World of Illustration

                 Photo credit: Christine Taylor ( )

                 Photo credit: Christine Taylor (

Carson Ellis

Having previously blogged about the three author/illustrators whose work ignited my passion for a finely crafted children's book/graphic novel under the banner of 'Heroes', I now welcome you into my 'World of Illustration'.

It's a world filled with Hattifatteners and Hemulens (Tove Jansson) Lost Things (Shaun Tan) and Gigantic Evil Beards  (Stephen Collins) and many other wild and wonderful creations.  If Maurice Sendak, Tove Jansson and Raymond Briggs are at the centre of my illustration world then these are the artists and author/illustrators who orbit that world!

Carson Ellis  is a Portland (Oregon) based illustrator whose work I love.  I first came across her illustrations in Colin Meloy's Wildwood  (Colin Meloy is the frontman of the popular indie/folk rock band The Decemberists and the husband of Carson Ellis) a couple of years back. These beautiful illustrations have such a strong sense of place , they're highly stylised yet it's possible to almost feel the cool mists and darkness hanging in the tall lonely Pine trees of the Pacific Northwest. These dark forests are inhabited by besuited Foxes and monocle wearing Owls in an epic tale of magic and warring animals.

I love the use of muted colours and the off kilter approach to drawing buildings and trees, if Grandma Moses had had a crack at illustrating The Wind in the Willows it might have looked something like this!

Carson Ellis has a style of illustration that is unique to her, it's an instantly recognisable style and she has cornered the market for illustrating pictures of Bears in Dungarees and I for one would like to congratulate her for that alone! You can check out her work here      

Here's a nice little picture by Carson Ellis with a motto I'd like to think I follow!