You know what researching authors have taught me. Authors don’t like to be researched. My archival research has taught me that there is a reason that Sendack’s little doodles are each insured by $10,000 by archivists’…cause he didn’t give a crap about that stuff because that is not what it is all about. These poor archivists are practically digging in the trash for what they view as ‘masterpieces.’ But these guys don’t really want you digging around looking at their naughty drawings or their scribbled out texts, or their crap doodles of footballs. They want you to care about that thing that they bothered to publish, that they poured their heart into. That final product and all of its meaning. So, in my humble opinion, get out of their life and into their books. Love it because you love it. And love it because it is part of your life. Not theirs.
BUT a bonus from doing all this archival/internet lurking is that you come across things that are fulfilling to you in some way. For me, it was discovering Russia’s 1967 printing of Mary Poppins with illustrations by G. Kalinovsky. If I were a) important b) in a publishing house c) rich I would reprint the next edition of Mary P just like this:
Beautiful. Curious. Brilliant.
Compared to Mary Shepard’s work:
Need I say more?