|8/27/12. Today iS Bob Schulenberg's birthday, and to celebrate with him, we're running some of his sketchbook drawings from his first days in New York IN 1961.
Schulenberg grew up in Los Angeles and Fresno and went to UCLA. When he was in his mid-20s he got himself together and made the big jump (always a big one even when we're too young to know it) to move to New York and pursue a career as an illustrator.
In those days, late '50s, early '60s, illustration was hot along with advertising. Creativity in illustration, photography and copywriting were transforming the American market into what was perhaps its most exciting era of the century, and New York was the happening place.
He got himself a job at Ellington & Company Advertising and settled into his first apartment at 16 Gay Street in the Village. Endlessly curious and almost always with sketchbook under arm (or open to draw) everything about the city excited his eye.
The first time we met, in 1966, he had his sketchbook with him, and so it was in all of the hundreds (or maybe thousands) of times we've seen over dinner or coffee or lunch or drinks, no matter where, no matter the time of day.
Schulenberg's sketchbooks were his calendar and his "diary" although when I first met him, they were also his method of the young artist practicing his craft with the pen or pencil. A lot of his social life away from his drawing board, meeting up with friends for coffee or drinks, is recorded in the hundreds of books he's accumulated over the years.
These drawings featured here on this page are from his earliest days in New York. This sketchbook runs from July 14, 1961 to December 13, 1961. This selection is appropriately from this time of year. When you met him, wherever it was, he was often sitting with a cup of coffee, sketchbook open, busy taking it all in and practicing his art on the surrounding environment or the street scene, or the subway.
Conversation at table never really interrupted. A brilliant conversationalist, he also just kept drawing away, taking a quick break for his coffee. or the meal set before him.
The following are delicious examples of his work that all the years later still intrigue and fascinate ...