Bagram Ibatoulline was born in Russia and educated at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute. His first book was Philip Booth's Crossing, named a 2001 Best Book by Publishers Weekly. He is best known for his books with Kate di Camillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and Great Joy. Ibatoulline lives in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.
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An Interview with the illustrator of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Bagram Ibatoulline
You change your style dramatically with each children's book you illustrate,
like an actor
who never plays the same role twice. You've paid homage, always brilliantly, to
masters, American realists, primitive folk art, Chinese scrolls, and more. Which
you most enjoy using? What kind of research do you do for each book?
I enjoy any styleit is never my intention to copy a particular look or aesthetic. Instead I do a lot of groundwork and extensive research on the time period in order to come up with my own approach or style for a book that I can relate to and use naturally. I have a big reference library, and when that's not enough, I turn to public libraries and private sources, which was the case for Edward.
Do you use models or photographs for the people in your painting? How about the rabbitdid you see Kate DiCamillo's big rabbit or invent your own?
Usually I create sketches and work off of them to create the final image. Sometimes I take inspiration from people and faces in old photographs or pictures of a specific time period in order to come up ...
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