Brightness Magazine

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Brightness Magazine | I n d e x


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I Was Lost In a Forest Books Without Words Where The Wild Things Are Sometimes With Myself Opening a window into the imagination

Short News

Editor In Chief

Graphic Design

Art Director

Hasmik (Narjes Mohammadi)

Sadegh Amiri

Hasmik (Narjes Mohammadi)

International Contributor


Sales & Marketing

Ali Ghafele Bashi

Yassin Mohammadi

Midpoint Studio

Cover & Back cover: Joanna Concejo Special Thanks to Mr.Keyvan Ghafele Bashi To

c a n c e l o r a s k q u e s t i o n s a b o u t y o u r s u b s c r i p t i o n , p l e a s e e m a i l u s at:


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Letter From The Editor| H a s m i k

I Hope For A Brighter Future

H a s m i k (Narjes Mohammadi) Independent Illustrator Editor In Chief


The fragrant smell of summer flowers was in the air. The kids were shouting and playing in the garden. The mother of the children had a serene smile on her face as she was preparing homemade barbeque for the whole family and some friends that were coming over, just like every other summer day. Suddenly, all the pristine beauty of the scene and the happiness that was in the air was shattered by the sound of explosions and gunfire. An expression of shock and worry smeared everyone’s face. Fields which were once covered in flowers, turned into cemeteries and resting places for the dismembered body parts of men, women, and children. Yet another war had started. Yet another day full of destruction had begun. I woke up screaming from another nightmare that I had had. Rising gingerly from my bed, I walked slowly to the mirror opposite my bed and asked myself: ‘What’s next?’ I stated seeing a bright future where people did not make fortunes selling weapons of destruction. In this future people would not become heroes based on the number of people they had killed or territories which they had conquered. Politicians would not be elected to wage wars half-across the world. I saw artists such as myself come together to wake people’s consciences and make them realize that war brings nothing other than destruction. Problems can be solved through peaceful negotiations. We are one people. We live on the same planet. All our children must have the right to clean drinking water, to sanitation, and to a life where they can dream big dreams. Regardless of where children are born, whether in Africa, Asia, Europe, or America, they must have a chance at a brighter future. As an artist, just like you, I am hoping for and dreaming of a brighter future. Let’s band together to cultivate flowers on devastated fields, to mend the broken hearts of heartbroken mothers, and to spread happiness where before there was just sorrow. Together we can create the awareness that instead of war, negotiations are the answer to problems. Let’s rid this world of war and bullets. Every life is precious and hence cannot be taken away under any pretense by anyone. Children have the right to life and prosperity. Men, women, and children have an unalienable right to happiness and a brighter future. Let’s spread the principles of sharing, loving, and caring. Let heroes be those who build hospitals, homes, and wells instead of those who take up arms and destroy. Let the examples of bravery and valor be doctors, nurses, and teachers, rather than soldiers and generals. Let our heroic politicians preach peace rather than war. My hero is my fellow artist who works hard to bring peace and a better tomorrow.

Artist : Narjes (Hasmik) Mohammadi | Womenkind Magazine |7

Exclusive Interview| Joanna (Asia) Concejo

I Was Lost In a Forest Joanna Concejo -Illustrator-

Joanna Concejo was born in 1971 in Slupsk in Poland. She graduated in 1998 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. Since 1994 she has lived in Paris, France. Joanna began working as an illustrator and artist in the late 1980s. In 2000 she was selected for the Salon de Jeune Création in France. And she was invited to the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Busan (South Korea) and the following year at the Salon d’Art Contemporain de Chelles (France) 2000. In 2004 her work was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition of Children’s Book Fair in Bologna and at the end of 2004 wins the price Calabria Incantata “Abracalabria” Altomonte (Italy). The following year her work was featured in the Biennial of Illustration “Ilustrarte” Barreiro (Portugal) in 2005, 2009 and 2013.



Exclusive Interview| Joanna (Asia) Concejo


hen I was asked what I do, I have a little trouble answering; simply because to say that I am an illustrator is not really right for me. To say that I am an artist, that does not suit me either. I think that I simply express certain things that inhabit me, that are important to me, that make me thrill, live. And I do it through the drawing. I just draw.

and worrying in it... The pencil retraces every hesitation, every trembling of the hand. In a pencil line the soul is bare. It is unprotected despite the mastery of technique. There is a tension and I like it. Between two missed lines there is this third, invisible, which is right. No need to draw it. It is there, all the more present as it is absent. It is the vibration between the other two lines...

It is the form that corresponds to me. That›s my language. A number of drawings, essays and erasures have been constructed - it is precisely the erasures that make me understand a lot of things, which allow me to move forward, to understand myself - through the hours spent approaching better what I want to express, the hours to draw the blades of grass of a meadow, long moments to think about everything and nothing, while my hand pursues a dream on the leaf, while it rains, that the wind blows or the sun shines, I feel good or bad.... This language is, moreover, constantly in motion; it is an incessant arrival, full of surprises and astonishments.

I like to draw on old papers that I pick up all the time. I have plenty of them at home. Papers that already have been used. Those have traces of time, tears, spots, folds. Those the light has made them yellow, or on the contrary - pale ... The papers that people have already taken in their hands, on which they have already written.

I choose the simplest materials, graphite pencil, crayons and a sheet of paper. I like to draw by pencil because there is something very intimate, sensitive, fragile,

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I like to inscribe myself in this continuity, in this journey through time, it inspires me, reassures me. When I draw, I feel like I›m just pulling out what›s already on the sheet, even if it›s not visible yet. It is as if the papers spoke to me, showing me what they hide. They are not merely the support, they welcome my drawings, they make way for them, and they illuminate them with an inner light, soft and mysterious; of nostalgia sometimes, a joy or regret, an anxiety. I like when drawings disturb, when they are insolent...

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Exclusive Interview| Joanna (Asia) Concejo

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Exclusive Interview| Joanna (Asia) Concejo

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Exclusive Interview| Joanna (Asia) Concejo

When I illustrated a book I always think of writing it in another way, with the images. I do not believe that illustration is at service for the text. It must never be. This is not interesting to me. What is interesting, is to create a dialogue between text and images so that both can through their encounter in the space of a book, tell something new, unexpected; Opening new paths, new possibilities for interpretation. Let this meeting surprise, disturb, worry, question. I think this is only possible when the text and images remain free and beautiful in their difference, when they differentiate lovingly. Like the two beings who take themselves by the hand to make end of way together. It is their encounter, their relationship that is beautiful. For me it is the same in a book. My biggest challenge so far has been the experience of drawing live, with a projection on screen, during a reading of a text, which I knew but I never illustrated. It was a huge risk taking for me because there was no preparation of tests before, everything was going to happen “to live” before an audience. But I was delighted to have experienced it because it happened a kind of magic of the meeting, to be there, all together, during the moment when the voice of the reader told the story (the Author of the text), and the drawings appeared in resonance of the text. What was beautiful was that no one knew what was going to happen, but all were living intensely this moment. Challenges… there have been more. To illustrate a text by Andersen was one. To face this rich, beautiful and very pictorial writing was difficult, for in my opinion it does not need any illustration. Yet I agreed to do it. I spent a lot of time before finding the way to add images, almost a year, but once the idea was found, I feasted to draw for this text. Thus, a little in the same spirit, illustrating “Little Red Riding Hood” was a real inner journey for me: A walk in the unfathomable forest of my unconscious, a return to childhood, but at the same time a possibility to propose my reading of the text. My version of the facts... I was very lucky

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Article | Books Without Words

Books Without words Anna Ridley Editor of LOOK / BOOK online magazine for children’s books Commissioning Editor for children’s books

Is a book still a book if it doesn’t have any words? In this article Anna Ridley takes a closer look at wordless picture books and discovers there’s more than one way to tell a story.

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Article | Books Without Words

The term ‘wordless picture book’ seems to suggest there’s something lacking in this purely visual form of literature. Which there is. But when pictures are left to do the talking it’s incredible to discover how much they have to say. Referring to Perry Nodelman’s Words About Pictures, this article looks at recently published picture books that rely predominantly on images to construct a narrative and considers what roles words and pictures each play in illustrated books for children.

By comparing a book of singularly conceived artworks that have been bound together in a book with a wordless picture book, it becomes evident that to construct a narrative whose meaning is clear, its images need to function as a connected sequence. The most explicit use of sequenced images is seen in comic books and graphic novels where multiple frames show the step-by-step development of the story. Jim Curious by Matthias Picard, like Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman 35 years before it and more recently, Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, is a wordless picture book that uses this convention to great effect. However, Picard pushes readers one step further by removing some of his frames altogether so that when Jim is shown doing an underwater roly-poly readers must draw on their knowledge of this convention to understand Jim is shown in four stages of motion, rather than as four separate entities. Picard also uses consecutive frames for dramatic effect: three horizontal frames are used to slowly ‘zoom out’ on a scene of Jim swimming along a wrinkled rock face, revealing that Jim is in fact eye to eye with a large whale. Picard’s use of multiple images on a single page to communicate action, as well as atmosphere and emotion, contributes to a full and complex understanding of the nature of Jim’s silent journey.

Singular, full bleed images can also function as an action sequence when one page directly relates to the next. For this to work, each image needs to explicitly direct the reader’s attention forward in the story. A classic example is the acutely unbalanced compositions in Iela and Enzo Mari’s 1969 The Apple and the Butterfly that project the reader’s eyes off the page in a way that, as a stand alone piece of art, would lose our attention altogether. Using a highly graphic style of illustration, the Maris incrementally change one element of a picture at a time to trace the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. They use their compositions not only to construct a narrative, but to conceptually support the circular nature of the story, leading the reader to the end of the book, around the back cover, onto the front and back into the book to experience yet another life cycle of a butterfly. | 20

In exploring the different ways words and pictures communicate meaning, Nodelman points out that ‘pictures tend to be diffuse, words explicit’. The advent of the modern picture book saw an unprecedented integration of words and pictures where the two became interdependent. Nodelman argues that for wordless picture books to be successful, they demand a previous knowledge of how stories operate and that to be able to build a narrative from images, readers need guidance on what it is they are looking for. This process of taking meaning from an image involves ‘imposing language upon it’, says Nodelman. When Salvatore Rubbino describes developing the book he made at art college A Walk in New York, into a picture book for children he refers to the words he added as being necessary to ‘anchor the pictures’. In Image Music Text, Barthes employs a similar term, ‘anchorage’, in relation to photographs, explaining the need to constrain the meaning we take from an image. Although text may not be a feature of wordless picture books, they nonetheless rely on textual elements or the reader’s translation of image into word for the experience to be more than purely aesthetic. More recently, Sunkyung Cho’s exquisitely produced The Blue Bird uses composition both directionally and metaphorically to draw parallels and distinctions between a pig and a bird whose lives have become intertwined. The pig saves (or perhaps steals) the bird when it is still in its shell by taking it out of its natural habitat and integrating the bird into its own life. The rounded shapes of the pig’s spotted back and the bird’s spotted shell are the only apparent similarities they share. The composition of the illustrations indicate the imbalance in their relationship but without words, neither character’s voice is able to dominate and readers must contemplate the story from both perspectives. Judging by the compositions, the pig’s way of life on the ground limits the bird’s potential but equally, the bird’s desire towards flight is in opposition to the pig’s true nature. Purposefully open to interpretation, but ‘anchored’ enough in its visual narrative to persuade most readers towards some conclusion, The Blue Bird is a beautiful reflection on the complexities and ambiguities of a life shared with others. Laëtitia Devernay’s The Conductor draws parallels between the structure of Western storytelling and that of Western classical music. A conductor plucks his baton from the forest and all is visually quiet as he poises his arms for movement. What follows is an incredibly evocative sequence of illustrations that use flocks of leaf-birds to convey the swelling sounds and emotional heights of what in my mind was a Beethoven symphony. The absence of words, helped by its minimal colours, is essential to the success of this book since it is in these gaps that the amorphous character of music is conjured up. First published in French as Diapason, the English title focuses our attention on the influence this central character will have on events, leaving room for the pleasant surprise that is the music drawn from our own memories. | 21

Article | Books Without Words

Madalena Matoso cut the pages of her book Et Pourquoi Pas Toi? in half to allow the reader more control in determining the meaning of her wordless illustrations. The ambiguity of her simplified, graphic illustrations lets us view the people pictured as types, while highly readable symbols around them such as laptop computers, laboratory equipment and crockery serve as indicators of the activities they are engaged in. Details such earrings, bandanas, and distinctive hairstyles add hints of personality so that if they were so inclined, readers might use the lower half of the book to develop a narrative around that individual. By relinquishing control over how each image is read, Matoso succinctly conveys the idea that we can become whoever we choose.

The title of Ronan Badel’s The Lazy Friend is even more significant since without its constraint, the meaning of the images could easily be misread. A sleeping sloth hangs contentedly from a branch in a rainforest. When foresters fell his tree, the sloth remains undisturbed and smiling. Thanks to the title, we know that the sloth is lazy, rather than dead, and that when the snake follows the sloth to what seems to be his demise, the snake plays the role of hapless hero rather than hostage taker – a comic reading that is assisted by the illustrations’ cartoon-like style. Badel uses the skinny landscape format of the book to narrow our vision on the story’s horizontal action and to heighten our sensitivity to the symbolic meaning implicit in the direction of the action. As the forester’s truck carries the sloth’s tree from right to left, left-to-right language readers will understand the sloth is being taken away from his home in the rainforest and away from the resolution of the story. When the direction abruptly changes just as the sloth’s tree, which has fallen into a river, starts heading towards a waterfall, impending doom is countered by the reassurance that at least the sloth is heading towards ‘home’. Also landscape in format, but with its spine down the longest edge of the book, is Suzy Lee’s Shadow which uses the gutter between pages to draw the line between reality and imagination. On the upper pages of the book, a little girl is pictured in sober charcoal in the secret confines of her family garage. She delights in affecting the shadows cast on the lower pages of the book by the bare light bulb above her. With the spine of the book acting like a mirror line, we start to see the black silhouettes of cardboard boxes take on suggestions of tropical foliage, while the vacuum cleaner adopts the role of baby elephant. The little girl lets her imagination run wild, and while she gets carried away she fails to notice the silhouette of a terrifying little wolf slip across the gutter, into reality. The diffuse nature of images make for the perfect medium here for expressing the fluid nature of imagination, while the interruption of the words ‘DINNER’s READY!’ on one of the final pages is a fantastic illustration of the way in which words throw things into sharp relief. At the end, when Lee uses a double page spread of black pages, they bear specific meaning where in another book they might have stood for nothing. | 22

Bernardo Carvalho’s dual-titled, wordless picture book Follow the Firefly! and Run, Rabbit, Run! uses its titles as well as clear visual cues to focus our attention on certain meaningful actions over and above other activity occurring within the same illustration. A light bulb-shaped firefly begins the book by asking, “Excuse me, have you seen a flashing light?” to which various animals, birds and humans respond with a simple pointing action. The firefly’s journey picks up speed as he travels from jungle to city and ends with an exaggerated exclamation as the firefly halts in front of the flashing light of his dreams: a traffic light. Over the page, the second title page shouts “Run, rabbit, run!” as we see a white rabbit escaping from a wire cage on the back of a truck. The cheeky-looking rabbit bounces back through the book, with a sharp-toothed dog in hot pursuit and despite having travelled through these images before, our eyes become glued to his story. Just when it seems the rabbit is done for, an imposing gorilla visually blocks his hunter’s way and the story takes an unexpectedly tender twist.

Nodelman suggests that without such accompanying words as the title or the caption, ‘the visual impact of pictures as sources of sensuous pleasure is more significant than any specific narrative information they might contain … if [no narrative] is actually provided, we tend to find one in our memories.’ More than any of the books discussed, the wordless picture books of Emily Rand, In the Garden and her forthcoming Under the Sea, impose the least amount of narrative constraint on its images. Produced in limited risograph-printed runs by Hato Press, In the Garden has no words printed on it except for the copyright line at the bottom of the back page. Behind the first hedge-like page, a single red feather floats enigmatically towards the ground. Behind the second, another. Topiary hedges are suggestive of a large bunny in profile and a smiling snowman. It is the format of the book, whose pages are cut to match the profile of the illustrated trees and plants, that Rand uses to entice readers to explore further and experience the aesthetic pleasure of the book as an object. Without strictly determining the meaning her readers will take from the book, Rand makes it essential for uninitiated readers of pictures to be accompanied in the reading process, acknowledging that the sharing of books is a key ingredient in what makes them sources of learning and pleasure. Carvalho’s book is hugely entertaining but most significantly, it suggests an appropriate level of distrust for young readers to hold against the apparent fidelity of an image. As Berger articulates in Ways of Seeing, the Renaissance artist employing the convention of perspective supposed that a singular vision of the world was brought into focus in the eye of the beholder, whereas the advent of the camera suddenly revealed that multiple views are available to our eyes and it is up to the individual to actively and critically narrow in on the information presented. Carvalho uses both titles of the book to bring into focus the events he wishes to highlight, and by including both narratives, suggests that there might be many more to be found if we look more closely. | 23

Exclusive Interview | Ofra Amit

Where The Wild Things Are



Ofra Amit is an illustrator whose main work is illustrating books – from picture books to poetry books and short stories. She teaches illustration in Wizo Design Academy and also gives lectures about her work in various places. Since 2004 and throughout her years of work, she had received awards, participated in exhibitions worldwide, and published in international publications.


My main work includes illustrating books, from picture books to poetry books and short stories. I explore the symbiotic relations of text and image: The visual narrative which goes side by side with the textual narrative to compose a new creation. I naturally relate to the more universal, psychological theme, that is, I focus on the inner world, the subjective point of view, its feelings and atmosphere, to create a world which is not related to a specific place, culture or time. I use acrylic paints on paper or board, sometimes combined with collage, which allows me to add layers of meanings to the image and by that to give the observer the option to reveal those meanings.

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Exclusive Interview | Ofra Amit

Tell us about you and when did you decide to be an illustrator? Since I was a child it was clear to me that I was going to do something related to the visual arts. I wanted to be a painter, I didn’t know there was such thing called “an illustrator”. I loved drawing new shapes of letters, not knowing this is actually what we call “typography”. I was also interested in Geometry and how things are shaped in three dimensional space, so being a 3D designer was one of my dreams too. So I went through a lot before I found myself as an illustrator. I studied architecture but quit after one year, in favor of Visual Arts studies, with the emphasis on Graphic Design. After graduation I work as an animator of computer games, until one day a friend showed me Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”. I haven’t seen it for years and so I could look at it from a new perspective. I could see the powerful role of illustration in a story. This was one of the triggers that made me decide I want to be an illustrator. Where does an idea come from and how does it transform from an idea into a book? I think there is more than one answer to the question of where ideas come from. We are only partially conscious to our sources of inspiration. But to get closer to the place of where ideas come from, when I read a story or a scene in a story, I ask myself what it’s about, what its essence is, what the subtext is, and try to sum it up in one word or one phrase, usually a word or a phrase that describes feelings or an atmosphere, like “loneliness”, “happiness”, “longing”, “sadness”, “fear”, etc. This “key word” would be the heart of the visual work to be created. This leaves a lot of room for ideas and symbolic language, as long as I stay close to that “Key word”. How do you decide what to include and what not to include in the book? What not to include is very often more important than what to include. If the illustration describes the text literally, then there is no tension between text and image. If you show less, or if you show something else, you let the reader/observer fill the gap between the two medias and put them together by himself/herself, according to his/her own emotional and cultural world. In this way, I believe, the experience of reading a picture book is deeper.

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Exclusive Interview | Ofra Amit

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What are some of the techniques or processes that you used in creating the artwork for the book? I usually start with finding out how the main character would look like, who she/he is. I do a lot of pencil sketch work to get to the point when I know this is it. When I have a character I can identify with in one level or another, I feel more comfortable to go through the scenes of the book and add more elements. I try not to make high-end sketches but keep it pretty rough, because very fine sketches can make you too committed to it and less free to spontaneous changes. The illustrations in your books are wonderfully vivid. Can you tell me a bit about your technique and the materials you use? I use acrylic paint because I like working with layers. It gives the option to paint over things you don’t like or just add brush strokes and still expose what’s underneath. Sometimes I also use collage, with materials and textures which are symbolically relevant to the story, to the specific scene the illustration refers to. Lately I have been using color pencils (in my latest book “So-So, Go-Go and Sunny” by Dafna Ben-Zvi) instead of acrylic paint and collage. There is something less “heavy” with color pencils and I wanted to try it. However, I realized it was not easier with color pencils to find the balance between spontaneity and the sense of control. As for the color palette, it is always hard to know why you choose one color or another. I guess it’s because choices of colors are the most intuitive - that kind of choices which don’t go through reason. I do love orange-red color, so there is a fair chance it will be dominant in my work. I used to think there are some colors I will never use (like purple, for instance) but we all know that there is no color palette that couldn’t work for us, it’s just the relations and balance between the colors that make it work in harmony. Who are some of the artists who have influenced your work? The list is very long, so I will only name a few: Isabelle Arsenault, Joanna Concejo, Beatrice Alemgna, Gérard Dubois, Pablo Auladell, Maira Kalman, Yuko Shimizu, Olaf Hajek and many many more... What is your best piece of advice for young artists who are getting started as creators of children`s books? Never think of the children that are about to read your book, have in mind only the one child you have been once.

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Exclusive Interview | Ofra Amit

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Exclusive Interview | Ofra Amit

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Gallery Without Border | Lost Frame

Sometimes With Myself Curation by :


(Narjes Mohammadi)

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Gallery Without Border | Lost Frame

How can we judge art? Is there any special standard to assess a painting? Based on art history, a great deal of the best paintings were denied or rejected by critics, not based on an aesthetic judgment but according to their personal opinion. Consequently these masterpieces have been kept in artists’ studios and have not been shown to public for many years that is if they have not been destroyed by their creators. However, under other circumstances, these artworks could attract positive opinions and admirations somewhere else. So how much criticism should an artist accept from art directors or gallery managements? Is their judgment based on aestheticism or just a personal opinion? In this situation, a gallery as an active association which is connected to people directly has the opportunity to show the same artworks and get more positive or negative views. As a result, it could help artists to progress and grow. This exhibition is not just about the primary experiences of the artist or some unfinished works ( not that those works are worthless) in fact it presents works that has been rejected for various reasons but are still important and valuable to the artists or the art community. Furthermore, the author believes these artworks are alive in their heart and never will be forgotten by those who appreciate their exceptional nature.

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tions: This is the collection of arts based on the two ques

This exhibition is not just about the primary experiences of the artist or some unfinished works

Artist: Hasmik (Narjes Mohammadi)

Artist: Amir Tabatabaei

Artist: Samaneh Salavati

Artist: Niloufar Keyhani

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Gallery Without Border | Lost Frame

Artist: Maryam Tabatabaei

Artist: Atiyeh Zeighami

Some With M Artist: Marcos Viso | 38

Artist: Alessandra Vitelli

Artist: Atena Shams

etimes Myself Artist: Mahshid Raghemi | 39

Gallery Without Border | Lost Frame

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Artist: Daria Peterli

Artist: Mohammad Matak

Artist: Mahsa TalePasand

Artist: Maryam Jahani

Artist: Reza Mirshojaei | 41

Gallery Without Border | Lost Frame

Artist: Maya Hanish Artist: Manijeh Hejazi

Artist: Marta Cavincchioni | 42

Artist: Elisa Muliere | 43

Gallery Without Border | Lost Frame

Artist: Hamideh Mohebi

Artist: Rahele Barkhordari

Artist: Sahar Azadmehr

Artist: Mahmoud Azadnia | 44

Artist: Iratex De Munain Lopez

Artist: Mohammad Barrangi

Artist: Ghazal Fathollahi

Artist: Nader Sharaf | 45

Exclusive Interview | Marcos Viso


a window into the imagination

Marcos Viso was born in Ourense, in 1973. He has a degree in Architectural Technology from the University of A Coruña, and he worked as a freelancer until 2013, when he decided to devote entirely to his passion: the illustration. He has an NVQ in Higher Technical Illustration from the Art School of Ourense, and he also attended the “A to Z Workshop: Creation of an Illustrated Album”, which was carried out by Jorge Zentner, Mariona Cabassa and Rebeca Luciani in Barcelona. He currently lives in Ourense, where he carries out some personal projects related to illustrated album, and he also teaches drawing and illustration.

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Exclusive Interview | Marcos Viso

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When did you start to dedicate to the world of illustration? When we were informed about the economic crisis, I enrolled myself in the Higher Technical Illustration Course. In the Art School of Ourense, I’ve discovered an unknown world for me so far. It was wonderful! One year after, in 2013, when I became a father of a beautiful girl whose name is Iria, I was given the final boost. The desire to be the best father required some changes. I took my pencil, I packed my bags, and I went to Barcelona to participate in a workshop with Rebecca Luciani, Jorge Zentner and Mariona Cabassa. Since then, and enjoying myself, I’ve tried to gain a foothold in the world of illustration.

How do you define your illustrations? I love those stories that I can tell through metaphors, where I can play with atmospheres, empathize with characters, and convey emotions. I like to think that the illustrations can provoke curiosity at any age. They can encourage children –and also grownups– to travel to the other side of the text. And they can also create other possibilities than those that can be just read or seen in an illustrated story. Opening a window into the imagination and suggesting other options... I want the illustration to be a reason for reflection, for imagination. I think this idea of «spark» is pretty gorgeous.

What can you tell me about your publications or books? I use the empathy in order to connect with the story and readers. Working with emotions is something that I find crucial when writing or illustrating a story. I have accomplished two kinds of projects: on one hand, jobs carried out by a publisher that have a writer, and on the other hand, personal projects where I am the writer and the illustrator. I enjoy more the second ones, of course! In 2015, I had the opportunity to illustrate Todos os soños (All Dreams). It is a children’s novel written by Xavier Estévez and published by Editorial Tambre.

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Exclusive Interview | Marcos Viso

A few months later, I illustrated Unha casiña branca (A Little White House). It was written by Marcos Calveiro and published by Edicións Xerais de Galicia. At almost the same time and after meeting the writer María Canosa, we created an illustrated album: Parar o Mundo (Stop the World) published by Editorial Trifolium by the end of 2015. In January 2016, Vaite xa! (Go Now!), my first illustrated album was published. It is about a bear that has to leave its home, so it can look for a better future. This album was developed during summer 2013 after my daughter was born. This was my first attempt to get into the illustration world. Funnily, it was published by Edicións Xerais de Galicia in 2016.

What are the latest? Last October, I had the opportunity to illustrate Todo o tempo do mundo (All the Time in the World), a story written by David Pérez Iglesias, which was awarded with the Premio Merlín de Literatura Infantil 2016 (Merlín Children’s Literature Prize 2016). It was published by Edicións Xerais de Galicia. Moreover, I used a more «pictorial» technique for this novel. I used an ink-based with gesso mixed media.Currently, I have just finished a new illustrated album. It is a personal project I was willing to accomplish. I have used the most typical narrative sequence from comics mixed with the conception of the album, which uses double page illustrations for example. I’ve worked with enthusiasm and I hope to see it published. I prefer not to say much more yet.

With what technique are you more comfortable? Currently, with mixed media. I draw with a pencil (graphite) and I apply textures and colours digitally. I have to confess that I do not draw too much. I mean, I do not do many sketches or details of major studies in notebooks such as the «Moleskine» ones. I «observe» rather than drawing. I invest a lot of time thinking, to empathize with the character, so as to capture emotions or to generate a feeling that could be transferred to the paper. Sometimes, the inspiration comes from a more or less complex picture in my head, a word, an emotion, a sound, a smell… From there… I apply the technique.

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Exclusive Interview | Marcos Viso

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How is children’s publishing industry in your country? As far as I’m concerned, I think it is too early to draw conclusions about the situation of the industry in my country, but I feel it is volatile. It seems to be on the verge of bankruptcy, and it is actually in crisis.

Is it very different from what is done in your country from other countries? As in the previous question, it is difficult for me to answer this one. I think the only differences are those purely cultural.

What are your influences international illustrators? I think Edward Hopper’s work is pure poetry.

Who are some of the other artists you take inspiration from? Shaun Tan, Rebeca Luciani, Ana Bustelo, Joanna Concejo, Sonja Danowski… The list is endless!

What is your best piece of advice for young artists who are getting started as creators of children’s books? Don’t stay still and keep moving, show your work to publishers and agencies, face to face, by e-mail, through social networks... It doesn’t matter how. The clue is that your work reaches the table of the right person. One day, you’ll get your first professional order. And when it comes, do not think that you got something important. It is only the first step. There are no goals. It is only a way... It is all about perseverance. Interviewin Galician language:

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Short News | Jan - 2017

Short Short News News The AOI Illustration Awards tour exhibition. The AOI Illustration Awards exhibition have been hosted annually since 2012 by Somerset House, a major arts and cultural center in the heart of London, whose year-round program of large scale contemporary exhibitions and events attracts over 2 million visitors. The AOI›s World Illustration Awards 2016, in partnership with Directory of Illustration, followed this tradition and displayed in the Embankment East Glleries at Somerset House. And Winners from the World Illustration Awards 2016 were exhibited at Somerset House in London. The exhibition is now on tour until July 2017. The World Illustration Awards Exhibition presents highlights from the year’s shortlist of contemporary illustration, entered by emerging and established talent from around the globe to the annual competition. The Shortlist includes illustration from across the world, recognizing the exceptional work produced by illustrators internationally and promoting illustration as an essential contributor to global visual culture. The exhibition will thus feature a unique range of work from the UK to USA, and South Korea to France, covering a wide breadth of practice, including books, design and editorial, to reflect the diverse disciplines within the industry.

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The 3rd Nami Concours is Back!

NAMI CONCOURS 2017 was launched at 1pm on April 6th at Author’s Cafe, Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. Authors’ café is one of the main programmes of the fair that many organization wish to be featured. Fred Minn, Director of Nami Concours Organizing Committee presented changes in conditions and time frame to illustrators and professionals who attended the session. In accordance with its fundamental goal to provide up and coming illustrators with extended opportunity to be featured on the global level, Nami Concours 2017 extends the number of invitees to the Award Ceremony that will be held in Korea. Unlike the previous edition that invited only Grand Prix winner and 2 Golden Island winners, Nami Concours 2017 will send the invitation to 5 Green Island winners too with all travel expenses provided. International illustrators and experts on children’s’ literatures announced a few changes on the conditions of the 3rd Nami Concours comparing to the previous concours. Grand Prix winner, Golden Island winners, and Green Island winners are invited to the opening ceremony of Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival in 2017 with accommodation and travel expenses provided. The number of winner for Green Island has been increased from 3 winners to 5 winners. The judging process and criteria of the 2nd Nami Concours were presented by Roger Mello(President of the 2015 Biennial of Illustration Bratislava Jury and the 3rd Nami Concours Juror), Anastasia Arkhipova, and Yusof Ismail. Marcelo Pimentel (Grand Prix winner of the 2nd Nami Concours) and Sonja Danowski, Torben Kuhlmann (Golden Island winners) and Anna Morgunova (Purple Island winner) took part in the session and shared their experience through Nami Concours.

Unpublished illustration of Quentin Blake The BFG in Pictures is an exhibition of original Quentin Blake illustrations, prepared for Roald Dahl’s classic story The BFG. The exhibition, curated by Quentin Blake, contains 40 original artworks, including unpublished illustrations of The BFG which have never been exhibited in public before. The illustrations were included in first designs but were not used when the book was published for the first time in 1982. They provide a unique insight into the character development of one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature. These unpublished illustrations are exhibited alongside the final illustrations for the book, providing a fascinating insight into the collaboration between author and illustrator, and a glimpse of a BFG that might have been ...

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Short News | Jan - 2017

The Book Illustration Competition 2017 is now open! The Book Illustration Competition is a unique partnership between House of Illustration and The Folio Society that seeks to identify and promote new talent in illustration. The competition is open to illustrators over the age of 18, both student and professional, who have not been previously published by The Folio Society. This year we are asking entrants to submit three illustrations and a binding design for Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. The winner will receive a highly sought-after commission, worth ÂŁ5,000, to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which will be published by The Folio Society in 2017. Five runners up will each receive ÂŁ500 cash. Three of the six prizes are awarded to student entries. The Book Illustration Competition was launched in 2011 and has received thousands of entries from over 44 countries. For more information on past competition winners go to the Previous Winners website.

World Illustration Awards 2017: Call for Entries The 2017 World Illustration Awards is now open for submissions. The Awards program is open to all illustrators working in any medium, context or geographical location. Work must be entered as either a New Talent entry or a Professional entry. Work entered into the World Illustration Awards will be reviewed by a jury of distinguished and international industry professionals. The competition shortlist reflects exceptional work by illustrators currently making an outstanding contribution to visual culture. The deadline for entries is February 6, 2017.

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Illustrators 59: Uncommissioned, Institutional, Advertising The premier showcase for illustrators, the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition features over 400 pieces of the most outstanding works created throughout each year. Open to artists worldwide, thousands of entries are considered by a jury of professionals, which include renowned illustrators, art directors and designers. Gold and silver medals are presented to the illustrators and art directors whose works are judged the best in each category. In the first part of this two-part exhibit, works featured in the Uncommissioned, Institutional, and Advertising categories are on display. Uncommissioned pieces include all self-generated work such as portfolio samples. Gold medals go toLorenzo Gritti for Portraits, Nancy Liang for Old Spaces, and Wendy Cong Zhao for Pangs. Silver medals go to Thomas Colligan for Small Notes, Tim O’Brien for Jack Johnson, and Daniel Zender for Hyakki Yagyo. Institutional represents work commissioned by an institution such as government services, in-house, or a corporation. Examples include greeting cards, newsletters, philatelic work and collectibles. Gold medals go to Mighty Casey: The Vincible Hero of Mudville by Kadir Nelson (The National Pastime Museum), and Adult Swim Food Chain Pyramid Repeating Pattern by Joseph Veazey (Adult Swim), and The Junction - Chilly Gonzales & Peaches | Red Bull Music Academy by Patrick Doyon (Red Bull Music Academy, AD: Jeff Hamada). Silver medals go to MVX by Pieter Van Eenoge, From The Window by George Wylesol (Vinyl Moon,

AD: Brandon Bogajewicz), and 117 Adams by Jing Wei (Etsy, Inc., AD: Drew Freeman, Jenny Kutnow, Julia Hoffman). Artwork in the Advertising category are works created to sell a product, such as consumer ads, billboards, theater posters, and point-of-purchase. Gold medals go to Platform by Jillian Tamaki (MTA Arts & Design, AD: Amy Hausmann), Felt + Fat by Armando Veve (Felt + Fat, AD: Joel Evey and Nathaniel Mell), and Don’t Be a Settler by Marc Burckhardt (DirecTV, AD: Doug Fallon). Silver medals go to Frat Star (cover) by Edward Kinsella (Frat Star Movie LLC, AD: Grant Johnson), Vans: All Weather by Julian Glander (Vans, AD: Margaux Olverd, Tumblr Creatrs), and Lukullus Pâtisserie by Ola Niepsuj (Lukullus).

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Interview | Ofra Amit

We Hope For A Brighter Future | 58

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