An artist’s journey of creation: Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, Joanne Ehrich leads us along the path that helped her to reconnect with her true calling and create Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves

kksc“A picture is worth a thousand words”, and Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves is no exception.

In her recently released book, Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves,  Joanne Ehrich has taken seemingly disparate elements such as treasured old love letters, snapshots of long-departed family and friends, and images of koalas cuddling their babies — romantic love, the love of family and companions, and the love that exists even within nature — and woven them through her artwork into an enchanting book that will delight lovers, friends, and individuals.

This publication’s visuals are not only intended to entrance the viewer, it reminds us of our true nature — not just the love between lovers or among friends or family members, but the love we feel for creatures we hold dear and for the wonders of the earth.

Tantalizing visuals, examining relationships

As you leaf through the pages of the book, its title is intended to make you feel like you do with a box of chocolates. The theme of eternal love may apply to a young man by way of reverence when he offers his seat to an elderly woman on the bus, a girl being playful with her pet, a waitress meticulously obsessing about her family tree, or a janitor being thankful and loving his job.

When we look back at our lives, only the things we loved are the ones that really mattered. Single word descriptions like “dignified,”  ”loyal,”  “mesmerizing,” “protected,” “accountable,” “forgiving” or even “unpredictable,” describe dispositions that are essential — and in need of being processed — for any relationship to exist.

The expressions of enigmatic koalas mimic many of those traits and are accompanied by the intricate drawings Joanne Ehrich has created some fifteen to thirty years ago.

The artist’s vision enhances our own

joannescThe theme of  romance, per se, came in by way of the inclusion of the actual love letters that were written to Joanne in the past, coupled with the many of the drawings she did in her early twenties, when she was preoccupied with the essence of true beauty.

An added fascination with her family tree, the grand love affair between her grandfather, who was a sculptor, and her grandmother, who was a sculptor’s model, Joanne  came upon the idea of combining her affinities to create a story that gave this book a life all its own, and goes like this:

“Artist Querida DiGiovanni has come upon her grandmother’s photo album; its aged parchment pages carry her most treasured memories. Her grandmother’s husband, Querida’s grandfather, at work on a sculpture in his studio; her grandmother, on the beach, by the ocean she loved; photo after photo of sweet and tranquil koalas, many holding their young close in sheltering embraces, with one-word descriptions give traits that are needed for any relationship to survive.

Querida, whose very name means “beloved” in Spanish, seizes upon this cache of memories and uses it to house her own: love letters from a distant sweetheart, sketches of people and animals she loves, images from the dreams that inspire her work.

mona_lisa_letterscThe old album comes to life under Querida’s fingers, as she fills the parchment with her own work: compelling faces observing the observer; lovers defying gravity, escaping the bonds of earth; mysterious branches and root systems of trees as powerful and hypnotic as the force of love itself.”

In the process of creating the book Joanne has connected to her true self, that of an artist. According to Ehrich’s mother, she used to draw birds on the kitchen floor when only one year old. Art is a powerful communications tool, and the one she has the most natural inclination toward.

Over the years, she has become a commercial designer, then publisher, but it is the artist that appears to be the common thread throughout. This book has allowed Joanne to express her authentic self, thereby allowing a spiritual connection to “Source.”

valcodescAdvice on how to follow your calling is offered, and a key of how to interpret the visuals in Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves can be found in the free download, The Valentines Code, which can be found online. The download also includes an interview with Joanne, by five-time Carnegie Hall alumni Vivianan Guzmán.  You can purchase a hard copy of Klassic Koalas by visiting this link.

Joanne Ehrich  founded Koala Jo Publishing in 2004, which is aimed at helping with wildlife preservation.  She wrote, designed, and published eleven books centered around one of the world’s most beloved animals, the koala.

For her first book, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity, she recruited 120 photographers from 24 countries.

Read Joanne’s previous article for Soul’s Code: Meditative bliss with the most Zen-like creatures alive.

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4 Responses to “An artist’s journey of creation: Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines”

  1. love is everywhere & has many different faces as Joanne so eloquently portrays to us in her book. xo :)

  2. love is but like the treasure that’s buried in the heart! we often do not know how is the way to dig up it.

  3. ’tis ALLways a Blessing to BE TRUE to SELF, to LOVE SELF and BE the SELF we LOVE ourSELVes Most to BE and in so DOing to BEnefit and Bless ALL :)

  4. What a lovely looking book Joanne. I’m going to have to order a hard copy…although i’m mostly virtual at this point, not all of life can be lived online ;)