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What I enjoyed editing Inspired!

Andy Warhol eating cereal and looking at his mother, Julia

Andy Warhol eating cereal and looking at his mother, Julia

Museyon’s newest title, Inspired! : True Stories Behind Famous Art, Literature, Music, and Film by Maria Bukhonina was conceived with an interesting premise. Each chapter focuses on what inspired an artist, what they created as a result, and how it continues to inspire.

The chain of inspiration began for me as I edited this book. When I read about Andy Warhol’s background and influences I wanted to know more, and I turned to the Andy Warhol Diaries, where I lost myself for hours immersed in and amused by the quirky and creative New York City of the 1970s and 80s. And then when I happened to see a Warhol exhibit in Riccione, Italy, this summer, I just had to offer to correct the incorrect English translation that accompanied the exhibit!

Musée de Montmartre at 12 rue Cortot served as a residence and meeting place for many artists including Auguste Renoir, Suzanne Valadon and Émile Bernard

Musée de Montmartre at 12 rue Cortot served as a residence and meeting place for many artists including Auguste Renoir, Suzanne Valadon and Émile Bernard

I also learned about the loves and losses that inspired Modigliani, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso, and found the chapter about the model-turned-artist Susanne Valadon so moving that I made the trip to visit her memorable studio-turned-museum in Montmartre.

Then I learned about the inspiration behind The Lucy Show, how Desi Arnaz came up with the concept of “reruns,” how George Lucas went from writing American Graffiti to Star Wars, the chilling story behind Billie Holiday’s haunting ballad, Strange Fruit, and much more.

I believe the sign of a great book is how much the stories not only entertain but also resonate and remain with the reader. That is what I keep in mind when I’m editing, and I hope everyone is learning as much from—and enjoying—these books as much as I am.

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Janice Battiste
Editor of Inspired!

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