blexbolex

Blexbolex, from Seasons, 2010

A screen printer by training, Blexbolex has illustrated and written over a dozen children’s books in his wonderfully minimalist, soft-colored drawings. He accompanies his cartoony pictures with large block letter words, often just one per page, that are surprisingly thought-provoking. He’s most famous for his 2008 book L’Imagier des genswhich earned the hardy title of “Best Book Design in the World” at the Book Fair of Leipzig in 2009, but his most recent creation, Seasons, has made a pretty big splash in children’s literature as well. It tours a single landscape over the course of the four seasons, each page featuring a snapshot, as wide-angled as children playing and as zoomed in as a caterpillar crawling, that somehow capture the mood of the times of year.

Our favorite children’s book illustrators working today 

Blexbolex, Ballad

I’ve read this to my 2-year-old probably a couple dozen times now. It’s really one of the most beautiful books I’ve put my hands on—I saw it on the shelf at bookpeopleaustin and decided I had to have it immediately. (The trick to getting books for your kids is finding books that they’ll love and you won’t mind reading a thousand times.)

Pictures from BuyOlympia.com

There’s a wonderful post over at Picturebook Makers where Blexbolex talks about his process:

The trigger of the form was firstly my stay with a group of artists working on comics in an unconventional way: OuBaPo. One of the exercises captured my imagination. It involved inserting one square of a comic strip between two existing squares, thereby diverting the narrative ellipsis towards another one. Then a meeting with a group of children gave me the real key to the book. They were playing a game where whatever path they took, they always got to arrive home.

Here’s a diagram where he’s working out the structure: 

And some thumbnails:

But what’s truly amazing to me is that for a book that feels so analog and textured, almost all of the artwork was done digitally:

The images for the book are purely digital. Only three backgrounds on paper (two with pencil and one with ink wash painting) were scanned in to allow me to add substance to the shapes drawn on the computer.

Just gorgeous: 

Highly, highly recommended.

Filed under: my reading year 2015

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Blexbolex - французский художник, который создает замечательные иллюстрации для книг. Его стиль основан на опыте трафаретчика в 1980хх в Франции и работе в немецкой школе исскуства. Иллюстрации к книге Seasons созданы в стиле ретроминимализма.

Книга построена исключительно на иллюстрациях. Иногда есть ощущение, что изображения не связаны со словами, которые над ними, но это и способствует философской медитации и поиску скрытых смыслов. В этом и радость этой книги.