Mine isn’t really a writing day, it is a drawing day and it varies according to the time of year. I can draw by artificial light, but I can’t colour or paint by it, so I always hope to finish a book before the clocks go back. In the summer it is wonderful, I can work until 9pm if I want to, but in the winter I try to get on with it in the morning. The summers are very carefree because I can go out for a walk during the day, knowing I can work the rest of the day.
I need to walk in order to think about work. I feel lucky to be alive at this time: I’ve had two cataract operations so my sight is fine and I’ve got a new hip so I can walk. I live in Barnes, west London, so I walk along the river or to the duck pond or into the village. At the moment, I walk after dark so as not to waste the light. I like it too: everything looks good in the dark. The other day I got to the end of a book, which I’d worked particularly hard on, I’d only had one day off in the last month, and though it’s always nice to finish something, this time I felt strangely triumphant. So I went out for a walk at about eight in the evening and suddenly there were fireworks going off all around me. I hadn’t realised it was Guy Fawkes night. All these fireworks were going off and the church bells started to ring. I thought: this is very kind, but it’s only a little picture book. It was such a happy thing.
Hours: on a good day, 10.30 till about 5
Drawings: I’ve discovered rather late in life never to stop when you think you’ve finished; always start on the next thing so there’s something to work on the following day
Refreshments: endless coffee. It’s nice that they’ve decided it’s good for you now. I also have a Martini Rosso on ice with lunch. It gives me energy to keep going in the afternoon – at least that’s what I tell myself
The Puffin blog spoke to Lauren O’Hara, illustrator of the beautifully-dark fairy tale Hortense and the Shadow, about her influences and illustrators that have inspired her work.
When I was very little, I spent hours reading a copy of the fairy tale The Snow Queen with my sister. It was illustrated by Errol le Cain, and the pictures looked so magical we half thought they actually might be. Maybe one day we’d fall into an illustration, and ride under the Northern Lights on a talking reindeer. I still get that tingly feeling when I see Errol Le Cain’s paintings – he’s enchanting.
Find out who the other 7 illustrators are > https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/articles/2017/oct/8-illustrators-i-love-by-lauren-o-hara/?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral
Leonard S. Marcus on four new picture books, in the New York Times
While some sea stories are mainly good for a pirate-y thrill, others take young readers a bit deeper. The vast scope and power of the high seas makes the world’s oceans a dramatic setting for stories for those just getting their sea-legs as thoughtful, feeling, capable humans. Four new picture books leave dry land behind to reflect on the rewards and perils of friendship, empathy, courage and more…
The 4 titles reviewed by Marcus are
- The Boy And The Whale by Mordical Garstein
- The Only Fish In The Sea by Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell
- The Antlered Sheep by Terry & Eric Fan
- Robinson by Peter Sis
Nicoletta Ceccoli is a pop surrealist painter/illustrator from the Republic of San Marino (a microstate within north-central Italy). Nicoletta has an animation degree from the State Institute of Art in Urbino and has illustrated over 30 children’s books since 1995. She does both commercial and personal work, and has exhibited her artwork all over the world. Among many other awards, she has received a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Andersen Prize, “honoring her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy.”Ceccoli’s work depicts a world of delicate, feminine girls alongside freaky creatures in strange situations.
Czech artist Karel Franta, the author of illustrations of books for children and winner of a number of international awards, died at the age of 89 on Wednesday.
Franta illustrated more than 100 books for children, mainly by Czech authors, and also the production of foreign, particularly German-language publishers.
VISA staff in Britain have “lost sight” of what immigration rules are intended to achieve, according to a senior Scottish MP, who has described the refusal of a visa for an acclaimed Iranian illustrator of children’s books as “a nonsense”.
Stuart McDonald, the SNP’s front-bench spokesperson on immigration, was speaking after the campaigning group Scottish PEN condemned the Home Office’s refusal to grant a visa to Ehsan Abdollahi to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The cover (by Chris Wormell, an award-winning British illustrator and print-maker, specialising in wood engraving and linocut techniques) of La Belle Sauvage, the first volume of Philip Pullman’s highly-anticipated The Book of Dust, has just been been revealed [today, Thursday 29th June 2017].
The image depicts the ‘massive flood’ at the centre of the new story and features the canoe, La Belle Sauvage, owned by Malcolm Polstead, the book’s hero. The cover also features another character, whose identity has not yet been revealed, and two dæmons.
Both the UK and US book jackets are designed by Wormell.
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One will be published simultaneously on 19th October 2017 by David Fickling Books in association with Penguin Random House Children’s in the UK, and Random House Children’s Books in the US.
Philip Pullman says: “I’ve admired Chris Wormell’s artwork for a long time, and when the chance of having him illustrate the covers of my new novel came along I leapt at it. I relish his sure strong line and the graphic power of his images, in whatever medium he’s working. It’s been a delight to see the work emerge and I’m thrilled with the result.”
Chris Wormell adds: “Twenty years ago, my twelve-year-old son recommended a book he’d just finished reading. It was called Northern Lights. I loved it. My whole family loved it, and the two further volumes of the trilogy that followed. One of the first things my younger daughter – then eight – saw on the stage was the National Theatre’s production of His Dark Materials. She was spellbound. She’s loved live theatre ever since.
“It’s been wonderful to work with an author my family has enjoyed so much. Indeed, my older daughter commented, “Wow, Dad! Isn’t that one of the coolest jobs you’ve ever done?”
Recently, Philip Pullman said of the title: “Who or what is La Belle Sauvage? She is a boat, a canoe to be precise, and her owner is a boy, Malcolm Polstead, the hero of this story whom we have seen in an earlier part of Lyra’s story. The canoe is important in this part of The Book of Dust, because some of the story is set during a massive flood.”
Chris Wormell illustrated the first extract from La Belle Sauvage, which appeared in the Guardian in May 2017, revealing a baby Lyra, Malcolm and his canoe and the return of Lord Asriel, Lyra’s father, and his dæmon Stelmaria.
Wormell is an award-winning British illustrator and print-maker, specialising in wood engraving and linocut techniques. He has written and illustrated his own children’s books and was responsible for the iconic cover of Helen Macdonald’s Costa Book Award-winning memoir, H is For Hawk.
Two decades after Northern Lights (1995) (The Golden Compass in the US) — the first book of Pullman’s world-famous His Dark Materials trilogy, which has sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages — La Belle Sauvage will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old. It is set 10 years before Northern Lights and centers on the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, daemons, and the Magisterium all return to play their part.
When its publication date was announced in February, Waterstones MD James Daunt commented in The Bookseller: “It will be another queues at midnight book.” About His Dark Materials,Daunt added: “[His Dark Materials] introduces people to reading and cements their love of books. People go back to them again and again. They are hugely important and seminal.”
David Fickling – Pullman’s long-term editor – commented: “There is a mystery here, an exciting mystery and I urge any reader to set out on the adventure. You will not be disappointed. The Book of Dust is magnificent.”
If you love Instagram as much as we do, then you’ll undoubtedly be following Jane Foster – an illustrator, author and textile designer living in Devon, known for her bright, retro and Scandinavian inspired children’s books, wall art, mugs and other products.
Full of charm and creativity, Jane’s Instagram feed paints an idyllic life by the sea; you often see her dressed in the brightest of colours, enjoying walks on the beach with her family. And her home matches her work, with bold hues dotted throughout, against an appealing white backdrop. She even has her own studio in the garden.
We spoke to Jane about her creative life, inspirations and how she manages to make her Devon-based business a success.
for the interview > http://www.creativeboom.com/features/jane-foster/
The best way to tackle serious issues, said Klassen, is with a solid visual premise. Words aren’t within the jurisdiction of very young children. Their territory lies with the pictures. The trick is to allow kids to suss out the reality of a given situation via the illustrations.
“It’s not just more information,” said Klassen of moments like one in “We Found a Hat” when one turtle says he is thinking of nothing while his eyes are fixed covetously on the hat he wants to steal. “It’s actually the true story.”
So why the hat? Because hats aren’t necessary, said Klassen. If a character wanted his money back or his food back or something consequential along those lines, then the thievery would be justified. A hat is superfluous but sentimental. In these books the hats don’t even really fit the animals who want them.
“That doesn’t matter, it’s beside the point,” said Klassen. “Kids’ books should have a visual premise to solve. At the end of these books somebody better be wearing a hat.”
A broad cross-section of writers, ilustrators and publishers address the issue of equal recognition for illustrators of picture books.
Just one example:
Should illustrators for picturebooks be recognised alongside authors? The fact that this is even still being debated is nonsensical to me. Of course they should. Or rather I should I say, WE should. Some authoritative bodies are better at recognising this oversight (for that is all it is) than others, and really, I do not see any viable defence for the contrary. I am in the fortunate position of having both authored and illustrated books, but also being a gun for hire – brought in to visually co-create a book. I know full well the importance of the role of art in this realm that is equally made up by words and pictures. No one can seriously argue that illustrators do not play just as an important (or dare I say, possibly, occasionally, even MORE important) role than authors of picturebooks. It is as ridiculous as saying that no one judges a book by their cover, when in reality, we all do it. All the time. The cover is the first thing that any parent or child gravitates to when they see a book from across the library or bookshop. They immediately have a relationship with how the art makes them feel. The illustrations in picturebooks are essentially a child’s first interaction with art. A human beings first interaction with their cultural world. To not properly recognise the importance of this is to condemn the art in picturebooks to merely packaging. I’m sure even authors will agree that this should not be the case.
for the rest: