Art is often born of hardship or heartache, but it can also come from an artist's reflections on the world and how different his perception can be when he looks at it through a child's eyes.
In his new children's e-book, Isn't It Nice That..., local artist/cartoonist EJ Pettinger (Mild Abandon) illustrates this worldview with bright colors and sometimes funny imagery, while sharing messages about life, the universe and everything else.
Pettinger, a father, said he made Isn't It Nice because he not only likes the picture book genre but he likes "the picture book audience."
"Kids have expectations for art that seem really well-suited to art," Pettinger said. "Kids don't try to make too much of art or too little of art. They just let it do its thing."
When asked why he chose the messages he did, Pettinger said he considered the book a kind of "primer for pre-sleep rumination. Instead of saying to your kid, 'OK. Go brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, think about eternity for 10 minutes and then go to sleep,' you can give them a book that includes the observation that the night sky gets bigger when they start to wonder about all the before and all the after. Presto! You've got a little deep thinker!"