June 26, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #112: Daniel Egnéus

I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with Athens-based illustrator Daniel Egnéus about his illustration process for Lubna and Pebble. I've been a long time fan of Daniel's work since I saw his adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood back in 2011, so it was an extra special treat to talk to Daniel about his work in children's literature, specifically with a text designed to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. I hope you find our conversation insightful and thoughtful. 

About the book:
In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty.

Lubna's best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does.

Let's talk Daniel Egnéus!

LTPB: How did you come to be the illustrator of Lubna and Pebble?

DE: Pete Marley, the editor at Oxford University Press were looking for a suitable illustrator for Wendy Meddours text and made an enquiry to my agent Good Illustration.

LTPB: What kind of research did you do for this book in particular?

DE: The most important thing was to find the character Lubna. Here in Athens, Greece there are a lot of refugees living in the streets and around the train stations so unfortunately I already had quite a clear picture of Lubna in my head. Her trainers, her blue t-shirt. My friend Manal helped me with a lot of details in order to imagine Lubna's background and came up with the idea of naming the boat they arrive on "Hope." It was important to me that the bond between her father and herself came through clearly.

LTPB: What did you use to create the illustrations in this book? How does your process change from book to book?

DE: I used crayons, watercolor, acrylics, pencil, ink, cut-out collage and photoshop in the end.

I think my process is to make some images that sets the mood for the whole book. Once I have found a mood that feels right it’s easier to just navigate within. 

LTPB: What are you working on now? Anything you can show us?

DE: Unfortunately not!

LTPB: If you were to write your picture book autobiography, who (dead or alive!) would you want to illustrate it, and why?

DE: I would love if Edward Gorey did it. He obviously would have hated to do it but it would have been a good excuse to see more of his work.

A million thanks to Daniel for taking time to answers some questions! Lubna and Pebble published from Dial Books earlier this year!

Special thanks to Daniel and Dial Books for use of these images!

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1 comment:

  1. You have a lot of Edward Gorey fans among the professionals you interview here.