Tim Flach

I love this image! It's from Tim Flach's Equus Project - a gorgeous collection of horse images taken from his new photography book on the subject. Commissioned to produce the book by New Zealand's, PQ Publishing, Flach has explored these magnificant creatures around the world for 7 years; from Mustangs to Arabians, in the studio and in the wild.

His striking images are definitely worth a look and are on show at Crane Kalman until 31 December.

Image copyright Tim Flach, "Frisians".

Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar

One of the very first books I ever remember owning was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a wonderful childrens book, written and illustrated by Eric Carle. Originally published in 1969 this Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 29 million copies in more than 47 different languages.

Carle was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929 but at the age of 6 he and his family moved to Germany, where he lived and studied until 1952 when he realized his dream and returned to New York. His first job in NY was as a Graphic Designer for The New York Times promotional department, after which he went on to become an art director in an ad agency.

It wasn’t until author, Bill Martin Jr asked Carle to illustrate his latest story, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ that his childrens book career began. His first solo book was ‘1, 2, 3 to the Zoo’ and his second was my childhood favourite, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’.

His illustration style is distinctive and quite unusual. He collages hand-painted tissue papers - cut to shape, layered and finished off with hand drawn details, to create vibrant images with depth and bold colour. Throughout his career Eric Carle has illustrated more than 70 childrens books in this way, most of which he also wrote!

Images copyright Eric Carle.

Dick Bruna

If you read our sister blog you will know how excited I was to find out that a couple of children’s squeeze ‘n’ squeak toys I bought years ago were illustrated by the great Dick Bruna in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Hendrik Magdelanus Bruna, or Dick Bruna to you and me, was born in 1927 in Utrecht, Holland where he has lived and worked all his life as an author, artist, illustrator and graphic designer.

It had originally been intended for Bruna to take over the family business, A.W. Bruna & Zoon - the Netherland’s largest publishing house. He had no interest in running the business, a role that his brother took on, but over the years he has illustrated over 2,000 book covers and over 100 posters for the company including designs for Zwarte Beertjes, or Little Black Bear series, including The Saint, James Bond, Maigret (which he also translated into Dutch), Simenon, and Shakespeare.

Dick Bruna is most famous for his children's books. He has written and illustrated over 200, his more popular creation being ‘Nijntjie’ (pronounced nein-che) meaning little rabbit, better known outside Holland as Miffy.

Miffy was created in 1955, she is characterised by the thick black outline of her simplistic 2D shape and by the bright primary colours used for the clothing and the backgrounds in the Miffy books. She is female only because Bruna wanted to draw a dress rather than trousers on his new creation.

Miffy books are sold in more than 40 languages around the world and in 2005 she celebrated her 50th birthday, she is an international star! Limited edition prints are available from the Miffy shop.

Images copyright Dick Bruna.