Friday, 21 October 2011

Looking for 'fresh' talent _ _ Cercasi nuovi talenti

Good morning people,

While I'm waiting to receive a huge box with pop-up books from Amazon, I've decided to talk to you about my dream. Exactly,
my dream

As you know, I'm really fond of illustrated children's books and I'd like to start a  publishing company  here in Italy.

I'm currently looking for  new authors and illustrators  with interesting stories, different styles. Both English and Italian.

So, if you have a dream and a story / illustration portfolio (or just for enquiries), contact me. I'll be happy to read your submissions and send you a feedback.

Looking forward to your talent.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Buongiorno a tutti,

Mentre attendo di ricevere una scatola piena di libri pop-up da Amazon, ho deciso di parlarvi del mio sogno. Esatto,
il mio sogno.

Come saprete, adoro i libri illustrati per bambini e vorrei aprire una  casa editrice  qui in Italia.

Per questo motivo sono alla ricerca di  nuovi autori e illustratori  con storie interessanti e stili diversi. Sia Inglesi sia Italiani.

Quindi, se anche voi avete un sogno e delle storie / illustrazioni (o semplicemente delle domande al riguardo), contattatemi. SarĂ² felice di leggere i vostri testi e mandarvi un feedback.

Non vedo l'ora di vedere il vostro talento.

Monday, 26 September 2011

An enchanted book

Every lazy Sunday, when I don't have anything big planned, starts in the same way: a regular filter coffee with cold milk and the children's section of a bookshop. I was supposed to meet a friend in Greenwich yesterday, so I decided to go a bit earlier and enjoy my personal 'lazy Sunday ceremony' in Waterstone's, just a few metres from the cozy Thames. When I'm there, two are the things I love the most, well maybe three: having a look at greetings cards, flipping through new cookery books and, of course, spot any pop-up books I still don't have in my collection.

Last week I bought a title by Robert Sabuda about Christmas - can't tell additional details as it's a gift - so yesterday I decided to look for another of his books, and it was there!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
(Little Simon, 2006)

This is a real masterpiece, I 'wowed' at every single page! Little pieces of paper put perfectly together and building amazing buildings and scenes from the film. This time also the selection of colours needs to be mentioned: a green, purple, silver, dark sensation is the companion for a reader that will be absorbed by every single line and unexpected popping-up image. I've never seen something like this. 

The magic castle could be considered the most beautiful part of the book, with magic glasses allowing to see forbidden messages... But what I liked the most is the air-balloon section. I literally spent 10 minutes playing with those two pages. You can have a quick look at it in this trailer. 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement

Today I've attended the exhibition dedicated to Degas and the Ballet at the Royal Academy of Arts - It was one of the best I've been so far.

Starting from the setting: 10 beautiful rooms with a clear path to follow, going from the first drawings to the photographic experiments of the artist. Opening the door of the first room is like entering a new world, or better stepping back in Degas' world. A dark room, a leather sofa in the middle, and only four sources of lights: one for the board with the introduction and the other three showing shadows of dancers. It was surreal... and unique. A complete collection of his works were there, coming from every corner of the world - pencil drawings and studies of movements and shapes, oil on canvas, pastels and chalks on cardboard, sculptures, photos and a video.

'The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen' (Edgar Degas, 1880-1)

I'm not really a fan of Degas' sculptures, especially of the fourteen years old dancer. Her shape makes me feel unconfortable, maybe because her shoulders and neck seem squeezed together. But I must admit that the idea of mixing materials to make it more 'real' was great: silk and muslim were used for the hair-ribbon and the tulle skirt.

Deciding which of his paintings is my favourite is hard. I like the fact that they are full of colour, I love looking at the lines and strokes, and the effect they create - Some seem to disappear under a spring rain, the colours get together, still showing the shapes, but creating a continuum. It's magic. The following are the ones I prefer.

'The Rehearsal' (Edgar Degas, 1874)

This is so balanced and complete, collecting all the key moments in a ballet room, rendering the lines created by the dancing bodies, and adding the sensational shape of that stair. It seems to spy, hiding somewhere, while everyone is busy. The colours are the ones I imagine when thinking of ballet. This is perfect to me. 

'The Red Ballet Skirts' (Edgar Degas, 1895-1901)

'The Red Ballet Skirts' was a kind of (positive) shock when I saw it in the room. After those dark colours, black and white pictures, bronze sculptures and grey pencil lines, this piece of work hit me with a violent light - And it was love! Even though the legs and feet are not well defined - and in my opinion those are the most impotant part of a dancer, being strong, powerful and graceful at the same time - the rest is warm and providing a real sense of movement.

'Three Dancers, Landscape Scenery' (Edgar Degas, 1895-98)

And this is the last, 'Three Dancers, Landscape Scenery', chosen because of the sense of calm and peace it transmits to me.

As the exhibition was dedicated to the concept of 'trapping' movement, I'd like to conclude this post with a short film by the Lumiere Brothers: 'Danse Serpentine'. It's stunning how they were able to capture every single action and to colour the dress by hand. It dates back to 1897-99 and it can still impress.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure

The British Museum Press will publish its first manga in October! 

Professor Munakata is the well-known character realised by Hoshino Yukinobu, the Japanese artist who was inspired by the incredible treasures in the Museum and decided to realise this manga. Serialised in the Japanese magazine Big Comic, the 10 episodes are now collected - and available in English for the first time! - in the book by the British Museum Press. 

Munakata Tadakusu is a well-known professor of ethnography, who dedicated his life to unreveal mysteries happening around Japan. When invited to the Museum to deliver a special lecture, he found himself in a criminal plot with famous and precious objects disappearing. The brave professor will be able to uncover a conspiracy, but... Much more is hiding in the beautifully illustrated pages of this manga!

I personally had the chance to flip through it and must admit that I was impressed by the level of detail and the precision of Yukinobu's artwork. What I really like, in addition to the engaging story, is how the Press decided to maintain some key features of manga, such as the traditional reading from right to left.

To learn a bit more, check the British Museum Press blog - Or have a look at The Guardian's review.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Sognando una nave che possa volare...

Il grande viaggio

"... la mia nave andrĂ  dall'altra parte del mondo, 
dove la gente ha grosse calamite sotto le scarpe... "

Autore: Anna Castagnoli
Illustratore: Gabriele Pacheco
Edizion: Logos Books/OQO

Monday, 4 July 2011

Animation and Origami

Thanks to Twitter and connections with random people, companies and websites, I just bumped into this wonderful animation. It was created by Joaquin Baldwin, a really talented director, animator, illustrator living in L.A. (only 27 years old! Just to mention...). Check this short film out!


I've always loved Origami and this video simply adds the perfect ingredients: transforming the noisy everyday life, pollution, routine into something different, respecting nature, creating beauty where once there was just a traffic signal... and in the end becoming part of that wonderful world.

Enjoy it and the emotions it transmits to you! 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Colurs, colours, colours and shapes!

This is the kind of video that makes me feel inspired: energy, colours, movement, shapes!

Coldplay - Every Teardrop is A Waterfall