Final Major Project – Illustrator Focus: Emily Gravett

I absolutely LOOOVE Emily Gravett’s books.

They are exactly the type of books I want to write and illustrate. I discovered her when I did research on my Penny Dreadful project. While in the Children’s library I collected books that had novel funny ideas, quirky narration styles and an engaging way of using typography.  In the end I had three outstanding books in my hand and when I looked at the author I realised they were all by Emily Gravett. In fact my self-portrait project was inspired of an element within her book. She uses a selection of materials, from pencil drawings to watercolour to collage and letterpress (or at least type making).  However what I love most of all is her way of telling stories. She does not patronize the reader, no matter how young.  Her stories can have quite a dark site. That’s very Roald Dahl like. She also uses flaps and holes and fold outs very creatively, something I won’t be able to do with my book, due to Macmillan guidelines. Oh and she did win the Macmillan Prize with her book Wolves! So she is definitely someone to look up to and I would love to meet her one day.

My favourite book of hers is “Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears”, which as psychology graduate attracts me especially. It’s just so well done. There is this little mouse who’s afraid of everything and walks through a book of phobias and on each page Emily illustrates the corresponding phobia in a very funny and understandable way, that appears scary to the character but not too scary to the reader.

Emily Gravett lives in Brighton, where she also studied for her BA. I also applied there and am waiting for a response. They’ve received my online portfolio, but haven’t heard back since.

But that’s a different story :)

Now enjoy some illustrations of her and make sure you read her books, they are really worth it, no matter how old you are!


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