November 3, 2012

Children's Book Illustration Summer School

On the same day we finished our summer studies at RISD, Alina and I took a long flight to the UK to attend one-week Children's Book Illustration Summer School at Cambridge School of Art in August. 

It was an intense week of designing characters, polishing our storyboards, and putting together our dummy books. In between this work we also received lectures from Pamela Smy, Martin Salisbury, Paula Metcalf, Alexis Deacon, Marta Altes, and Axel Scheffler. They shared their knowledge about picture books and insights into their creative process.   

It was amazing to meet people from different countries and continents all sharing a passion for children's books. 

We also attended one-day conference 'Out There: How to Get Your Children's Book Illustration Published' at the end of the course which gave us a great insight into children's book publishing world.

An exposition of books created by students
of MA Children's Book Illustration course

Books for reference

"You belong here. Be amazing!"

My corner

Shelves full of picture books!

Adorable plushies created by Paula Metcalf

A table stacked with books, sketchbooks, dummy
books, and portfolios that
we were welcome to look through

Axel Scheffler drawing and signing books

The posters for conference

We went to Heffers bookshop on Friday.
Of course, we couldn't leave without buying some books.

November 1, 2012

WaterFire Providence

While in Providence, my sister and I got to witness WaterFire.
Below are a few of my photographs from that night.


People gathering early for the event

Volunteers loading firewood into one of the bonfires

October 28, 2012

Children's Book: Eric

Eric by Shaun Tan

No bigger than my palm this little book possesses one of the most charming characters I've ever seen. This is how the story starts: "Years ago we had a foreign exchange student come to live with us. We found it very difficult to pronounce his name correctly, but he didn't mind. He told us to just call him 'Eric'."

I was really surprised by Shaun Tan's unique approach to story telling in this book. He emphasized the main theme which is "difference" by juxtaposing text and images that seem to have no relation to each other. However, when you read the story and see the illustrations, it all makes sense.

Eric was first published in his award-winning masterpiece Tales from Outer Suburbia. There's a great interview between Shaun Tan and Neil Gaiman where they discuss about Eric and Shaun Tan's creative process.

October 26, 2012

RISD Design Center

I can't believe it's been nearly four months since my summer studies at RISD! I'm so behind with keeping my posts up to date. Shame on me! Oh well... Without further ado, let me continue my series of posts from my stay in Providence, Rhode Island.

As I already mentioned in my previous posts, this July my sister and I were taking book design and magazine design courses at Rhode Island School of Design. Both courses were two weeks long. Classes used to start at 9AM and finish at 4:30PM. We used to work after classes as well to keep up with everyone. During book design course we had to produce three prototypes of books: an all-type book (a standard text-only book), a cook book, and an illustrated book with drawings or photographs. For the magazine design course we were producing a prototype of a culture magazine consisting of three articles. We were given both text and images to work with for all the articles.

Both instructors covered book and magazine design history and openly shared their professional experience and working process. They even gave away some top secrets :)! We also had workshops and lectures by guest speakers. It was interesting to see how people with different design backgrounds (some had no previous experience in design and some were already working in the design industry) approached the same assignments and came up with great ideas and solutions.

Having our books all printed and binded at the end of two weeks felt very rewarding. I probably wouldn't lie if I said that it was my most productive month in several years. A really enriching experience, indeed!

Below are some images of RISD Design Center where both courses took place.

A pile of books for reference

All-type books

Cook books

Illustrated books

Our book design course instructor
cut out and made hundreds of little
artist books out of magazines

We could take as many as we wanted!

Magazine layouts hanging 
on the wall for critique

An exhibition of dust jackets by 
Paul Rand in the corridor

These are my books that I created during the courses

October 21, 2012

Children's Book: Croc and Bird

Croc and Bird by Alexis Deacon

While I was in Cambridge during a children's book illustration course this summer, I got my hands on Alexis Deacon's newest picture book Croc and Bird. It's a story about a very unusual friendship between... well, the title says it all. If you don't know Alexis Deacon's work yet, definitely check it out. His work is brilliant!