Illustration - Autumn 2008 - Issue 17
Ever since she first appeared in 1865, Alice has been capturing the hearts and imaginations of children, adults, film-makers and, of course, illustrators. Sir John Tenniel set a high benchmark with the images that have defined both Alice books for generations, but many others have bravely followed in his footsteps to produce illustrations that range from the conventionally pretty to the weird, wonderful and inspired. In this issue we examine the work of some of the most notable and preview the work of two very different illustrators – Rodney Matthews and John Vernon Lord – whose versions are out soon. Alice has appeared in many guises across the globe so we follow her on a whistle-stop tour of foreign language editions and into cyberspace. Unlike Alice, S T Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner can never return home, but artists remain fascinated by his journey (page 30). It may help that Coleridge’s sinister Rime does not have a single defining illustrator, with
stunning examples by Gustave Doré, David Jones and Mervyn Peake among others.
Alice is just one of the many classics illustrated by Michael Foreman, who has travelled to almost as many places as she has and enjoyed equally odd adventures. He shows us his sketch books and explains how they have informed his work. Crossing continents also inspired the work of Polish illustrator Arthur Szyk, whose work is appearing in an exhibition in Berlin. Things took a dark turn for him in the 1930s and much of his later work, created in the US, focused on attacking Nazism and on exploring his Jewish heritage. Closer to home, Emma Chichester Clark discusses her much-loved children’s books and explains why she’s excited about some of her newest projects, while Marc Craste, animator at Studioaka, talks about the challenges of making animated commercials and why he’s enjoyed working on his new film, Varmints.