>> Thursday, May 25, 2006
I've been busy lately with illustration - too busy to post much! I was doing so much knitting I got a little bit behind with my work. Right now I'm working on the illustrations for the fairytale Puss in Boots along with a few other projects. The picture above is a detail from the illustration where Puss presents a rabbit to the king on behalf of his master, who is actually the poor miller's son. After this I'll be working on Cinderella.
Illustrating fairytales was what I hoped I could do someday if I ever became a children's illustrator. But so far there's been a lot more work for me in educational books, illustrating everyday life fairly realistically. Trade books are often more imaginative, and the style can be a little bit more expressive. The current books I'm working on are quite simple and quick projects but for longer-term trade book projects the style can be more elaborate and/or more stylized and can become really beautiful art. One of my favourite contemporary picture book artists is from Japan, his name is Arai Ryoji and I discovered him because one of his picture books won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial award.
Bradley found several Arai Ryoji picture books for me on the Japanese Amazon site. On a bus last night we heard a little girl explain to her father that several means 20. But in this case I should clarify that it means ten. If you google him you will find samples and I recommend it because he is just really really brilliant! Every time I look at his artwork I'm inspired.