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The Art of Illustration Explained Beautifully to Children


The titans of children’s drawing chat about their work and the experiences that they’ve procured over the years.

The arrival of this beautiful children’s anthology —which will undoubtedly inspire many adults— is a truly fortunate moment. Pablo Picasso, the genius of modern painting, the Spanish master used to assert: “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” This is an inexorable truth that many studies and scholars have corroborated; an example of this is the lucid imagination of Ken Robinson, who says all children are born geniuses, but the education system normalises them.

Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art, is an excellent excuse to bring children closer to the world of art in general, and in particular, to the fascinating world of book illustration. This incredible tradition has plagued the imagery of countless infants with the most fortunate daydreams, which develop into treasures as we move onto adult life. Some of the artists that expose their passion to children in the most playful and inspiring of manners are: Mitsumasa Anno, Quentin Blake, Ashley Bryan, Robert Sabuda y Matthew Reinhart, Maurice Sendak, Gennady Spirin, among many others.

The titans of illustrated stories are informally reaching out to children, showing them some of their early works, giving them technical advice and sharing their own story: how they began their adventure as artists and how young art enthusiasts can begin theirs. When creating our paths as artists, one of the most constant insecurities is wondering whether we’re following the correct path, in this sense, observing our role model’s work and the process they had to go through certainly increases our conviction, which unfolds as pure inspiration.

This children’s literature masterpiece was edited by the Eric Carle, a renowned and successful artist known in the editorial world, delivers this tremendous achievement by making this anthology possible. We conclude with a couple of quotes from the book:

Maurice Sendak:

I was sickly as a child and gravitated to books and drawing. During my early teen years, I spent hundreds of hours at my window, sketching neighbourhood children at play. I sketched and listened, and those notebooks became the fertile field of my work later on. There is not a book I have written or a picture I have drawn that does not, in some way, owe them its existence.      

Alice Provensen

When people look at my work, they often say, “Your picture is so good. I can’t even draw a straight line.” I think everyone can learn to draw. The important thing is to keep trying, keep drawing.

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