Illustrator Study: Georg Hallensleben
Georg met children's author Kate Banks in Rome. She loved his work and asked him if he'd be interested in illustrating a picturebook for her. Their first project was Baboon, which they sold to a French publisher. Because they lived far from each other in Rome, Kate says in an interview, "Georg bought a van and built himself a portable studio inside. When we were working on a book, he would park under my house and spend hours refining his paintings, checking in with me at various points of the day." 3 Then Georg moved to Paris and Kate moved to southern France. Now they do their work through computer and telephone.
Georg's paintings use bold colors yet they are almost impressionistic. It looks like he has fun when he's painting. He uses big brush strokes and focuses more "on light and shape rather than detail." 4 His paintings give a larger than life feel to the stories he illustrates.
Lisa's Airplane Trip tells the adventures of Lisa, a white dog, who is flying by herself for the first time from Paris to America to visit her uncle in New York. The story is told partly through the illustrations. The text says nothing about what Lisa is standing onto view the movie on the plane, except that it wasn't very comfortable. By the illustration, the reader understands why.
In Baboon, the illustrations convey a feeling of bigness as the little baboon sees the world for the first time. His mother is very large in the first picture, but her picture becomes very small as they see the bigness ot the world. The last picture is a full-page image of the little baboon, perhaps showing that though the world is large, he is avery important part if it.
And If the Moon Could Talk shows the perspective of the moon as opposed to a child's limited view. Through a child's eyes, a room may seem small, and therefore the illustrations only partially fill the page. When the moon tells what it sees in the world and even in the child's room, the illustrations take up the whole page. When one's view of the world expands, everything becomes larger.
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