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books and birdsong

I'm playing around here with character design for my contribution to the Birdsong/Songbird anthology. I've been crazy busy with picture book work and haven't started it yet, except to take a few reference photos, so I might be putting things up here for it as morning sketches. I like this little person so far, she's a nice mix of comfortable and a bit wary.

Thanks for all the happy birthdays, I had a lovely quiet evening. Stuart gave me an amazing Chris Wormell lino cut print. (We don't have it yet, it's on display at the Illustration Cupboard until 12 Sept. But it's very lovely!) And Bridget my Shoe Sister and I did a shoe swap, although I only sent one pair to her in Cambridge and she gave me a whole bag full (one pair of platform heels makes me 6'4"!), plus this amazing book she and Woodrow bought at my favourite shop in Brussels, Tropismes. The two of them were visiting for Woodrow's part in the exhibition In Search of the Atom Style (running at the Brussels Atomium until 20 Sept).

The book's about a bat, Hortense au plafond (Hortense on the ceiling), and you can read the book right-side up or upside-down, from the bat's point of view. How cool is that!

I still have to make my way rather laboriously through the French text, but the amazing pictures and setup make me know it will be totally worth it.

I haven't found a website for the creator, Aurore Callias yet, but you can see some photos of her in her studio here.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)
Wow, "Hortense au Plafond" looks totally insane !

Talking about picture books, are you familiar with the works of Tomi Ungerer ? I don't know if he's as famous in the english-speaking world as over here.

Most of the picture books I really remember from my childhood were by him, such as "Jean de la Lune" or "Guillaume, l'apprenti sorcier"
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
I didn't grow up with Ungerer's work, except for 'Flat Stanley', I remember that one well. But several illustrators have flagged his stuff, including David Roberts, who brought one of his books about a crocodile (I can't remember the title) to the panel he did a month or so ago. I need to look at more of his stuff. David was really impressed by the humourous linework and very limited colour palette, just green and maybe one other colour (yellow?).
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC)
That one book about the sorcerer's apprentice was incredible. The Sorcerer's castle was filled with mysterious creatures and apparatus, full of tentacles, pipes, and eyes... I remember staring at the pictures for hours, trying to figure out what all these things were. There was also a stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling, and as the castle fills with water, the apprentice uses it as a life raft (and one of the glass eyes pops out and keeps floating near the head)...
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:51 am (UTC)
Oh my, I TOTALLY have to read that one. Thanks for the tip!
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:55 am (UTC)
Oh, this shows how much attention I pay when I read blogs - I didn't even realise it was your birthday! I am sending my birthday wishes back in time with my handy desk-mounted wormhole. I hope they find/found you.
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
And here was me thinking you shaved your 'tache for my birthday... :-D
Aug. 20th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday! Is it today or has it alredy been? Either hope you have/had the best day!
Also the cover to that book is cool! I love cut-away building pictures one day i'll work up the nerve to do one.

and I like the character design her bag is very swish:)
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Will! :-)
Aug. 20th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
You have such a great collection of picture books.
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Such a BIG collection of picture books! It was causing some serious marital strife until I brought them to the studio. Hopefully it will not cause studio strife, that is always the worry.
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
My books only become an issue when it's time to move house. We discuss "thinning down" my record collection annually. Nick-nacks and toys are encouraged to be dispersed weekly.

Anyway, books should enhance your studio, so I wouldn't worry.
Aug. 20th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday, Sarah!
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Raina!
Aug. 20th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
Wow! That book is great. (Oh and happy birthday!)
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
I really must go and read it now! (And thanks!)
Aug. 21st, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
I think you may have given me an idea for a Christmas present for Emma, thanks for this, Barbara (@bbonthebrink)
Aug. 22nd, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
Re: Hortense
Hurrah! And you're welcome! :-)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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