Arrrrr: Greg Ruth’s “52 Weeks Project” Revisited

One of life’s little pleasures is the email I receive each week from illustrator Greg Ruth, as part of his second annual “52 Weeks Project.” Each weekly missive includes a brief note from Greg — who has a writing style, and a way of thinking, all his own — and a new, original illustration.

If you wish to get in on the fun, just go to his site (links below), email Greg directly, and ask to be added to the mailing list. In addition, you can view the entirety of last year’s “52 Weeks Project” . . . or visit Greg’s storefront to purchase one of the originals. Last year, I bought this baby, cheap. And if you’d like to join Greg’s freakish cult message board community, sign in here.

Here’s today’s note and picture:

One of the things about old 18th century portraiture that I truly love is the weird and oftentimes dangerous allegory within them. The clearly staged scenes always have this sense that we’ve caught our subject either returning from some deed or about to embark on one. Picking up on that, this dubious young lad seems clearly at the ready to storm any breach, open window or galleon’s starboard. Sullied from a recent scuffle or self-damage flowered from boredom in the suburbs… I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Perhaps Greg still has pirates on the mind, since he’s fresh off illustrating our upcoming picture book, A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade (Feiwel and Friends, July, 2010). Perhaps he’s feeling untethered, unbound by the restrictions of the picture book audience. There’s no dripping blood in our little book, of that you can be assured!

This has been a public service announcement.

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