Kevin Nguyen speaks with author and illustrator Maira Kalman about her New York Times column, artwork for The Elements of Style (Illustrated), and “how to live and how to die.”
The narrative of your columns focus on single moments — they’re almost like snapshots. Is that intentional?
That’s actually a really good description of how I work, because in these situations I’m tackling such big subjects; the only way I can handle that is to give you a snapshot of what I’m seeing and feeling at the moment. I also like to go into a lot of different subjects and to digress, so it gives that kind of snapshot outlook. I can jump around from thing to thing, and hopefully, it’ll all make sense.