December 3, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #126: Anouck Boisrobert & Louis Rigaud

Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud teamed up again recently to create their latest innovative pop-up book The Acrobat Family. Anouck and Louis work together quite frequently to create some very interesting pop-up books like Wake Up, Sloth! and Under the Ocean (my personal favorites), among others. With its unique trim size (and even more unique engineering), The Acrobat Family falls right into place in a long line of creative projects undertaken by this French duo. Let's take a closer look inside!

About the book:
Up and up they go, watch the family of acrobats balance on top of each other to create a magnificent show This charming, collectable pop-up teaches valuable counting skills and the joys of working as a team. As you turn the pages, count not one but ten characters balance one on top of the other, creating ever more daring shapes. This beautifully crafted book draws the reader into the magical world of the acrobats, whilst stimulating the imaginations of children and adults alike.

Let's talk Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud!

LTPB: You both work together a lot! How do you come up with ideas for your hooks? 

AB & LR: It depends a lot on the books, and the process is not always the same. In the beginning, it is often a journey or a meeting with someone. Then it is a lot of discussion between the two of us.

Also, we often find ideas while we are already working on a project. Oftentimes, images or paper engineering techniques that we create, appear suddenly and take even us by surprise. Usually ideas for new books are born out of current book projects that we work on.

Regarding The Acrobat Family, Anouck was first interested in creating a construction game with wooden characters. From her many sketches for this project, we decided to go for a pop-up book. The idea is based on the aim to make the human pyramid of acrobats possible.


LTPB: As a duo, what is your process like? How do you work together, and how do you work separately?

AB & LR: Firstly, we do not separate the tasks of a book project but think about the concept together. We both start creating sketches, paper models, storylines and all else at the same time. It is our goal to combine all the elements of a book (illustration, story and book design) so every aspect of the project fits our intention and has a meaning for the story that we want to tell.

When we are both satisfied with a mock-up, we move on to the finalization phase. Here Louis takes care of the paper engineering and Anouck realizes the illustrations.

We both live in entirely different artistic universes, using different methods. That's also the reason why we like to work together, our practices complement each other.

LTPB: What media do you use for your illustrations? In terms of design, what is your personal process for engineering the pop-up parts of your books?

AB & LR: We always start making sketches using a paper model. From the beginning onwards, we bring the illustrations and the paper engineering together so they evolve as one. It is usually Anouck who then finalizes the style of the illustrations, which she does mostly using a computer program.

Regarding the pop-up works, we do a lot of mock-ups to experiment with the different possibilities there and the effects of our ideas, which always bring out new ideas. Each model is a chance to improve the shapes, the format or the movement of the pop-up. On average, we create four to ten mock-ups for each page before we draw the final step of the die-line on the computer.

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

AB & LR: We are currently working on the scenography for an exhibition on architecture. This is very interesting because it allows us to explore another field of creation, which is very much different from designing books.

Louis is finalizing a video game he has been working on for some time. It’s a strategic card game that should be released in a few months time.

And we're just starting to create small mock-ups for a new pop-up book!

LTPB: The last question I’m asking everyone who participates in the series is, if you could choose anyone, dead or alive, to illustrate your picture book biography, who would it be and why?

AB: SempĂ© of course! He accompanied my childhood with “Le Petit Nicolas,” and he continues to make me smile with each drawing that I discover of him. His illustrations add the factor of a genius to our everyday lives. 

LR: Marion Montaigne because her comics make me laugh so much!

A big thank you to Anouck and Louis for talking to me about their pop-up book process! The Acrobat Family published last week from Little Gestalten!

Special thanks to Anouck, Louis, and Little Gestalten for use of these images!

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1 comment:

  1. The Acrobat Family is adorable, not only for its paper art, but also for its charming story.