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Art Inspiration: François Place (Illustrator)

Illustrator Francois Place 018.jpg

I am completely jealous of the French illustrator, François Place, who was notably short-listed for 2014 the Hans Christian Anderson Award. His detailed and colourful book illustrations bring to life expansive, imaginative scenes from the past times. They touch on epic maritime journeys, travels along the Silk Road, discovery of new lands, the fantastical world of giants, and multicultural travel adventures. I am hooked. If my book was in colour, I would use his palate as an inspiration, so vibrant! Love, love, love! 

Even if you can't read French, just go to his web-site, immediately!: FRANCOIS PLACE

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Art Inspiration: Nelson Kishi (Illustrator)

I stumbled upon the shop of Nelson Kishi when I was wandering around the Cannaregio area of Venice a few years ago. Not far from the Ghetto Nuovo Campo, Kishi's shop called "Codex Venezia" is a tucked-away shop that exemplifies the dormant artistic spirit pulsing in the city. Kishi was born in Brazil, where he trained as an architect. He is now teaching at the International School of Graphic Design in Venice and his charming shop features his drawings and prints which show wildly innovative perspectives of the city. Kishi's urban landscapes utilize wide-angled, bird-eye views of canals and campos, which seem to transport the viewer into a new vantage point within the modern-day Venice. Kishi also prints limited edition books, which feature many of his sketches of Venetian architecture and faces which he encounters in nearby neighbourhoods. Codex is a wonderful shop to drop-in on, and Kishi is always open to share his most recent works and sage advice. 

In the process of writing "A Sketch of Venetian History", Kishi offered me a key tidbit early on; He advised me to get off the computer, to print off copies of my book so that I could see the physicality of how my images and text related to one another. At the time, I didn't realize how much of a difference a layout can look on the computer screen compared to print. A second key piece of advice her offered later on in the process, when I was setting the layout and cover, was to keep the overall design simple, to use clean fonts and allow the drawings themselves to make the scene. It can be all too tempting, especially for us rookies, to feel that we need to add in lots of distractions to draw attention to our drawings, but if the drawings are really the focus, then one should be so bold as to let them stand on their own. Grazie mille Kishi!

A link to his web-site can be found here: CODEX

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