Children’s book illustrations capture ‘incredibly rich art’

by | Oct 17, 2014 | A&E

Tonia Venneri
A&E Reporter

Some of Canada’s best authors and illustrators are currently showcased at Humber College’s L Space Gallery for Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers’ (CANSCAIP) exhibition Capturing Imagination: The Art of Storytelling until Sunday.

This is the second year the exhibition is held at Humber. L Space Gallery curator Tara Mazurk said she hopes it won’t be the last.

“This has been one of our most successful shows over the past couple years,” said Mazurk.

The show displays work from Michael Martchenko (illustrator of the Robert Munsch children’s series), Brenda Clark (illustrator of the Franklin books, and many more. Mazurk said people would be able to resonate with a lot of the stories featured in the gallery.

“I think at the most basic level it’s kind of nostalgic, so it’s really nice to come in and see the books that you saw as a kid growing up,” she said.

Mazurk said prospective authors and illustrators aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the event, brought in by Humber’s School of Creative and Performing arts (SCAPA) through the writing program.

“This show gives a really good look of the artistic process,” Mazurk said. “A business student could come in here and see how we take an original idea from that original design to product completion.”

SCAPA administrator Natalie St-Pierre said illustration is an important part of children’s books.

“I think it shows the incredibly rich kinds of art that are being done in Canadian children’s literature. The visuals are integral parts of the story telling process and I think that really becomes clear when you see an exhibit like this,” St-Pierre said.

Children’s author and illustrator Patricia Storms was featured at the show for her illustrative work in Robin Muller’s 13 Ghosts of Halloween. Storms said the show allows people to get in touch with artwork that deserves to be displayed.

“When I was younger I never saw this type of illustration on display anywhere,” said Storms. “The only times I would see it was in a book which is great, but it’s just nice to bring it to another part of the world.”

Storms said she is happy to be part of a show that promotes and honours Canadian authors and illustrators.

“I never thought that I would ever be in an art show because of the kind of work that I did… So it’s nice for children’s book illustrators to get the respect that I think they deserve,” Storms said.

Storms also offered a small word of advice for prospective authors and illustrators.

“Don’t give up because you’ve got to persevere. Nothing’s easy, if you believe in yourself and if you’re getting good feedback from people whose opinions you value than keep going and try to fight the naysayers.”