

She went on to Yale (and learned all their fight songs!). She took children’s lit from Maurice Sendak who described her artwork as “greeting card art.”

She began her career designing greeting cards and had really great success.

She had thought that she would go into drama.

By the early 80’s she was into books, more cards and “renegade children’s music.”

Her career now is mostly based on creating children’s music.

Sandra considers her music efforts are simply musical versions of her cartoons.

She insisted that her music CDs be sold along side her books in bookstores and not music stores. That decision proved to be very successful.

While at the 2004 NCS Reuben award weekend convention she spoke about her project for her Dog Train album. With an introduction to Mickey Hart of the Greatful Deal through Jeane Schulz, she traveled to California to record one of her songs with Kevin Bacon’s band “The Bacon Brothers” with Mickey Hart playing percussion with on pots and pans (the title of the song is “Pots and Pans”).

Other artist that are included on that album include: Spin Doctors, Weird Al Yankovich, Alison Krauss, Kate Winslet, and Hootie & the Blowfish

Her most recent project is “Blue Moo” that features many of the great legendary speakers of the music industry.

Q&A
Q. Where you ever told it couldn’t be done? Where were the blocks?
A. There weren’t any. I just do what I Love to do and I get away with it.

Q. How did you get in with Workman Publishing
A. I was fortunate. When I did the “Please send chocolate” card, it was quirky and very successful. I wrote to Workman because I admired them. Ironically, the editor was in the process of writing me.

Q. What is your daily work schedule?
A. Incredibly disciplined (laughter). I work long hours, but I don’t consider it work. I’m very lucky to do work that I love so much. I just follow where the day takes me.

Q. Are you using the computer for any of your drawings.
A. No. I’ve seen a lot of great artist become mediocre artist when they start on the computer. I just think your relationship between the page and your materials is part of the creative process.

Q. Do you use computer for coloring?
A. Only a few times, but mostly it’s in water color. I still use rapidograph that clogs and paper that shred when you try to erase.

Q. How did you get into greeting cards?
A. I created the cards myself and sold them directly to stores; when I started to look for greeting card companies, I went to a trade-show and talked to them and they didn’t want plain cards with white backgrounds. They told her to go to Recycling and they had a similar vision of wanting the artist to have autonomy. It was a perfect collaboration. It was them or I wasn’t going to do cards.

Q. How cool is it to be a Grammy Awarded cartoonist.
A. It’s kind of surreal. It was fun to go to the Grammys. This Blue Moo project has been very enjoyable to work with the music artist I grew up with.

Q. I need a nap was a favorite at our house. How did you choose the eclectic characters?
A. I had to look for who was surprising and bring something to the character. When we did Speed Train, I wrote it with Brian Wilson in mind, but pitched it to a member of Foo Fighters. He wasn’t sure if he could fit it in, so I wrote to Brian Wilson who said yes. That was fun – to work with the different artists

Q. Who do you want to work with in the future as far as musicians?
A. I have a wishlist but it depends on the songs.

Q. If you can be any animal…
A. (Laughter)

Community Comments

#1 johngreets
June/19/2008
@ 3:37 am

Wow…nice discussions blog. I got the information from your site. I have a habit for searching the greetings . I like very much greeting cards.

#2 Scott Metzger
September/30/2010
@ 7:32 am

From greeting cards to children’s books to working with B.B. King….Sandra Boynton rocks.

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