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M

y interest in art and in particular illustration started when I was a little girl, growing up in Macedonia, Eastern Europe. My love of fairytales and folk tales developed from the many storytelling sessions I had with my grandmother. Imagining and making those worlds come alive on paper was one of my favorite past times. Those early memories have inspired me today to focus on creating illustrations for children’s books. During my travels home and abroad I often collect inspiration from elaborate Mediterranean architecture, floral gardens, nautical, art deco and art nouveau elements which often find their way into my illustrations. I enjoy mixing the old with the new as I use ink and graphite techniques with digital means of color application. I believe words can become even more powerful when they become one with the images, so I often add richly flourished, handdrawn lettering to my illustrations. The most exciting part about working on illustrations for children’s books is letting my imagination and my love for all things beautiful give rise to new worlds on the piece of paper.


When the little mermaid turned fifteen she was allowed to raise from the depths of the ocean and explore the world above. What she didn’t know is that her destiny will be changed forever by that trip to the surface. This illustration represents that moment when she is awe-struck yet aprehensive about approaching the brightly lit ship.


The misty setting at dawn for this scene, when the prince meets the little mermaid, was meant to symbolize a fresh start for both. The mermaid’s eyes say it all - she is amazed and fearful at the same time about their meeting. The architectural elements are inspired by Italian coastal villas.


The extreme angles used in these two spreads are meant to parallel the overly-dramatical undertone of the story of a princess that was too sensitive to sleep on a tiny pea under her mattresses.


These featured illustrations were created for the Russian tale of “Vasilisa the Beautiful.� They combine various elements such as art nouveau, Eastern European folk decor and Russian Palekh lacquer art, an illustrative style based on a long history of icon painting that usually depicts characters from real life, literary works and fairy tales.


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© COPYRIGHT BILJANA KROLL 2013


Children's Book Illustration Portfolio