ACHUKA's Special Guest #2

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Biographical Sketch

Anthony Browne, now just turned fifty, but still boyish in appearance, was born in Sheffield and grew up near Halifax. He took a course in graphic design at Leeds College of Art and afterwards became a medical artist at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Then, for fifteen years, he designed greetings cards for the Gordon Fraser Gallery, continuing to work for them until 1988, when his illustrated Alice in Wonderland was published by Julia MacRae. His first book, Through the Magic Mirror had been published more than ten years previously.

Supplementary Question

I would like to know how Mr Browne thinks about page layout--I'm particularly thinking about _Gorilla_ and _Hansel and Gretel_--how does he decide what part of the image to excerpt or expand upon for the small inset picture above the text. I've always been intrigued by the pattern of small, floating box paired with full-page box on the opposite side. I wondered if he would care to comment on this. Sincerely, Naomi Wood -- Naomi Wood     785.532-2175 Assoc. Professor of English  http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~naomiw/ Kansas State University   naomiw@ksu.edu


Dear Naomi Wood

Thank you very much for your question about my page layouts.
It's quite difficult to describe how I decide anything. Very often my decisions about page design just seem to hapen. I do have a habit of putting boxes round images, and it's something I try to get away from. (Not always very successfully).

For me, planning a picture book is like planning a film, and the structure of the book is a combination of close-ups and long-shots, and my feelings about these reflect the size of the picture. Of course, if there is a lot of text at any particular stage of the story, this would determine the size of the illustration.

If there is a perticular image that the story dictates has to be particularly powerful in order to convey the emotion of a scen, then this can be a reason to make the illustration big and stand on its own.

My work is a combination of instinct and (dare I say) intellect and often it is difficult to separate the two.

I hope this is of some help in answering your question,

Very best wishes,

Anthony Browne