My illustrations from the children's book Tuhat ja yksi otusta (Laura Merz & Aino Järvinen, Etana Editions 2016) have been shortlisted in the Chinese Little Hakka competition. The winners will be chosen in late December. Fingers crossed!
I'm honoured to receive an honorary award at the Tallinn Illustrations Triennial. Thank you!
I'm honoured that my illustrations have been chosen to represent Finland at the Tallinn Illustrations Triennial that opens tomorrow in Tallinn, Estonia.
I'm honoured that my book Tuhat ja yksi otusta (A thousand and One Creatures, Etana Editions 2016) made it to the top 10 in the prestigious Rudolf Koivu Award, given bi-annually to the best children's book illustration in Finland. The shortlisted books are on show at the Helsinki Children's Book Fair this weekend. Congratulations to the winner Sanna Mander and all shortlisted books!
The Finnish Illustration Annual was published at the Helsinki book fair yesterday. You will find my illustrations in this great book showcasing contemporary Finnish illustration.
"Thousand and One Creatures" (orig.title: Tuhat ja yksi otusta) book by Laura Merz and Aino Järvinen has been listed on the White Ravens 2017!
The "White Ravens" label is given to books that deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design.
“Tuhat ja yksi otusta – the book title says it all: This large-format picture book celebrates wildlife. However, it does not simply introduce whales, polar bears, or camels via ordinary factual texts. The authors rather employ poems, the contents of which form a felicitous and suspenseful symbiosis with the full-page watercolour illustrations. The texts frequently point out the humorous aspects of the animals’ cohabitation, such as the poem about crocodiles and Egyptian Plovers (aka as crocodile birds), the feathered “dental helpers” who clean the reptiles’ teeth. The minimalist images, accentuated with just a few boldly coloured highlights, are impressive: spontaneously brushed onto the page, of sketch-like quality, they result in truly expressive, large animal drawings. The creator of these pictures, Laura Merz, was born in Finland and now lives in Berlin, where she creates works of fine art in addition to illustrating books."
I spent two months at the Finnish-African cultural centre Villa Karo in Benin on an artist in residence programme earlier this year in search of inspiration for my next children's book. Here are a couple of pictures and some of my thoughts in writing about the experience, about the stories I heard and how they have influenced my book project.
Unfortunately the blog text is only in Finnish. Google translate will surely add another layer of absurdity to the crazy West African tales I came across.
I am honoured to receive the third prize in Mikkeli illustration triennial for my book Tuhat ja yksi otusta. Congratulations to the 1st prize winner Eero Lampinen and 2nd prize winner Daniel Stolle and everyone who got an honorary award!
My illustrations will be on show amongst a great selection of best Finnish illustration at Mikkeli Art Museum until the 10th of September.
Thank you Finnish Institute for Children's Literature for awarding our book!
Here are the jury's comments in Finnish:
"Kuvittaja ja tekstiilitaiteilija Laura Merzin kuvittama ja hänen yhdessä Aino Järvisen kanssa kirjoittamansa Tuhat ja yksi otusta (Etana Editions 2016) on aivan uudenlainen tietokirja lapsille. Rakkaus eläimiin sekä lapsena luettuihin eläinkirjoihin näkyy. Mustalla, juoksevalla tussilla ja erilaisilla käsiin osuneilla välineillä luodut mustavalkoiset, tyylitellyt eläinhahmot tuovat raikasta ilmettä suomalaiseen lastenkirjakuvitukseen. Ne vertautuvat myös kansainvälisesti tunnettuihin taitajiin. Leikkisä, mutta tiukasti faktoihin nojaava ja sopivan lyhyt teksti houkuttelee lasta kysymyksiin ja poimii esiin myös hupaisia, vähemmän tunnettuja yksityiskohtia eläimistä. Kirja on kuin pieni taidegalleria, joka houkuttelee lasta kokeilemaan rennolla otteella taiteilua itse. Kirja on poikkeuksellisen ansiokas ja lajia uudistava esikoisteos."
Photo by Etana Editions
The Finnish Book Art Committee has just published its list of the most beautiful books of 2016. My first book, Tuhat ja yksi otusta (A Thousand and One Creatures), published by Etana Editions and written by Aino Järvinen, has been awarded as one of the most beautiful children's books.
I am very pleased with this news, thank you Suomen kirjataiteen komitea!