The Artist’s Touch
In last month’s blog, we talked about AI-created art – and why we don’t think it will replace the human artists in Storytime. This month, we thought we would introduce our latest issue by highlighting the special touches that eight very talented artists brought to the the magazine. There is a lot of creative work that goes into every edition – and we are in awe every time we get the new issue out to our readers. So read a bit more about the extra dust of magic our artists have added to issue 104!
It’s the Easter issue after all, so let’s start with the Hare with Many Friends in our fable! Elena della Rocca provided the lovely art for it. Animal stories can be challenging, because the artist has to decide how many human characteristics to add to the animals so that we can identify with them. Elena did this by rendering the characters in a colourful storybook style with expressive faces – while keeping the wolf suitably scary, of course!
Philomena’s Happy Place’is a story that takes a very serious event (an old lady losing her home and needing to find a new place) and turns it into a story of hope! Emanuela di Donna really helped us to accomplish this by adding a sparkle to Philomena’s eyes – as you will see, she captured the warmth and cosiness of the lady’s new home and that garden couldn’t be more magical! Can you spot all the cats hidden in it?
The Wonder Games is set in Lewis Carroll’s fantastic world of Wonderland. Our short bedtime tales take you back into classics, with a twist. We’ve seen so many images of these characters in books and movies, but our illustrators are free to take a fresh approach, so Andrea Canela came up with her own unique take on them! They are recognisable, but unique and charming in their own right! And yet you know exactly where you are, don’t you?
Bunbuku the Tea-kettle is a beloved Japanese folk tale, and Mai Ngo’s art brought the moody atmosphere and complemented it perfectly! The watercolour textures, compositions and even facial expressions she used are influenced by historical Japanese paintings and woodblock prints. One can’t help but fall in love with all the symbology she managed to represent in a few pages. The warmth of their friendship is truly palpable in it.
The very talented Dnepwu has illustrated a few stories for our magazine before, but The Wonderful Sheep was a particular challenge! The fairy tale is bright and fantastical, and the art the artist made the bold choice of making the characters and setting even more exuberant than they were in the story. As you can see on the cover, the artwork is vibrant and the humour he brought to it, made each character truly unforgettable.
The Awesome Adventures tales in Storytime have been a big hit with readers, but finding the right way to illustrate stories about real people can be difficult! When creating the art for The Little Dragon a story about the childhood of kung fu superstar Bruce Lee, Arancha Perpiñan found photographs of the many episodes and movies Bruce was in, but skilfully rendered them in a storybook style while keeping them very recognisable – quite a feat, I’m sure you will agree!
Eleonora Turina made a brave and clever artistic decision when illustrating Dionysus and Ariadne: the characters in this Greek myth are shown with green and purple skin tones! Dionysus is purple (appropriate for the god of grapes!), the pirates are green, as they live on the sea and the lovely Ariadne is pure gold. It’s striking, original and very clever! Ancient Greek artists did this sort of thing on their own art, as we can see on antique red-figure and black-figure vases, so there is a historical precedent for Eleonora’s masterful work!
Lastly, we have the story of The Heron’s Feathers. It’s a folk tale, told time and time again and we have set it in modern India. Bruna Assis’ abstract art skilfully blends the fantastical elements with the everyday story and lands beautifully in our imagination. Her use of textures is a particular delight – and her colour palette is vibrant. We can’t help but love all the animals – the heron, the vulture and even fish made us smile when we saw the printed copy! How much fun is too much fun?
Now that you have the latest issue in your hand, and you know a little bit more about each story, which do you like best? Did reading about the art, gave a new perspective to each tale? We hope you agree that each of them added a magical dimension to the stories. May the hares, the tanuki, the sheep, the flamingo and the heron in this issue make Easter a little more fantastical too! Happy Easter everyone!