Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Books: Wild Animals by Rop Mierlo

Bunny, Rooster...

...and, well, a bear. (I just couldn't resist that face. Can you?)

Do you know Wild Animals by Rop van Mierlo? This book is not to be missed. His effortless looking images, appealing to all ages, are exactly the kind of wild animals you'd like in your house! Don't you agree? The great news is that you can find his book everywhere from Stockholm to Singapore (click here) and he has posters and greeting cards, too.

My friend Alexia is the perfect peruser of children's books who recently sent me the above bunny knowing that she would make my day. I was completely charmed and couldn't wait to bring these to you, too.

I wanted to know more about van Mierlo and did a little research. His images are even more meaningful after reading about him. This is what I found:

Three years after graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven van Mierlo wrote a book called Bonsai and Poodles: "a project about humanity’s urge for control." While making this book, he became fascinated by the idea of creating animals that he couldn’t control and created this book, entitled: Wild Animals. Almost everyone who saw the illustrations reacted so enthusiastically that he decided to turn it into a book.  He took the book to several publishers who all declined and then, decided to self-publish. The rest it history. This book is now wildly popular  and can be found in book stores and museum shops around the world.

I love to hear about the process or ideas behind the art and was really interested to hear Van  Mierlo tell an interviewer that although these images look very loose and spontaneous he "puts a lot of effort in finding the right animals, researching in libraries for pictures, buying second hand photo books and exploring the web. He looks for postures that he liked or that he thought were funny. Once he finds an image that he likes (may take several days), he starts drawing those animals in as few lines as possible. When that’s done,  he starts painting. He said, "the hardest thing is to let go and not try to control it anyway. Often I still tend to do it."  If you would like to read more from an interview at the the Dutch Design Awards, click here.  I hope that you enjoy his art, too!

Were you already familiar with his work? Do you have a favorite book this season or animal book? I'd love to hear from you.

Something you might like:
Easter Books: A Surprise for Mrs. Bunny
Elsa Beskow: Vidaung
Little House on the Prairie (not pictured below)


Thank you!