There's a saying that you should never meet your heroes.
I met Maurice Sendak once.
Well, actually, that's not true.
The truth is, back in 2005, when I was just starting out in the business, I was at an event and Maurice Sendak was being honored with an award.
While I was walking around I could hear people say things like...
"He's not a very nice man."
"He's very grouchy. He doesn't like people."
While talking to some other illustrators they said to me, "Don't do it. Just keep your pure image of the man in your mind."
I saw Maurice from across the room while I was pacing around the entire night thinking about what I would do. I didn't want my only memory of him to be an awful one, after all, It was probably the only chance I would ever get to meet him. What if he said something hurtful, or told me that my work was crap?
He gave his speech and after the crowd thinned out a few people were congratulating him as he came down from the stage. He walked by me and we looked at each other.
I said nothing.
We just stared at each other. He was expecting me to say something and I froze. Then someone else spoke to him and his attention shifted and he went on his way.
That was it.
I should have said something.
That was the one time I met Maurice Sendak.
That is my one regret.