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Find out about the
award-winning bestseller Dream

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Secrets of the Artists
Legacy Project

CHRISTIAN BIRMINGHAM

Christian Birmingham

Illustration from Dream

London, England

Chalk pastels on
brown pastel paper

A baby reaches up to the stars in a mobile. The eye-level point of view suggests the watchful eyes of a parent. Described by Britain's Guardian newspaper as "a modern-day Degas," Mr. Birmingham comments that chalk pastel is "a remarkably little used medium, perhaps because it is easily smudged. However, it allows an artist to get as close as possible to putting pure pigment onto a surface, without the interference of brushes or any liquid medium."

Two of Mr. Birmingham's most widely known books are The Night Before Christmas (Clement C. Moore) and
The Classic Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (Margaret Clark). Shortlisted for several awards, including the
Kate Greenaway and Kurt Maschler Awards, he won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year.

His favorite books as a small child were Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?, which probably explains his interest in narrative detail in illustrations.

"As an adult, I think the greatest children's books ever produced are Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Arthur Rackham and Tales from the Arabian Nights illustrated by Edmund Dulac. Both are perfect marriages of text and image of a quality which I don't think will ever be surpassed. It was seeing the work of Edmund Dulac that inspired me to pursue illustration as a career. I can't imagine any child who has seen Dulac's illustrations wanting to do anything other than illustrate."

Find out more about Christian Birmingham


© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org

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