Hello readers! I hope you’re keeping cool during these hot days of July. I am fortunate to have a studio complete with AC and don’t know what I’d do without it — there are days when it’s so humid the paper curls! It’s like drawing on a sponge.
One thing for sure about being an illustrator is that as a group we are inspired visually. If you’re like me, you love to explore and get ideas from the artwork of others. For as long as I can remember I have kept a file of my favorite illustrators; at first as clippings in a regular file cabinet folder, but now I keep a digital folder on my computer. Today I’ll share a few of my favorites with you, in no particular order. Their styles are very different from one another, but each one touches my heart and excites my eyes. All of these illustrators happen to work in traditional media. I’ll save my favorite digital artists for another day.
Marie-Louise Gay is a Canadian children’s writer and illustrator, best known for her Stella and Sam series of books. In her long and successful career, she has received numerous awards for her written and illustrated works in both French and English. Her style is an engaging loose pencil and watercolor, and her characters are full of personality. Check out her website and her delightful blog.
Helen Ward is an artist and author in the UK, and she too has won numerous awards both at home and abroad for her work. She grew up in a family of artists and has a longstanding interest in natural history, which shows in her work. Her control over the medium of watercolor and gouache is astounding and her design sense and compositions are quite wonderful. Helen’s beautiful paintings mesmerize me!
Sergio Ruzzier is a picture book author and illustrator, born in Milan, Italy and now living and working in New York. He’s the recipient of many awards for his work, is active in the SCBWI and has presented at national conferences; this year he was one of the five jurors of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition. He’s also very funny! His quirky characters and the colorful settings he creates are delightful and fun; take a look at his website.
Alan Marks is an illustrator born in London and working in the UK. He has illustrated many books, both fiction and non-fiction, worked as a freelancer for magazines, etc. and also taught college courses. His work is deep, lush watercolor with ink and his style reminds me of Arthur Rackham — lots of drama and darkness.
Cathy Gendron began her illustration career in 1980. She’s been an art director and a teacher for almost 30 years at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Besides children’s books, her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers and has earned her many awards. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI. Her painting medium is oils, and her unique style and wonderful characters just blow me away.
So I hope you liked my picks, and I’d be thrilled to know of yours! Remember that we on the ATEB blog team welcome and encourage your posts. You can see how to submit by clicking on Submission Guidelines/Monthly Themes on the menu bar above.