Play Pen: New Children’s Book Illustration

Play Pen: New Children's Book Illustration

Play Pen: New Children’s Book Illustration

These are exciting times in art, after going to the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour with Bert Monroy, I am excited by all the great talent that is sprouting in this collective of individuals. Many children’s illustrators come in different shapes and sizes, some cling to old forms of pen and pencil drawings others experiment with new techniques in Photoshop and push the envelope. Play Pen is a perfect example of is new form out there in this ever populated milieu in children’s illustration field. No matter how good a drawing is, the substance that drives the drawings is story. A very hard thing to do, ask Dr. Seuss he had to doodle for ages before he hit pay-dirt with a little luck from the baby-boom birth explosion.

Once dismissed as a cozy world of teddy bears and fairies, the arrival on the scene of numerous highly original, contemporary, and "cool" graphic artists in recent years has transformed perceptions of children’s book illustration. Children now grow up with a more informed and sophisticated visual diet—with cartoons, animated movies, comics, TV, and computer games—consuming a vast range of stylistic approaches, and illustrated books have moved to match the demands of a more discerning market. Equally, artists who in the past may not have considered the children’s picture book as an appropriate vehicle for artistic expression are increasingly drawn to the area.

This book showcases some of the most interesting work emerging within the genre from a range of cultural backgrounds. It examines trends in use of media—both digital and traditional—and discusses the variety of approaches to subject matter.