Category: Children’s Books
  1. 13

    Nov 2014

    Andrew Davidson

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    English illustrator and designer Andrew Davidson graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. Known for his traditional wood engraving and wood cuts, Mr Davidson also paints more graphic artwork using gauche and wood blocks. All of his traditional work is printed using a 1859 Albion hand press.

    I noticed his work at the AOI Illustration Awards 2014. On display were his hand engraved Harry Potter illustrations. They were fantastic, the details and textures had me staring with my nose practically pressed against the glass. I was excited to see the application of the illustrations but after I found them online, I was sorely disappointed. Resisting the urge to berate someone’s work, I will let you take a look for yourself and make your own opinions.

    Mr Davidson’s skill of traditional printing methods has kept him in high demand. His client list include HarperCollins, Penguin Books, Rolex, HRH Prince of Wales Duchy Originals. He has also created postage stamps for Royal Mail, and designs for the glass doors at Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

    See more of Andrew Davidson’s work on his website.

  2. 10

    Nov 2014

    Manga Mondays ~ Tatsuro Kiuchi

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    Tatsuro Kiuchi was born in Tokyo, Japan. He is a member of Tokyo Illustrators Society , owner of studio Pen Still Writes, as well as teaching at the Aoyama School.

    He graduated in Biology before switching to Art, which he studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. After sticking with the arts, Mr Kiuchi began his career by illustrating for children’s books. His very first book The Lotus Seed, written by Sherry Garland, sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide. He later branched out into editorial and advertising work. Some of his international clients include The New Yorker, The Folio Society, Simon & Schuster, The Guardian, and Random House.

    The festive season and snow seem to be a reoccurring them in Mr Kiuchi’s portfolio, so it’s not surprising that he has been commissioned twice for Christmas projects. Once by Royal Mail, for their 2006 Christmas Stamp Collection and again in 2007 for Starbucks’ worldwide Pass the Cheer holiday campaign.

    You can see how Mr Kiuchi creates his detailed and textured illustrations in a couple really nice Making of videos over on his vimeo page. To dive deeper into Tatsuro Kiuchi’s work check out his website and tumblr.

  3. 5

    Nov 2014

    Alex Wilson

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    Originally from Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom, Alexander Wilson currently residing somewhere between “Teeside” and LA, and caters for clients both sides of the pond. He is a freelance illustrator and visual development artist, member of the SCBWI, and represented by Advocate Art.

    Mr Wilson started drawing relatively late. He was 17 and studying for his A-Levels, but after watching Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, he was suddenly inspired to pursue the craft.

    I bought my first proper sketchbook and proceeded to fill it with very poor drawings. As it turns out, drawing was rather difficult and I was probably going to need some form of structured education in the subject.
    Alex Wilson, Words & Pictures, 2014

    He switched subjects from Physics to Art, and it was through sheer determination and hard work that he would catch up on all the years he missed. Slowly improving and ultimately scraping a passing grade. After completing his A-Level and going on to further education, Mr Wilson kept the same level of commitment and began to further expose himself to the world of illustration and illustrators. Joining the SCBWI in 2013, he attended their British Isles conference and was awarded the Illustration award for Best of Portfolio. Shortly after which, he was picked up by the Advocate Agency.

    Alex Wilson’s journey is truly inspiring. He has since continued to hone his craft, constantly experimenting with new mediums and techniques. He has worked with Viz Media, Disney Press, and Storytime Magazine. You can see lots of his preliminary work and sketches on his tumblr and the finished product on Behance.

  4. 4

    Nov 2014

    William Grill

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    This weekend I caught the last day of the AOI Illustration Awards 2014 at Somerset House, London and was introduced to a host of new illustrators. One of which was William Grill whose tiny pencil colour illustrations force you to take a closer look.

    Mr Grill’s work on display, much of it from Shackleton’s Journey, was drawn on large sheets of paper but each figure could not be more than an inch high. Small details and primary colours combine to create bustling scenes that you really can’t help but smile at. I kept thinking how often he would have to sharpen his pencils to get those thin line and especially the dots of the eyes.

    Mr Grill’s hard work earned him an AOI Overall New Talent Winner & Children’s Book New Talent, 2014 award.

    There was, of coarse, a lot of talent at AOI Illustration Awards 2014, Jillan Tamaki, Geoff Grandfield, Jasu Hu, to name a few, so do not be surprised if I post more about it in the weeks to come.

  5. 16

    Oct 2014

    Mike Yamada

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    Mike Yamada is a visual development artist for animation, and concept artist for video games. Some of his feature animation work includes Big Hero 6 (2014), How to Train your Dragon (2010), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), and Kung Fu Panda (2008).

    Alongside his wife, Victoria Ying, he started a design studio called Extracurricular Activities. It houses their beautiful products, such as prints and apparel. They also take their knowledge on the road, holding lectures and workshops. Talking about knowledge, this excellent interview of the couple has back-back great advice any aspiring artist.

    A couple years ago, the pair took to Kickstarter to fund their ambitious children’s book Curiosities: An Illustrated History of Ancestral Oddity. As you can imagine it absolute bulldozed its original goal of $4,000 and went on to receive just under $50,000!

    Mike Yamada’s blog is filled with his concept art and sketches and well worth a gander.

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