Rob Dunlavey
October 2009
Štěpán Zavřel
Lately, thanks to Puño, I've learned about Štěpán Zavřel. Here are some pics of his work.
There's a big children's book art festival in Sàrmede, Italy (about 60 km North of Venzia) that is kind of dedicated to Štěpán Zavřel. There are some galleries here.

Thanks Puño!

I had to search far and wide for these in the local library network.
spread from "The Bridge Across" about two warring families who become united because of and despite their discord.
from "The Bridge Across"
eventually, a wonderful bridge gets built.
I love the intricate and cozy watercolor technique. It's like stained glass.

This amazing spread is from "The Magic Fish". The story is about a fish that swims out of a painting, down the pipes to the ocean where he helps the little fish get away from the big scary fish.
exquisite spininess!
Evil foiled!
The fish goes back to the city and everyone is happy.
These city scenes are what prompted Puño to tell me about Zavrel. Here are a few more architctural scenes from "The Followed the Star" about the Christian Nativity.

Looks a bit like Paris…!
An angel visits the King while he sleeps.
Here come the Wise Men.
Sculptures de papier
It's a ragtag crowd for sure: saints, sinners, soldiers home from war.
My Crystal Cities have gone 3-d and now squatters have moved in. The guess the secret's getting out.

I'll be exhibiting three or four of these sculptures and paintings in Paris this December when I attend the Salon du Livre de la presse jeunesse in Montreuil. The children's book fair has high level representatives from all the French publishers of picture books, juvenile books and bandes dessinées. It's huge. Luckily, the "guest list" is online and I've been doing nose-to-the-grindstone research for the least few months and have begun contacting directeures artistiques. I can't wait to go!

2010 poster/calendar advertising the exhibit just came back from the printer and awaits shipment to France. The show will be at The American Library in Paris which is near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondisement (Merci le fact-checking dept!). All the sculptures will fit inside this nifty carry-on size crate that I built. Not a centimeter to spare! Don't forget the Christmas lights!

Eccentrics are very much at home in this place!
A glittering metropolis awaits…
Need some cabbages? Oh my, it's gotten late!
Thief! Opportunist! An inch-high knave of hearts!
You try painting when a stag and his harem wander onto your palette!
(Un)Limited too
on press with our fearless leader, Ms. Julia Talcott!
Julia has a vision for her studio as a collaborative space where she can teach a relief printmaking and share creative time with other creative people.
I made three prints that tell the little cautionary tale of Mr. Machinegun, a very greedy person.
Here he is in his baby carriage with his eye on this sweet little bird…
As soon as he is able, he chops the tree down to get the bird.
And he ends up in prison. Bad quality photo and End. Of. Story.
This little project was spearheaded by Julia Talcott.

The artists who participated are:
Doodle Duel #17
Doodle Duel 17 is accepting submissions.
Get started here. Do it now.
Romek Marber

The Penguin Collectors Society has published a book entitled "Penguin by Illustrators".
One of those designer/illustrators is Romek Marber. A transcript of the article has been published by Creative Review on their blog. Marber is famous for having invented the grid and initial series of designs that defined the Penguin crime novels. After some reflection, it occurs to me that the resulting designs go to the heart of our fascination with crime novels. Most crime novels assume a direction with an ending that makes rational sense and is satisfying at some fundamental level. But the process by which that resolution is achieved is full of twists and turns, red herrings, and self-discovery. The criminals and their crimes are borne out of and represent chaos and irrationality. The genre grapples with this basic part of human experience.
Thanks to Marber's grid, steady typography and consistent stylistic solutions, we see the whole drama explode before our eyes: seething chaos and emotion chained and disciplined, forced to submit to the forces of intellect and creativity (that also include the irrational) that the best detectives embody.
A quintessential Penguin crime series cover design by Marber: a powerful synthesis of irrationality contained by a rational structure.
It's a poster. No it's a book cover. No… it's brilliant!
Periodical covers: it's all about concept. I like the sideways Yes/No face a lot.
Walter Schnackenberg
"The Sleepwalker" 1956
I first ran into Walter Schnackenberg at "A Journey Round My Skull" an excellent blog and flickr compendium of European book arts maintained by "Will".
•a little more info about Walter Schnackenberg
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