Brightness No 21- Digital Journal of Illustration

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Index

EARTH ELEMENT | 20 Author: Gloria Ruiz Blanco | Illustrator: Ana Salguero

MEDITERRANEAN WOMAN STORY | 26 Exclusive Interview with SONIA ALINS

AROUND THE WORLD | 34

RETURN TO TRADITIONAL PEN AND INK | 38 Exclusive Interview with KIEREN PHELPS

SCRAPBOOK | 46

with JASON CHUANG

EVERY CHILD IS AN ARTIST | 50 Exclusive Interview with GUILHERME KARSTEN

SCRAPBOOK | 60

with HAO GU

THE PAPER VOICE | 64 Exclusive Interview with ILARIA ZANELLATO

BRIGHTNESS GALLERY | 72 #CHRISTMAS

In This Issue of

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htness 10

A POSITIVE VIBE Mark Janssen

Art Director & Editor In Chief

Creative Director & Graphic Designer

Web Design

Hasmik (Narjes Mohammadi)

Sadegh Amiri

STUDIO BRIGHTNESS

International Contributors

Translator

Sales & Marketing

Concha Pasamar | Ana Rodriguez Ali Ghafele Bashi | Jen Yoon | María Wright

Darya Ghafele Bashi

cover :I llustration by

Special Thanks To

to

Brightness Studio info@brightnessmag.com

M ark J anssen

Mr.Keyvan Ghafele Bashi

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: sub@brightnessmag.com

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ABOUT US

PLEASE VISIT OUR WESITE: WWW.BRIGHTNESSMAG.COM EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS . EXHIBITION NEWS . ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

ABOUT BRIGHTNESS Brightness magazine was founded by Narjes Mohammadi (Hasmik) and Sadegh Amiri in 2016 as a digital magazine to present exclusive interviews with experienced illustrators, whose wisdom and knowledge are treasure troves for young artists. We aim to promote the current works of popular as well as up and coming artists, so that people can be inspired by the beauty and effectiveness of illustration in expressing powerful ideas. For those who want to dive deeper into the wonderful world of illustration we present articles that give valuable insights into the creative minds of the world. We hope you enjoy reading our publications as much as we enjoy publishing them.

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We want to change the world with art and love...

BRIGHTNESS FOUNDERS

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Are you interested in submitting to Brightness? If you’d like the chance of being published in one of issue, get in touch via this page. Please note that we receive many submissions each day and have limited space in each publication. So please show us the work you’re most proud of or the work you especially enjoy creating.

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EMAIL ADDRESS: sub@Brightnessmag.com |9


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Mark Janssen

A POSITIVE

VIBE E XC LUSI V E I N T E RV I E W W I T H M A R K JA N S SE N

A personal and artistic interview in the form of an experiential journey through the vision of the world and the concept of illustrated art with Mark Janssen. From beginning when he studied at the Art Academy in Maastricht (Netherlands). After graduating in 1997 he established himself as a full-time illustrator in Valkenburg a/d Geul, where he has a homestudio.

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Exclusive Interview

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Mark Janssen

MARK JANSSEN

Picture book writer and Illustrator

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Exclusive Interview 1. How did your need to experiment in illustration develop? That is a long story; when I started my career as a fulltime freelance illustrator after my graduation from the Art Academy in Maastricht (the Netherlands), I tried to do well paid illustration projects as much as possible. So one day I would work for a newspaper, while the other day I worked on an educational project for school books for children. Children’s books and magazines followed. I really did a lot of work in a year and it went on and on for more than 15 years. I was happy when other people were happy with the illustrations I made, but I started to get frustrated. When I was in art academy I wanted to make Art, I wanted to make beautiful picture books. But I had not reached one of the two and the only one to blame was me. In 2015, 18 years later, I decided to do something really crazy; I drew a big red cross on my agenda for 6 months; time I would spend on creating my own picture book! And I did! The title is Nothing happened; about two children who had the most boring day ever, but in their imagination, they had the best day ever. It became a success with twelve translations into foreign languages and still counting. I had done a lot of digital drawings before, but for this project, I wanted to use my analogue skills again; like painting in watercolour on paper. I felt it was a necessity to give it my personal energy and vibe. which I lost in digital drawing. My need to experiment lays in the need to communicate to the reader in the best possible way. Sometimes you feel you have to change bit by bit. It is not possible to change within one picture book, but I like to make little changes from time to time between different picture books. Just to stay happy in inventing new things! 2. You talked a lot about your inspiration sources on your social media. Who or What is your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration is trying to tell stories about the beauty of our world, about the beauty of imagination or about things like love, friendship, loss, happiness and comfort. These are some of the big archetypes in the world to which every person feels connected. So I try to do my best to bring a little bit more beauty in our world. Why? Because I feel happy when I am working on projects that have a positive vibe. For sure I know that people, children, but also everybody else will feel connected and will have, for that moment when reading my book, a short moment of happiness! Maybe just enough to be kind to the next person they meet‌. 3. Tell us about the favorite project you’ve recently completed. I want to mention Always Nearby, a picture book I wrote and drew in pencil drawings. No color, only black and white and all the greys in between. The inspiration for this project was found in my two visits to Nepal where I did some charity work and also promoted two translated picture books of mine in the Nepali language. The story is about a Nepali boy Babu who has lost his grandmother and feels really sad about it. In my story, she is always nearby, but Babu is not seeing the little signs she sends him, because he tries too hard to find her again (as she promised). The picture book got a lot of great reviews in the Netherlands by the national media. It is different again than my other picture books because of the use of only pencils. It was printed in two versions; a regular version, but there is also an Art Edition which feels like a treasure to me. | 13


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Mark Janssen

4. Your books have been awarded in many illustration festivals. What is the important role of illustration competitions? Should illustrators take part in illustration festivals? Why? Yes and no. I am really happy that there is a vivid environment of different international illustration competitions; it motivates a lot of illustrators to focus on this to create a breakthrough in their career. These are great opportunities for a really quick step in a good direction when you get a good result. So they do a lot of good work. As in every case in this world, it has also another side; some good some bad. When you participate a lot in these competitions, and you never get a good result, there is a chance you start to think you are a lousy artist. Not good enough, not as good as the other ones. There is a chance some illustrators start to lose motivation and belief in their own work; it indeed gets worse because it lacks the power of an artist with a lot of self-confidence. So again; yes and no; it is nice to participate every once and a while, but do not make it too important in your eyes. Remember that even the best illustrators have had a lot of rejections or have not been chosen a lot to get where they are now. Remember this when you receive another rejection. 5. Which prize had an important role in your life? Better to say, which one encouraged you to be a full-time illustrator? As I told before I immediately was a full-time illustrator after my graduation in 1997, I have never done anything else in my life, but in the beginning, my projects were very different from each other; newspapers, educational books for students, magazines for big companies and children’s books. Now I am only doing children’s books and picture books; even more and more only writing and illustrating my own picture books. The only encouragement was, not winning a prize, but doing only what I had in mind; creating my own books. That was the big driving force for me to do as I did. After a while and very slowly people got to know my style and books. My name became well known and then some nice prizes came. The biggest prize is the one I just recently achieved; I will make the official Picture book of the Dutch Children’s book week 2021, which is a really big national activity with a lot of media-attention to reach every child in the Netherlands. During one and a half week in October, I will travel across the country to talk about my picture book. I think this will be the biggest and most important prize yet for me! 6. You do illustration both for children and adults, and you are professional in both of them. Some professors and art-directors say that illustrators should work as an editorial illustrator or children’s book illustrator. How far do you agree with them? I have to make it clear that I did in the past. For a lot of years now, I only focus on Children’s books. Why? Because I feel I need all the time there is to develop myself in my personal style in children’s books. My focus is totally pointing in one direction. I think it is possible, but to reach the highest quality you have to focus on one thing. I chose the children’s books because of all the possibilities of being totally yourself in your artwork. When you write your own concepts and stories you are as free as a bird.

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Exclusive Interview

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Mark Janssen

7. Your picture book (Island) has been translated to many languages. It won the Premio Anderen Award in 2020. Tell us about the book. Where did the idea come from? Yes! It is an interesting story; in 2016 I was invited by a big Belgian publishing house to give a workshop in Beijing China to coach young illustrators who participated in an Illustration Competition. I met the publisher and his assistant of the Chinese publishing house UTOP and they were interested in my artwork. I went home with the assignment to create a picture book for them! There was total freedom of choice about the theme and story. It took me more than 7 months to find the best idea I could think of; a theme about a big ocean (as important in Europe as in China) and its inhabitants. Inspiration came while viewing a broadcast on tv about big floating icebergs; there was a little tip above the water level, and a very big part underneath the water surface, that we can’t see. I immediately thought about a big sea turtle. His shield as an Island, but underwater this loving animal! It became a big success. For those who know the book well, you can find the Chinese influence in my drawings; the boat that cracks in two is a Chinese fishers’ boat and the girl wears a Chinese hat, the Nón Lá. 8. Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? Ooo, yes, it can be frightening when you are in a long period of ‘having no ideas’. But you have to keep confidence in yourself; when the time is right, there will be a new idea will fall out of the Universe! But it is not really like that, you know. I know for myself, there is a period of tuning in, searching | 16

for new themes, while riding my bicycle or gardening, or taking a shower, but after a while, I have to sit at my drawing desk to sketch and write, otherwise the ‘rough idea’ will be nothing else than a very misty rough idea. Not suitable for anything…. I have learned not to punish myself with bad thoughts, like ‘I cannot do it, I have lost it, I am a bad writer or illustrator’, but to put all these thoughts on hold. Be patient and have confidence; when you have done it before; it will also be there a second or a 26th time! 9. Your books are read by children from different countries. What is the main important point about producing universal illustrations? Something that connects with a wide variety of audience Write and illustrate about the universal feelings we all have as a human being; love, fear, comfort, loss, happiness, imagination and so on. Or draw about the big themes that are known all over the world; dinosaurs, animals, the moon, or your super grandma haha. It becomes more and more difficult when you start to zoom in, like writing/illustrating about a folktale from your region, or a religion, or about a story that is only known in that particular city. It means the story doesn’t communicate to the readers as you wish in other cultures. They don’t get the point. It is an exclusive story, not inclusive for everyone. So try to open up as much as you can, also in your characters. When you draw children, always give them a wide variety of skin colors; a lot of different children will connect to that one, that has the same characteristics as themselves.


Exclusive Interview

10. What does your art aim to say to your audience? It is not my purpose, because I just want to tell nice and beautiful stories to the people. But when you see all my picture books in a row; they all tell about the beauty and power of happiness, the beauty of our planet and the animals that live on it. They tell about the power that kids have; belief in Life, having a strong connection with an imagination that a lot of people lose when growing up. They tell about the good things in life that are free to enjoy when you see it. In another way, the answer to this question is also that I try to make beautiful images that have a certain quality in technique. They have to show a certain good vibe to the viewer. When it’s not up to my standard, it will not be published. 11. Why picture book? What is the importance of these kinds of books? A picture book is a bundle of joy; there is an energy in it of the creator that is not felt in a digital version. That is what I think. It all gets lost in a digital device. I want to see the perfect combination of paper, colors on paper, what kind of paper. Rough or smooth? What is the smell and the feeling of a book in my hands? Is it a small book or a heavyweight? Square size or whatever? It is magical and that is the power of these books. Are they important? Yes yes yes; these gifts of the creators stay with you all your life when you like them. From child to adult. Maybe they move to the attic in a box, in a certain period of your life; but for sure they will come out again when you have become a little bit older and recognize again the feeling you

had while reading them when you were a child. Magic! I think all the digital products, even the digital picture books, will get lost in the digital jungle. Some systems won’t work anymore and you will forget about it forever. 12. If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Never ever thought about that. There is only one way for me. I really don’t know; maybe a photographer. For sure something that has to do with images and art. Otherwise, I like being a teacher or coach to young and adult people, like I do now already in giving masterclasses in illustrating and creating picture books. 13. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? I have been to some great countries like China, the USA and Nepal. I would have gone to Mexico for a trip together with my Mexican publisher to do a promotional tour for my books, but Covid came by as we all know. I would like to visit India in the future, it seems like a very interesting culture to me. Who knows, maybe sometime in the future, it will happen. 14. What are your interests outside of illustration? Since my youth, I like to ride my bicycle! I like doing bike tours in my region or on holidays in the highest mountains of Europe in the French or Italian Alps. For a period in my life, I was quite ambitious and even did some big marathon bicycle races in the mountains to get the best position at the end of the race. It took some energy from my illustration career at that time, but now it is just for fun. I reach 10.000 km per year though. | 17


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Mark Janssen


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Article


Exclusive Article

EARTH ELEMENT

THE MYTH OF CREATION

Author: Gloria Ruiz Blanco Illustrator: Ana Salguero Throughout the centuries, human beings have sought explanations for the origin of the creation of the universe and life. The different cultures through their myths and legends try to explain the origin of life, and tried to make sense of nature and weather phenomena, since they considered them inexplicable facts. We have represented the origin of the earth and the universe in the different cultures since time immemorial. Here we will review the creation myths of the Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, Nordic and Chinese cultures. To find out if the have common ideas about the origin. The myth of creation according to Egyptian culture Africa is the cradle of humanity, and the ancient Egyptians are regarded as one of the richest cultures of prehistory. In Egypt, the clergy of all important cities tried to explain the creation of the world through two opposing forces in continuous struggle: order and chaos. The most important creation myths of ancient Egypt are those that were developed in the cities of Heliopolis, Hermopolis, Memphis, Thebes and Esna. All of them have the following aspects in common: - The primordial ocean where the gods were born, the Nun. - The main hill where life originates, which is a metaphor for the islets of land left uncovered after the flooding of the Nile. - The sun as the being that makes the development of life possible. - The creative deity. The myth of the creation of the city of Heliopolis According to the Bremmen-Rhind papyrus, the city of Heliopolis is said to have had Nun, the primordial water, in complete disarray before the world is created. From this water emerges the God Atum because he can create himself. | 21


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Atum created himself and so did with the rest of the gods through his bodily fluids. The first God he created was Re. Later he created Shu and Tefnut. The Goddess Tefnut is the Goddess of the humid air, and her brother Shu is the God of the space between the sky and the earth that allows the life of the human beings. From the Gods Shu and Tefnut were born Geb (god of the earth) and Nut (god of the sky). Atum forbade Geb and Nut to copulate, because if the sky and the Earth are joined nothing can exist. To avoid this, it placed the God Shu was placed in the middle. This prohibition lasted the 360 days of the Egyptian calendar. The God Tot created the five complementary days of the solar calendar and in these five days, the Gods Geb and Nut had four children: Osiris, Set, Isis and Netfis.

masculine). These pairs engendered an egg from which Ra (god of the sun) emerges. They also created Nefertem, a child with a finger in his mouth that personifies the sun and when he opens his eyes, he illuminates the world.

The myth of the creation of the city of Hermopolis The city of Hermópolis wortshipped the God Tot. In the creation’s myth of this city, there is no mention of a god who created himself. Creation arises when the gods that existed before the sun in the chaos noticed themselves and the process of creation begins through four pairs of frogs (representing the feminine) and serpents (representing the

The myth of the creation of the city of Memphis In this city the creator god of the world is Ptah, a god that appears at the end of the pre-dynastic times. It describes the theory of the creation of the God Ptah and it is engraved on a marble stone that can be seen today in the British Museum. The God Ptah created the world, plants, animals and humans through the word. He is also the king of Egypt and he united

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The myth of the creation of the city of Thebes In the city of Thebes, the god of creation is Amon. The texts of the pyramids speak of creation through Amon. In the intermediate period, the city of Thebes became the capital of Egypt, and this moment Amun becomes the official god of creation of the Egyptians. Amun is a god of air that can be felt but never seen. He is also a great warrior and protector of the oases.


Exclusive Article the country. The myth of the creation of the city of Esna Two different creation myths took place in the temple of Esna. In the first myth they worshipped the god Cnum, the god of water and the origin of life. During the reign of the woman pharaoh Hatshepsut they named him the creator god of animals, men and plants. In second place is the myth of the goddess Neit was written in the 2nd century AD. Neit is a self-creating goddess who was in the water, shaped herself and from there created the universe. Of all the creation myths of the world, the only self-creating goddess is Neit. The myth of creation according to Chinese culture An ancient legend in China claims that before everything existed, when absolute chaos ruled, the early universe was actually a big dark egg. Inside the egg lived and slept the God P’an-Ku (Pangu). The moment arrived when the god Pangu woke up and broke the shell of the egg. When Pangu was born, the whitest part of the egg, the brightest part, ascended to the heavens (Yang) and the dark and cold matter descended to the earth (Yin). Pangu remained in the middle, separating the sky from the earth. For 18000 years, Pangu continued to grow. From his hair were born the stars and the Milky Way. From his left eye the sun and from his right eye the moon. From his voice the thunder and lightning were created and from his breath the wind and the clouds. His trunk and limbs became the four cardinal points, and from his skin the trees and flowers were born. His blood became the rivers and his veins were the paths they travelled; metals and stones came out of his teeth and his bones. The spinal cord became jade and pearls, their sweat became dew, and from the parasites in their body human beings were

born. After the wonderful creation, Pangu died falling into eternal sleep. The myth of creation according to the Greeks The poet Hesiod (700 BC) wrote the creation myth. He relates how at the beginning of everything there was Chaos, and Gaea and Eros appeared later on. Chaos, Gaea, and Eros are the trilogy of power for the creation of the universe. Chaos gives birth to two opposing entities, Erebus and Night (Nux) and their children Ether (Aither) and Daylight (Hemere). Gaea begets herself and gives birth first to Uranus, the starry sky, and creates it in her likeness to cover and envelop her. From the embrace of Uranus, Gaea will give birth to three series of sons: the twelve titans and titanites, the three cyclops, and the three Hecatonchires. The goddess Gaea created the seven planetary powers and had each of them ruled by the titans, so that: - Teie and Hyperion ruled the sun. - Phoebus and Atlas on the moon. - Dionesa and Sirius on Jupiter. - Thetis and Ocean on Venus. - Rhea and Cronus on Saturn. Uranus was evil, and whenever Gaea wanted to give birth, she held her children in her womb. Tired of suffering, Gaea came up with a plan and she generated a sickle and gave it to her son Cronus to castrate his father while he was sleeping. When Uranus was peacefully asleep, Cronus castrates him and from this castration the earth is fertilized and all kinds of beings develop such as the Erinias, the nymphs, the giants and from the genitals that fell into the sea Aphrodite was born. The myth of creation according to the Hebrews We find the creation myth of the Hebrew world in the book of Genesis in the Bible. The myth tells how God creates the world in seven days. When God set out to create the heavens

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and the earth, he found nothing around him but Tohu and Bohu, chaos and emptiness. On the first day he created light and on the second day he made heaven. On the third day he created the seas and made the earth emerge. On the fourth day he created the stars, the moon and the sun. The sea monsters, fish and birds were created on the fifth day. On the sixth day he created the beasts of the earth and man. On the seventh day he rested satisfied with his work. For centuries Jewish and Christian theologians agreed that the accounts of the origin of the world in Genesis owed nothing to other scriptures. In 1876 this belief banished when several versions of the Arcadian (i.e. Babylonian and Assyrian) creation poem appeared. The first creation account (Genesis 1, 1-2,3) was composed in Jerusalem shortly after the Babylonian exile. In this account, God is called Elohim. The second creation story in Genesis tells of how God created the heavens and the earth by causing a spring to germinate into grass and trees. Then he created a garden in Eden and a man named Adam to tend it. He created all the beasts and ultimately the woman. The second story of Genesis comes from Judea (Genesis 2:4-22). Here God is called the LORD. It linked the order of creation in these texts to the order of the planetary gods of the Babylonian week, and therefore to the seven arms of the Menorah or sacred candelabra. Zechariah makes this comparison (4.10) and Favio Josephus (War V 5.5). The Nordic creation myth According to Nordic mythology, at the beginning of time there was nothing, neither earth, nor sky, nor stars, nor sky. There was only a nebulous world and a world of fire that kept burning. The world of mist was in the north and was called Niflheim, and the world of fire was in the south and was called Muspell. Between Niflheim and Muspell there was a void, a shapeless space and without content. When the two worlds met, life emerged, a being larger than all the worlds and much bigger than any giant. It was neither a man nor a woman, but both at the same time. That creature was the ancestor of the giants and called itself Ymir. From the fusion of ice and fire a cow called Audhumla was also born and with her milk she fed Ymir. Audhumla licked blocks of ice and met another being. The first day she found the hair, the second day the head and the third

day her complete body. This being was Buri. Buri is the ancestor of the gods. Ymir went to sleep one day and while he rested several giants were born from his body: a man and a woman from his left armpit and a six-headed creature from his legs. Buri took the giant woman as his wife and they had a son named Bor. Bor married Bestla and three children were born: Odin, Vili and Ve. The time came for the creation of all things, and in order to create the world, it was necessary to kill Ymir. Odin, Vili, and Ve executed him. From Ymir’s body came life. From his blood, the seas and oceans were created. From his flesh the earth was created and from his bones the mountains and the cliffs. The stones, sand, gravel and pebbles are Ymir’s teeth. If we look up to the sky, we see the inside of the skull. The stars that shine at night are the sparks of Muspell, and the clouds are tatters of Ymir’s brain. Common features among the different myths Each of the myths has developed in a different time and place. Despite this spatial-temporal separation between them, we can see common features. The creation myth of the Egyptian city of Hermópolis and the Chinese creation myth have in common the primeval egg. The Egyptian god Ra and the Chinese god Pangu are born from an egg. The Egyptian myth of the City of Esna tells us how the goddess Neit engenders herself, just like the Greek goddess Gaea. The Egyptian god Atum (myth of the creation of the city of Heliopolis) through his bodily fluids creates the rest of the gods. The Chinese god Pangu through his corporal fluids creates the world, and the same happens with the Nordic myth of Ymir. The Hebrew myth has in common with the Greek and Chinese myth the chaos and emptiness at the origin of time. Myths and legends together with the oral tradition can break the barrier of space-time. Many are the creation myths that have developed throughout the world, each one more singular and curious, but all of them have the common denominator of explaining life, where we come from and where we are going. Note from the autor and illustrator: We would like to thank Elena del Arco for her support and help. Elena is a wonderful English teacher and thanks to her corrections our articles are of exceptional quality.

Bibliography

Author Gloria Ruiz Blanco

Illustrator Ana Salguero

Gaiman, N (2017). Mitos Nórdicos. Madrid: Destino. García Gual, C (2012). Diccionarios de mitos. Madrid: Siglo XXI Graves, R; Patai, R (2015). Los mitos hebreos. Madrid: Alianza. Wilkinson, R. H (2003). The complete gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt. The american University in Cairo Press. Cairo.


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Sonia Alins

MEDITERRANEAN WOMAN STORY

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Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview with

Sonia Alins

Sonia Alins is an illustrator and artist focused

on the creation of artworks where drawing goes beyond two dimensions, with collages made of transparent layers and other materials that find inspiration in Yves Klein’s art and the three-dimensional pieces of Joseph Cornell. With an artistic personality halfway between Surrealism and Romanticism, the protagonists in Sonia’s work are almost exclusively women. They connect us with the feminine iconography of the Romantic era, like Ingres’ odalisques or John Everett Millais’ Ophelia, the Art Déco movement (Tamara de Lempicka) or Gustav Klimt’s symbolism. Sonia’s work has been published in the U.S., Japan, Italy, Scotland or Germany, and has been awarded in several international competitions. To name a few, two Gold Medals from Le Salon des Beaux Arts 2017 (SNBA, France), an Award of Excellence from the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 2019 (U.S.), and a Gold Award from the Global Illustration Award 2018 (Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany).

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Digital Journal of Illustration |

Sonia Alins

1. What was your childhood like? Are your parents artists? My childhood was full of euphoria. My family brought me a lot of happiness, and I felt loved by every single one of them. Although my parents are not artists, my mother had enough artistic sensitivity as to buy beautiful art books and take me to visit art exhibitions and other cultural events. My mother’s sister has always encouraged me as well; she immediately applauded my passion for drawing and firmly supported me in training to become an artist. In fact, I have always felt that I am supported by my whole family. I think it was clear to everyone that I had an artistic personality and that was destined to be an artist. 2. How is your work routine? Does staying at home affect your working flow? I spend many hours working together with my partner in our studio. I start working early in the morning and I usually finish sometime in the afternoon, so I can spend as much time as I can with my family. Occasionally, I do keep working until late at night, when I am very focused on a commission or a project which is important to me. While we are working, we love to listen to music (classical, jazz, chill out…) and we try to find some time to exercise and practice yoga. On the other hand, it is not a problem for me to work at home as it does not pose a major inconvenience for I have had my studio at home for many years. Instead of it being a problem, it became a source of comfort and ease since I can now enjoy being a mother to my two daughters more than ever. 3. You have a very personal technique of combining different materials. Which aspect of your technique do you like the most? What I like the most about my technique and the way I am currently working is the surprise factor. The idea of combining different materials (many of them were oblivious to me until recently) makes the experimentation process exciting and intense. Actually, it provides me with wonderful findings. 4. What does the world of illustrated art mean to you? Do you think it is a way to explore and shape your vision of the world around us? Artists represent their vision of the world through the filter of their own personality and cultural background. Through their

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artworks, artists portray and show the rest of society the reality that surrounds them and their inner reality. This is one of the things that satisfy me the most about being an artist: being able to communicate to other people our vision of the world that we share. Edgard Degas said: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”.

5. You have been illustrating for a long time, how has your personal evolution as an artist been during these years? Obviously, I have constantly evolved as an artist during all the years of my career. It is a necessary, involuntary and unavoidable fact. My work and my life experiences have repeatedly defined me as an illustrator and artist. There was a crucial moment, however, about 7 years ago, when I realised that the commissioned projects were somehow silencing my inner voice. It was an important turning point for me, the moment when I became truly aware of who I am and what I wanted to be in the future. I decided that I had the need to give more importance to my inner world, and to let it speak through my art. From that moment on, a true renewal in my processes, techniques and themes burst into my art. 6. Has your creative process changed? As I have said before, my creative process has changed. I am always open to change. Actually, I like it because it makes everything more exciting. There are things that remain constant because they are what define me as an artist, but there are some changes small and big (techniques such as collage, for example) that I have been incorporating over time because they were necessary to fulfil my objectives. 7. Do you have any source of inspiration?

Lots of them! Almost anything (a personal experience, an impression, a landscape) inspires me and it is likely to become part of my artwork. My family and my dreams too. Some days I wake up with a good repertoire of ideas from my dreams. I often think my mind keeps working even when I’m asleep. Of course, there are also artists that are a constant source of inspiration for me: Goya, Picasso, El Bosco, Joseph Cornell, Yves Klein and many of the twentieth century avant-garde artists, illustrators and photographers. Literature, poetry and music also have a big influence on my art.


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Sonia Alins

8. Why women in water? How did the idea come about? As a Mediterranean woman, being born and growing up very close to the Mediterranean Sea, I feel a special link with it. I have always thought that the feeling of freedom that the ocean instills in me is empowering. I am fascinated by sensations such as weightlessness, freedom or inner peace that it transmits to me. In this sense, I always look for expressiveness in my artworks and I realised that placing my female characters in the water and making them interact with it caused their personality and feelings to become even more powerful, passionate and expressive. For me, the aquatic medium of my artworks acts as a transmitter or amplifier of emotions. 9. Do you think that the world has evolved, and that art paintings by women now have more visibility and popularity in society? Yes, totally. Fortunately, our society is in a full process of changing and it is becoming easier for women in general, and more specifically for female artists,

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to have visibility within society. The fact that the audience is now composed of both men and women is valuable. In addition, social media provides incredible opportunities to make the work of female artists more visible. The internet is a democratic medium which can bring artists and their audience much closer. 10. Are there challenges still to be met by a female artist? Of course, there are still challenges and difficulties‌ Insecurities and misgivings that make less and less sense. Pricing, for example, is still a point of inequality that remains and must be faced. In any case, I trust that, little by little, we will reach total equality. Afterallhe, being an artist is a huge challenge. As Henri Matisse said: “Creativity takes courage.â€? Actually, a lot of courage is needed. 11. How was life as a woman and an artist in your home country? I have encountered some obstacles in my path and certain prejudices due to my gender and the fact that I


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15. Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative? As I said at the beginning of the interview, I have always been surrounded by people who have fully supported me in my decision to work as a creative. In that sense, I also consider myself very lucky to live with a partner who is also a creative person, with whom I can share work and family. 16. Is there a crazy project you would like to try? I always have projects in my mind and, I have to admit, some of them seem crazy at first. The most beautiful thing is that, sometimes, no matter how crazy they seem, they come true. am an artist, but finally all the doors have been opened in some way and I have been able to move forward. 12. Which artistic women have inspired you the most? Regarding women who inspire me, the list is quite long: Frida Kalho, for her surrealism and the need to communicate her life, her desires and her love; Japanese artist Yakoi Kusama; Remedios Varo; Francesca Woodman, an amazing referent in photography; contemporary artists such as Anna Marin; Aurembiaix Sabaté and Judith Farr, two amazing artists and good friends of mine; and illustrators such as Sonia Pulido or Elena Odriozola. 13. If you had to identify with artwork, what would it be? Many of my works are representations of myself. I totally identify with my artwork Dona d’Aigua X because, like the woman represented on it, I feel happy, relaxed and confident. Actually, I live my life and my profession with serenity and tranquility. 14. A quote that identifies you as an artist and a woman. “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality,” Frida Kahlo.

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Sonia Alins


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Around The World

BRIGHTNESS ILLUSTRATION AWARDS 2020 WINNERS ANNOUNCED! www.brightnessaward.com

The Brightness Illustration Awards is delighted to announce the 60 illustrations that have been selected for the BIA 2020! Established in 2019, the Awards celebrate excellence in four categories of contemporary practice: Children’s book art, Editorial illustration, Experimental illustration and Teenagers’ book art. In July 2020, we opened our call to both amateur and professional artists from any country. The aim is to give artists the ultimate platform to develop their passion and career in the illustration sector. An incredible 1000+ entries were submitted by illustrators from 70 countries into this year’s awards. This was followed by a competitive judging process to find the 60 longlisted projects, from which the final shortlist of 12 illustrations has been selected. Here are the Professional Award winners are chosen by the international industry jury for each of the categories including Children’s book art, Editorial illustration, Experimental and Teenagers’ book art. This year judging panel including industry names such as Devis Grebu, Brian Grimwood, Glenda Sburelin and Masoud Mojaveri Agah. Category Winners Children’s book First Place: Mahsa Hedayati Second Place: PO-SHU WANG Third Place: Francesca Dell’Orto Editorial First Place: Hung-Ling Chen

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Second Place: Claire Huntley Third Place: Flore Deman Experimental First Place: Lucas León Second Place: Giuseppe Mascheroni Third Place: Alessandro Coppola Teenagers’ book First Place: Marco Palena Second Place: Giuseppe Mascheroni Third Place: Parniyan Shabaninezhad view the full longlist Children’s books Aleksandra Dolzhnitskaia (Russia) Yao Jian (China) Pamela Chen (China) Elena Font Vázquez (Spain) Salimeh Babakhan (Iran) Xiaofeng Zhu (China) Ekaterina Toporova (Russia) Mariella Cusumano (Italy) Varya Yakovleva (Russia) Hale Ghorbani (Iran) Giuliana Marigliano (Italy) Mahsa Hedayati (Iran) Francesca Dell’Orto (Italy) Hannah Cunningham (America) PO-SHU WANG (Taiwan) Editorial Alice Su (Ukraine) Delphine Balme (France) Hung-Ling Chen (Taiwan) MINAKO TOMIGAHARA (America) Francesca Shaw (Chilean American) Janas Lau (Hong Kong) Claire Huntley (British)

Ekachai Aek Chuensombat (Thai-Australian) Wei Su (Canada) Driss Chaoui (France) Doug Dabbs (America) Vanessa Cittadino(Italy) Dimas MacDonald (America) Flore Deman (Belgium) Hannah Cunningham (America) Experimental Hung-Ling Chen (Taiwan) Mila García (Spain) NEKO JIANG (China) Giuseppe Mascheroni (Italy) Moloud Etebarzadeh (Iran) Camila Nogueira (Portugal) Lucas León (Chile) Alessandro Coppola (Italy) Devanand Gujar (India) Maryam Khaleghiyazdi (America) MrKrazyMan Leiva (Guatemala) Varya Yakovleva (Russia) YU CAI (China) Sima yazdani (Iran) Daria Rosso (Italy) Teenagers’ book Mahnaz Ebrahimi (Iran) Sahar Khaleghi (UK) Olesia Krivolapova (Ukraine) Emanuela Orciari (Italy) Giuseppe Mascheroni (Italy) Parniyan Shabaninezhad (Iran) Laura Montes (Spain) Alessandro Coppola (Italy) Andrey Naumov (Russia) Belgheis Faraji (Iran) IDOIA IRIBERTEGUI (Spain) Dansiyu Zhu (China) Shuyi An (China) SIGAL CASPIN SEGAL (Israe) Marco Palena (Italy)


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Around The World


AURORA CACCIAPUOTI www.auroracacciapuoti.com

My name is Aurora, I am an Italian illustrator and author. I was born in Carbonia, a small town in Sardinia. I love to travel, in fact I lived in many different cities such as Milan, Bologna and Edinburgh where I studied psychology, art psychotherapy and theatre. I also lived and worked in Cambridge (UK) where I graduate from the MA programme in Children’s book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University. I work from my studio, where I use a combination of hand drawn and digital techniques to create my illustrations. At the moment I am using mainly my iPad Pro to create my illustrations, which I found very convenient, having to run after my little cheeky monkey son, Alberto, who’s 15 months old. When I am not drawing or running after a toddler, I love to cook, study Japanese and go for a walk with my dog Yuka. Today I will tell you about my new book, “the little girl who was afraid of everything” published by Tate. I had the idea for this book while I was doing the MA in Cambridge. I was thinking to everyone, and in particular kids who suffer of anxiety and also thinking about the process of thought that transform fear in courage. Many years ago I read this sentence in a book and it was enlightening for me. I am myself a very anxious person and I know how precious it is when you are able to overcome your fears. I had the urge to transform this thought in images, in a book. The choice of a very simple, minimal line and a limited palette (red, black and grey) was for me very natural. Thinking about how your vision of the world is when you have anxiety, there is no much space for colour. Then, at the end of the book the little creature that Ami, the main character, meets, becomes gold, which represents hope and also light. Fear, the other charaters, becomes Courage, which means that when you let the situatons overcome your fears, they transforms fear in courage. So at the beginning these where the only colours of the book, then, when I started the process of working on the book with the publishers, we thought that it would have been nice to represent a crescendo of colours, which goes hand in hand with the personal growth of the character. The technique I used to create the book is also very minimalist: I used a coloured pencil and a promarker to create the whole book, together with a post production on photoshop. I usually draw lines on a layer and colours on another layer, so I need to combine them using my computer and graphic tablet.So at the end of the day it is not just gold, but a rainbow of colour turns out page after page. When I wrote and illustrated this book I couldn’t imagine the situation we are living all around the world, and I really hope, reading this book, not just child, but also adults close to them could find a smile and some refreshment from this difficult period of time.

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Kieren Phelps


Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview with

KIEREN PHELPS

RETURN TO TRADITIONAL PEN AND INK

Could you give us a bit of background about your work and education? What made you to become a course leader, lecturer and an illustrator? My arts studies began at school Art, English and History A levels. (I mention this because it still feels important.) From school I did an Arts Foundation course at Cheltenham College of Art. Then on to the Ba Illustration at (now) Kingston University London. I graduated in 1982 and began to work as a freelance editorial Illustrator. Which I did from 1982 until 2005. In 2000 I started (part-time) teaching and in 2004 I completed an MA . In 2005 started BA Illustration course at the University of Gloucestershire, I was course leader until 2018. In 2015 started the MA Illustration course. I am the course leader of the Ma and remain so.


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Kieren Phelps


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2. What is the most challenging part about being a course leader and illustrator at the same time? The challenge for anyone is always to maintain an active practice regardless of time constraints and the pressures of daily life – my continued relentless struggle is essential for me and also I think essential for my teaching. 3. What sort of skills candidates should have to be admitted at the Gloucestershire University? We have and continue to take students from many disciplines and backgrounds, established illustrators, young illustrators and recent illustration graduates study alongside students who are writers, barristers, printmakers. painters, graduates of science, philosophy. The strengths and weaknesses of these students are all very different. They will all be at a different stage in the development of their drawing and an effective and appropriate visual language. The strength of the Ma is this diversity and the mutual support the students offer each other and their own particular skills and experience. The Ma is about questioning existing skills and identifying and developing new ones. All the students from this perspective start at the same point. 4. What do you mainly focus at the Gloucestershire University? Do you encourage illustrators to carve out a consistent and recognizable style, or explore different directions as time goes by? We start with a personal manifesto where the students identify what is important to them and what is it they want (through their illustration) to share with and audience. They set out their ambitions and goals and the course then offers a series of strategies to evaluate their progress towards achieving them. The students on the course reflect on the development of the various aspects of their visual language in terms of their own stated ‘manifesto’ intentions. An illustration practice is a very personal thing, it must have integrity to the individual and its intent. This is easily recognised by audience, who may like to define it as a visual language particular to that illustrator. I do not like to use the term style as it implies it is a superficial thing. If work it is true to its purpose it is effective, if it is not it is evident. I also think that skills ,processes and technique are no substitute for the authentic energy of conviction. Many hours of an illustrator’s life can be more usefully spent visually engaging with the idea rather than on a highly finished or processed final image. I think drawing is our prime skill and does define us. Narrative drawing is our language and so this is my focus. These are my thoughts and I would never expect anyone to accept them as definitive but I offer them as a perspective to consider.

5. How do you think about the role of representatives for illustrators? I am convinced, by those illustrators who have experience of them, that they are an important way to get work. I can understand where clients are many and varied and distant they may be an essential and practical necessity. The relationship with agent client and illustrator I am sure is varied and sometimes useful for the illustrator and sometimes not. To answer the question what do I think - I would prefer that they were not necessary. I like illustrators to find ways to present and find work without the need for intermediaries, to be proactive and in control of their own practice to have complete control.To have confidence in their own work and of its value and to demand respect from clients. I do not like illustration being treated as a service industry. I understand why these situations exist and how illustrators end up in this position. Illustrators have the power to initiate things from nothing – we should be at the heart of things. This is a powerful and useful thing and if the illustrator recognises it then maybe the people who require it will learn to behave appropriately. 6. Do you feel social media is an important tool for illustrators? Does having a social media presence really change an illustrator’s ability to get commissions? I do – The opportunity to get your work seen is fantastic to an illustrator. It is the fundamental thing – I believe that if you do good things and enough people see them – good things will happen. 7. What are the steps an illustrator could take to try and get bigger projects and clients? I suggest developing a body of work or project idea which might initiate work – taking a proactive approach 8. What factors should illustrators keep in mind when finding ways to improve their work? ‘Improve’ is complicated and rather subjective. To ‘improve’ an illustrator must be able to define and understand their own work. The visual development can be evaluated in relation to this. (easy answer, improve drawing by doing more of it from life ) 9. What does the world of illustration art mean to you? Do you think it is a way to explore and shape your vision of the world around us? Illustration for me is a means of sharing a little nonsense with an audience I may never meet. I think nonsense is very important. Nonsense is the most profound and shared human world experience. Illustration is my contribution to and reflection on this nonsense so I take my nonsense very seriously.

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Kieren Phelps

10. What are some trends or visual styles you appreciate in contemporary illustration? I do not follow or look for trends or styles I do not think they are a useful way to define things. This is a big subject and I won’t rant on about it. I would say simply I judge work on its individual merits. Work I am interested in or discover for myself can come from anywhere, by anyone, from any period. 11. What are some of the most important considerations in creating an illustration today? What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? I think the evidence of the human hand is valued – the active mark – the signs of struggle with media- the chance. With so much opportunity for perfection and finish – genuine mark making and gestural drawing seems to me a welcome thing. The best use of illustration is when it uses the visible to reveal the invisible. One of my favourite examples is ‘Proverbs’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder 12. How do you see the future of illustration? Are you optimistic? People who can initiate and sophisticated thought and communicate it eloquently by drawing will always be needed. To draw a thought is a fundamental skill. Where this narrative drawing is needed and what it will be used for may change. But if illustrators focus on the important aspects of their practice and say interesting things in interesting ways there will be people who want it. 13. What do you think about e-books and apps like a new field of job? I don’t really know what particular opportunities these offer – but I do think that online images are more effective if they move. The resolution of a screen and the context it is seen and the attention span allocated – doesn’t seem to give enough value to a static image. Print in all its new forms could be the special place where illustration rules. 14. If you could travel back in time, did you choose this major again? I would always choose illustration – but I would like to speak to myself in my 20s and suggest (politely) that I should continue life drawing classes. I would also suggest a self-publishing project as a promotional plan. If life had been different I would also direct myself to take the MA at 30 rather than 40. (also to have bought Apple shares) 15. What do you have planned for the future? In my work my current project is my plan for the foreseeable future for the course I am currently planning an online version, which will hopefully mean that it will be accessible for more students. 16. Do you have any advice for someone looking to work as an illustrator? To work as an illustrator you must be determined, relentless and single-minded. Drawing must make you happy because you are committing your life to doing it. This also means you must take the development of your work seriously. This means practicing drawing – and all the things you find difficult and try to avoid or find short cuts. If it’s not a hobby there will be a struggle and some considerable and healthy discomfort. Your ideas need to be original and primary sourced. From real life – your experience of the world. An illustrator is a conduit to the world – reflecting their observations of life in an engaging and inclusive way. We speak about, shared experience not about ourselves but our commonality. This is why illustration will always be relevant – wherever and however it is seen.

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Exclusive Interview

“Proverbs” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

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Kieren Phelps


Exclusive Interview

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Scrapbook

SCRAPBOOK

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BRIGHTNESS MONTHLY AWARD WINNER

JASON CHUANG I’m Jason, I am an author and visual storyteller from Taiwan currently studying Visual Communication at the RCA in the UK. My passion lies in narratives and creating surreal and dreamlike illustrations, which often are triggered by my emotions, coated with elements of the absurd and poetries. I spend my spare time pondering on impossible situations and project myself into endless alternate universes, constantly in search of new ways to tell stories and dream of living off of it. The pieces I’ve selected were mostly done during my selfisolation in London, when I seemed to have endless amount of time to self-reflect and explore ways to convey my emotions through various visual metaphors, let that be my constant pursue of unveiling the layers of illusion we’re living under, or exploring the concept of originality. Days Spent in Isolation Part I: I forgot what day it was during my isolation that I decided to create a comic, with no definite chronological order, as everyday started to become more and more similar. Days spent in isolation seemed to have ended up merging into one big blob of endless loop, and becoming harder and harder to tell the days apart. Days Spent in Isolation Part II: I tried to portray the feelings of being trapped indoor and how ‘window watching’ has become my everyday norm following the lock down in the UK due to Covid-19. I would often zoom out while staring outside the windows as my mind drifts off into different worlds. The windows are my connection to the outside world as much as a stage for me to project many possible narratives played out from inside my head. Days Spent in Isolation Part III: Following the lockdown in the UK due to Covid-19, I realised how much I miss human interaction and travelling to places, but what saddens me the most is how I have lost touch with nature. Before the lockdown, I would always go for walks in some parks, looking at some flowers, lying on the grass near the roots of some trees. The Bonsai tree is formed out of my longing to reconnect with nature when I’m feeling claustrophobic and trapped indoor. | 47


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Guilherme Karsten


Exclusive Interview

EVERY CHILD IS AN ARTIST Exclusive Interview with

Guilherme Karsten I was born and live in Blumenau, southern Brazil. I’m an author and illustrator of picture books published in Brazil, Latin America, Europe and Asia. In addition, I illustrate books for some authors.

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Guilherme Karsten

1) How did your need to experiment in illustration develop? You have a very personal style, which combines traditional and digital technique, what do you like best of both disciplines? I don’t know how I developed this need to experiment. There are some clues that can help me to answer this. One is that I don´t want to be copy my favorite artists, but I look to their work and try to create my own language from it. The other clue is that I always felt attracted to experimental artists, writers, painters, musicians like the Beatles, or even Pink Floyd (my dad´s favorite band) or cool directors like Wes Anderson, Tarantino, or the funny guys from Monty Python. I don’t know what I like best, I like to mix textures and put together solid colors, and crayons organic lines to create my illustrations. But every new project is a new experimentation for me. I like trying different ways, it is makes the project not tiring. 2) How has your personal evolution as an artist been during these years? Has your creative process changed? When I look to the old illustrations I did, the first books, I do not recognize me in that level anymore. Not that is worst, I still like the old stuff, but it is not my way of thinking and creating anymore. I evolved with practice, studying and practicing all the time. I like to study my favorite books and artists, the concepts, how and why they decided to create that art, the media, the angles, perspective, colors and the connection between text and illustration. I think that my process didn´t change, my style yes, changed and is still changing. 3) Do you have any inspirational rituals? How is it feeding into your work?

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I guess I do not have, but I think I should. At least they are not intentional rituals or moments. Inspiration happens everywhere, sometimes reading a book, or an article. Watching a movie, listening to a song, watching my kids playing, etc. And that feeds my inspiration, elevates my creativity and makes me want to run to my desk and put ideas into practice. 4) Describe a time when you worked hard on a project but you received negative feedback from your manager or client. What did you do? It never happened. Oh, I’m kidding, it happens all the time, and this is life, is a good time to learn, always. At the first moment I (in my inner self) automatically disagree with the publisher comments, the phase of denial. After some minutes or on the day after, I re-think about the comments and try to understand the client perspective and, then… suddenly I agree with the negative comments. If I still do not agree, I talk with him /her and try to find another solution for the problem. Clients understand their business, and I must learn to look through their eyes sometimes, it helps a lot. 5) You have made several picture books and they are translated to many languages. How is your creative process to create your illustrations? Well, they follow the same path to be created. When I receive a text from another writer, I like to read, and read again, and read more, to understand all the details. If possible, I like to talk to the writer to learn more… In the moment of reading, some images, ideas and concepts are being created in my mind. Then I like to search on internet or inside of books some references, images that inspire me to follow that visual and transform that into my


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Guilherme Karsten

own style. When I write my own stories, there is no clear path, everything happens at the same time, images and text ideas comes together. When I have the ideas clearly, I write the text, define the number of pages and start the spreads layouts. 6) How long did it take you to create a book? From the moment I start the first roughs… maybe 2 or 3 months. When I’m the author of text and illustrations, it can take much more time, thinking, rethinking, restarting ideas… it´s a long but nice process. 7) What do your books aim to say to your audience? There is no specific message in my books, I don´t have the compromise to say something, a philosophy or an idea. The message is not the book story itself but the environment that can be created around the reading time. It can be a time reading alone, but I like to promote a quality time between brothers and sisters, friends or kids and parents reading and laughing together, this is my intention. Book is place to gather people around it a develop conversations, share emotions, laughs, etc. 8) What is the most challenging part about being a picture book maker? Maybe is to not be caught doing the same things but be innovative, be creative, interesting. At the end of the day I need to look at my art and feel that it was fun to do that. And later, hear from people that they liked the books, the recognize themselves in the stories, this makes my day. 9) What is the main important point about producing universal illustrations? Something that connects with a wide variety of audience. Good question, I don´t know but when I create some image I feel the necessity that any kid around the world can understand the message and can connect that to his/ her reality or can fit into it´s imagination. I think… is not always an easy task. 10) How do you feel in receiving such an honor from Golden Pinwheel and The Bologna children’s book fair? How is the mental preparation of an artist before taking part in illustration biennales? Well, I think that the only mental preparation is to take courage to send your illustrations to take part at the competitions. But I never expect to win anything, is better for me than feel anxious about the results. It´s easy to enter in that competitions, everybody is allowed, so, why wait? I always think that if my work is

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Guilherme Karsten

being showed to publishers and a special jury, maybe someone could like my art and contact me… Even if I don’t win, there is an expectation of making some good connections. 10) Besides hard work and talent, what other traits has led to your success? What would you say is your strongest ability as an illustrator? I would say hard work and talent are a good team to get right to success. And this success can be self-realization. But I would include repertory. Repertory is everything you read, watch, listen, good conversations, travels… new experiences, new food, etc. These things give us different perspectives and make more and more creatives. 11) What do you think looking back at your own work from a few years ago? I like some, and some not. I look to some illustrations I did in the past and think: “Awesome, how I did that? I couldn’t reproduce this kind of art today”. To others I look and think “How I did that, it’s awful!” But, even if I like any book I did, I never like to reproduce the same style. I always look to the new, the unknown, to the future. I like the feeling of being challenged to create. 12) Where do you see yourself in five years time? Physically, leaving in another town, place or country with my wife and kids. I want to try cultures. In my work, creating more and more things I love, writing my books, illustrating a lot, maybe doing some handmade illustrations too. Doing more things like working with fashion clothing (I used to work in this business and this is so much fun). Everything in everywhere with my kids and my wife together… 13) A quote that identifies you as an artist I believe in a quote attributed to Picasso that says: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I think that some child imagination remained inside of me until today and I feel that it makes me so alive.

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Exclusive Interview

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Guilherme Karsten


Exclusive Interview

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SCRAPBOOK

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BRIGHTNESS MONTHLY AWARD WINNER

HAO

GU

HAO GU is a Chinese award-winning illustrator based in Atlanta. He graduated from Tianhua College of Shanghai Normal University with a BFA in art education in 2016. He received Illustration program BFA and MA from the Savannah College of Art Design in 2020. He is a member of the society of Illustrator (US). He scopes of work include books, advertising, magazines, book cover, game, apps. As for inspiration, he often follows different illustration competitions. He is going to browse through some of the prize-winning entries. He will use it to analyze the content and techniques they express. In addition, his father once told him to observe more details of life. He often goes out to take some pictures. These pictures help him to create. He often watches some famous movies. He gets inspiration from movies. At school, he often chats with the professor. They’ll give him some different advice. He thinks inspiration is something to do with preparation and accumulation. He often writes inspiration information in his notebook. Sometimes he uses a phrase for inspiration exercises. It helps him to develop his brain. He thinks those are good sources of inspiration.

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Ilaria Zanellato

THE PAPER

VOICE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ILARIA ZANELLATO Ilaria Zanellato was born in Oleggio, she attended the IED in Turin, graduated in 2015 in Design of Visual Communication and today she works as an illustrator.

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Ilaria Zanellato


Exclusive Interview

1) Tell us about yourself. How did you get started as an illustrator? I managed to get / get a scholarship to attend the IED (European institute of design) in Turin, for the illustration course and it all started from there. I did not expect it and I had never considered this job, but this personal “victory” made me believe more in myself and in the possibilities of this job. 2) Where did you grow up? How was your childhood like? I grew up in Oleggio, a town near Novara. Between the countryside and natural parks. My childhood was beautiful, always full of drawings and desire to paint. 3) How does it feel when you’re drawing? What’s your earliest memory of drawing? When I draw I feel free. Freedom is the first thing that comes to my mind. Free to express myself, to create, to communicate, to experiment, to grow p r ofe s s i o n a l l y. I’ve always been an introverted person and, even when I was a child, I loved being alone and drawing. I have always been drawing. 4) Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking? It’s a difficult question, I don’t think anyone influences me in a particularly relevant way 5) What types of illustration projects do you enjoy working on? Those aimed at children and those in which they leave me great freedom of expression. I love being able to mess around and let go when I create. Fill the illustrations with collages, materials, details ... the things I loved when I was a child. 6) What can you tell me about your publications or books? What are the latest? How is children’s publishing industry in your country? During this 2020 there are going to be 5 publications with my illustrations and I’m really happy about it. I worked hard and spent a lot of time on each of project. I can’t reveal anything yet, but I can tell you that a book will be published in Italy, one in Korea and one in Holland and New York. I am very happy. Italy is certainly not at the top of the list compared to other places and countries, but I hope that it can grow as a sector. 7) You have lots of new ideas, how do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a

process? I always have too many ideas in my head and little time to dedicate to them. 8) Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then? No... I don’t have a process, let’s say they just come to my mind, especially in the most unexpected moments. However, I believe it is essential to receive external inspiration of every nature. 9) Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then? Sure. Especially when I have a lot of work and a few time. I usually start looking for inspiration going out, watching a movie, looking at books or searching for images ... I try to get my mind inspired, let imagination go and train it like a muscle 10) What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work? Nothing current in particular, but I have always been fascinated by nature, the pencil mark and the collage. Elements that characterize a large part of my works. 11) Do you have side projects you work on? No, not at the moment. I work for books but also for companies of different types and sectors. I like to range different targets and visual languages. I made grappa, wine, vitamins and supplements labels. I worked on hotels’, parks’, restaurants’ murals, on website design, on tourist maps ... a bit of everything. 12) What social media platforms do you use, and do you feel social media is very important to your practice? I mainly use Instagram and I think it’s really useful to reach more people and above all to reach every corner of the world. For us “creatives” from every sector (graphics, video, photos, illustrations ) whose work is mainly based on visual communication, social media are really a great opportunity. 13) What’s on your horizon? What would be your dream commission? I am really happy about my present, living with art and expression. Making children’s books and pictures that are good for people it’s a dream that came true. But I’d like to be able to do something bigger, outside of books, maybe to give an artistic contribution in a city of the world.

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Ilaria Zanellato


Exclusive Interview

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Ilaria Zanellato


Exclusive Interview

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Brightness Gallery

Brightness

Gallery

Brightness Gallery is an international competition held on a monthly basis to provide skilled artists with a chance to show their talents. Each month there will be a different judge assessing illustrations based on the current theme. 18 artworks will be chosen to be published in our magazine providing greater exposure to art directors from around the world.

www.brightnessaward.com

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SUBJECT: CHRISTMAS

GUEST CURATOR IGOR KARASH

Igor Karash is an illustrator and designer based in St. Louis, Missouri. Igor grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan where he studied architecture, and later graduated from the Kharkov State Art & Design Academy in Ukraine with a Masters in the graphic arts and illustration. Igor’s illustration work is diverse and includes picture books, classic literature, novels, and concept art for theater and film. Igor develops a visual language unique to each project, adding a new layer of interpretation enhancing the text. Igor’s work has been showcased and recognized by numerous prestigious book illustration competitions including American Illustration 32 and 34, House of Illustration and Folio Society (UK), Hiiibrand (China), AOI Awards (UK), Luerzer’s Archive “200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 2014-2015 and 2016-2017”.

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas


ANNA FONT S P A I N

I am an illustrator, born and based in Barcelona. I studied illustration at the Escola de la Dona in Barcelona. Currently, I am dedicated to illustration, mainly for the children’s and youth publishing sector. What I like the most is telling stories with my images. I enjoy life with vitality, optimism and good humour, and I try to reflect this in my illustrations. I hope you like them! I’ve published four children’s Picturebooks in Spain, and I’ve been awarded for three of them. You can check my work and complete bio here: www.annafont.net

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

ONUR AYBOÄžA

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Ä°PEK KAY

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

MAVISU DEMIRAÄž

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CARMEN GARCIA GORDILLO

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

DOROTA REWERENDA

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ANNA HUNTER

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

BURCU YILMAZ

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ÇAĞRI ODABAŞI | 83


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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

GIUSEPPE D›ASTA

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MILA GARCÍA

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

MINA NAEIMI

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NAJMEH REZAEI

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Brightness Gallery - Christmas

MARIANA VIEGAS CHARNECA

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OLESIA SEKERESH

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