WELCOME... to art that tells a story
One of the first children’s book illustrations that made an impact on me was a Tony Ross painting of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox. Although Quentin Blake went on to create the ultimate Foxy for many in the 90s, it was Tony’s cheeky Mr Fox, carrying a succulent chicken away from the moody, sallow-faced farmers, that lodged in my brainbox. I can’t recall every story detail, yet that image is as clear in my mind as it was waaaaaaay back then! And who knows? Maybe Wylie Beckert’s delightful dreamlike cover painting could have a similar impact on some of our younger readers… Go to page 62 and see how she created it.
That’s the power of book illustration, and the strand of art found in kid’s books especially. And it’s something we celebrate in this issue. We start on page 42 by speaking to some fantastic artists working in this magical medium – from the ethereal art of Cory Godbey, to Tony DiTerlizzi’s motion picture-inspiring Spiderwick Chronicles art, and the imagery of European star Lisbeth Zwerger.
Cory takes a masterclass on creature design on page 68, and turn to page 76 for Tony’s book cover workshop. There’s also a studio profile on the mighty Tor Books, Charles Vess takes on the state of fantasy art, and Brian Froud’s sketchbook literally speaks for itself… With the inimitable Nick Harris exploring the software Mischief on page 82, I’d say that’s a pretty good start for embarking on your own creations, whatever the age of your audience.