where no intern has gone before

[this post was actually written close to the beginning of my internship. ironic that i'm nearing the end now....]

so. brett helquist is such a cool dude.

if you don't know what he's done, check out his website. he is most well-known for illustrating lemony snicket's 'the series of unfortunate events' books (which, he said, took him 8 years and is one of his favorite projects so far).

he's really down to earth, and easy to talk to. the first day, i was a bit nervous, not sure what to expect that first day as i arrived at his apartment. i got to the building, walked up the 3 flights of stairs, and rang the bell to his studio door. he answered, and we walked up two more flights of stairs to his studio. as i walked into the studio, the first sight surprised me. i didn't see paintbrushes and palates; i saw a slew of guitars and a music stand, all lined up. oh, it's a beautiful sight. brett loves music, and i do too. i knew right then we'd get along just fine.

more about that later.

it's so great, because he's let me do a lot of actual art-stuff (rather than typical intern-stuff). my first jobs consisted of: ripping paper, tracing his sketches onto said ripped paper, stretching that paper after he detailed the sketch and stapling it to frame.

apparently i did that all too fast, as he said he couldn't keep up with me. :) (*note: it isn't difficult to get ahead-- i'm not doing the hard part. he's the one actually creating the darn things.) BUT this is the cool part: he's up against a deadline and said that he's going to try something that he hasn't before: he said he'd let me do the underpaintings. (!) he helped me get set up with the paints and such, and i basically did a paint-by-numbers. he said, "congratulations, you've gone where no intern has gone before. i never let my interns get this far into my work." (!!) i was incredibly happy. not that i'm amazing or anything (and no, i'm not playing victim to false modesty. i'm a decent artist with skill but have more to go than i've come, and it's okay--i'm working at it)-- it's just that i was able to do this and he was already thinking of hiring someone to do his underpaintings, and as he said, "this is as good a time as any to try it out".

so. it's pretty much awesome. he said that i can look through any of his wide collection of art books (it's a great collection at that) or even play his guitars if i have down-time. he invited me to look over his shoulder and ask questions, because i'm here to learn. i thought that was cool.

he's also good about making me feel comfortable about doing the tasks. for example, last time he said "don't worry about it [doing the underpaintings] because if i were worried about it, i wouldn't let you do it."

brett is one of the nicest people i know, but also very honest. i really appreciate both those aspects and i'm really so happy i have this internship! i know i'll learn so much.


Kylie said...

That is so awesome! What a fun experience!

Brianna said...

ahh kristin that is so great! We need to play again ASAP!

K said...

Blogger is driving me nuts. Wow. What a great experience for you, sharing space with a published guy. So how old is he? Married? Children? I wonder, sometimes, if authors and illustrators are people who actually live with children - and how their work would change if they DID have children. Learn what you can. And always be wise.

Danielle said...

K-girl, I really am so very super-duper PROUD of you! While this news comes to no surprise, because you have a plethora of amazing qualities (i.e., work ethic, approachability, willingness to learn, friendliness, TALENT, etc.), it still deserves a loud WOOT! WOOT!

I'm so stinkin' THRILLED, tickled that you're loving the Big Apple. While you're missed, those who love you are cheering for you and supporting you 200%. Soak up every single second of your experience in NYC, dear! I know you are, too.

BTW, I met a girl this last weekend who just matriculated into the Illustration program at BYU. I told her to look you up, and when I mentioned BH her eyes got HUGE! It was cute. She's a sweet girl. Her name is Brynn.

Anyway, here's to another incredible three weeks in NYC. Keep blogging. (love the video, btw.) Z and I are excited to hear all your fun stories. (It'll be good prep, too, for when I go to NYC in 90 days.)

Congrats, again, dear friend. So exciting! Loves.

Danielle said...

I mean, enjoy your last week (hope it's the bestest EVER!)

--jeff * said...

um... seriously. dang. awesome.

really, that's all i can say.

like, the ploxiest.

[jeff likes this]

Rebecca said...

This is so great. Love seeing the pics of his studio.