When, back in January, I had the pleasure to supervise the set up of the 1st Children's and Young Adult's Bookfair in Athens, I was privileged to meet, amongst other talented people, one of Greece's most prominent illustrators: Vassilis Papatsarouchas.
Vassilis Papatsarouchas was born in 1975 in Athens (in Perissos). He studied Painting and Graphic Arts at the Athen's School Of Fine Arts. He has participated in many collective exhibitions with paintings, constructions and video art. Up to now he has illustrated almost forty books, three of which were also written by him. Amongst his awards, he received in 2004 the State Award of Illustration for the book "Little Red Riding Hood", an adaptation by Argyro Kokoreli, in the same year he also got the 1st award from the Greek division of IBBY for illustrating "Chrysoula" by Lila Patroklou.
This year, he is nominated for the Andersen Award for Illustration. The Andersen Awards are international awards given for children's literature and are very prestigious. Vassilis' talent is so obvious, it surely was a matter of time before his nomination for such an award was announced.
His latest work is for the"The Twelve Little Red Riding Hoods and The Clockwork Wolf" book, an ingenious sequel to the original childhood tale by Christos Bouliotis. The superb, surreal illustrations of Vassilis Papatsarouchas add to the quirky storyline, making the world of the twelve twin sisters seem more real to the book's readers, transporting them into a world full of fantasy and imagination.
His style is completely original. Idiosyncratic and rule-breaking, he combines high-brow seriousness with childish fun, all in a modern context. His use of colour, combined with minimal lines and intense perspectives, contributes in making the storyline stand out.
His illustrations have graced editions of "The Wizard Of Oz", "Peter And The Wolf", "The Clown's Magical Umbrella" (also written by him), "The Notebook Of Coincidences", "Pinocchio In Athens", "The Mystery of Anomvrida", "Don Quixote", "One Love, Seven Colours And A Wolf" (collection), "Chrysoula", "Mitsogatos in the Open Market", "The Cat Leopold at the Art School", "The Ghost Of Prince Gelastroni", "And Tell Me About Your Toys", "A Forest For Thirteen" (collection), "The Sleeping Button-y" (written by him), "You'll See, You'll Like It", "The Clown's Magic Umbrella" (written by him), "Dorilenia", "The Him", "Stories That Nobody Knows", "The Show Starts... Now", "Schooner Corallia", "The Tale Is...", "The Abduction of Princess Hammock", "Six Small Big Tales" (collection), "Parsifal", "No To The Mutated Bad Wolf", "Pizza Strawberry", "The Boy That Drew Goblins", "Bliah", "Hop O' My Thumb", "Pinocchio And the Discobolus Statue", "Pinocchio Torch-bearer", "Jack And The Bean-Stalk", "Games With The Wolf", "Panic in The Geometry Land", "The Coincidence Notebook", and others.
All photos were taken by me during the Bookfair last January and they do not do any justice to Vassilis' talent. I promise to make up for this by scanning some images off his books and putting them up in a future post.
UPDATE: Unfortunately Vassilis did not win the Andersen Award this year, but I am sure he will in the future!