The atmosphere at home growing up

 

Interviewer: You seem to be someone who really follows your curiosity. Who gave you permission to do that?

Maira Kalman: I went to the Office of Curiosity and I got permission to do whatever I want. You know, I think that probably the atmosphere at home when I was growing up was that nobody stopped you from thinking about what you wanted to do. And then clearly my relationship with [husband/creative partner] Tibor—we both encouraged each other to do what we said we wanted, because what’s the point of not trying? What’s the point of not pursuing something? The worst that could happen would be that it won’t work out. But it would be madness not to try. I really don’t like to be bored. So if I have an idea that amuses me or interests me, I can’t imagine not trying.

That’s such a gift, though. I don’t think a lot of people feel that way. I think people feel inhibited.
I’m also not trying to be a brain surgeon. I’m keeping myself within the range of possibility.

Vogue, Oct 30/2015  Julia Felsenthal interviews Maira Kalman (from here)

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