What i love about children’s book illustrator/author Beatrice Alemagna’s work is the poetic,
quirky and very personal touch in all she do. Today a Fine Little Interview with her.
What made you decide to become an artist, and what was your first illustration assignment Beatrice?
“I never decided to become an artist. However I always felt a huge need of giving back my vision of
the world, it made me feel in peace with myself.I think I have mixed the need of writing and drawing
with my feeling of being unadapted to the world and I felt it was the most sincere thing to do. It began
very early, at the age of 8, when I realized that mixing a drawing and a sentence would seemed much
alike a page of a book. And an illustrated book was an adventure to enjoy. My very first illustrated work
was a poster of “ l’Ecran des enfants” (children’s screen) for the centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. It
happened accidentally, when I found myself being the only adult watching in there a movie for children.
I never thought one could find work by going to a movie…”
Who or what are some of your influences, and what artists do you admire?
“It changes permanently. My tastes evolve and metamorphose. I sometimes feel happy that I like things
today that couldn’t have pleased me a few years ago. I find this positive.I have hundreds of artists that
I love. I like unusual arts, but also traditional or popular. Raw art (art brut) too. My first inspirations came
from Picasso, naïve paintings from Douanier Rousseau,essential forms from Bruno Munari (that was very
present during my chilhood), wild characters from Bosch. Piero della Francesca or De Chirico inspired me
a lot too. Nowadays, I admire mostly contemporary art or paintings.I feel fascinated by composed universes,
in balance between a grown-up vision and a childish one like the ones from Chris Johanson, David Shrigley,
Anne-Marie Schneider, Jockum, Atak, Marcel Dzama, Anke Feuchtenberger, etc…”
Which of your books or what of your work are you most satisfied with and proud of?
“I truly find myself in “Un lion à Paris”, it really fits my own story and I was surprised when I realized that
I made those drawings nearly without being aware of that. When one connects strongly his feelings, his
ideas with what one is making, he doesn’t understand what happens at the very moment when it happens:
you get into a kind of trance which is pleasurable, barely believable, and leaves you a little bit proud, afterwards.
Concerning “Jo singe garçon” it’s another sort of satisfaction : the kind of having accomplished something I
thought I couldn’t do : changing while staying devoted to my world. And that is a great sensation too.”
Is there something (professional) you would like to try that you haven’t done yet?
“There are a lot of things I haven’t done yet and that I really hope to do one day : a comic book, pattern
for fabrics, wood toys, a pop-up book, an album which would illustrate the songs I love the most, a lot of
series of oil paintings, giant embroideries, domestic objects, carpets…”
If you would recommend 2 books to another artist, what would they be?
“How can I choose only two books among all the one I love?!Perhaps, three… I’ll give it a try… one book of
illustration : “Tom & Tabby” of André François, one of photography : “Street Photographs-Manchester & Salford”
of Shirley Baker and, for paintings : “Images” from David Hockney.”
Thanks so much for doing this interview Beatrice!