Dick Bruna (The Illustrators)

Bruce Ingman, Ramona Reihill

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

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Dick Bruna is part of Thames & Hudsons’s The ILLUSTRATORS monographs, a series of illustrated essays (10,000 words and approximately 100 illustrations) each focusing on an individual artist.  This research contains both a biography and an exploration of his practice. Research included literature reviews, site visits to his studios and interviews with family members. The strength of the series is to celebrate the breadth of illustration as an art form, thus shifting the public’s perception of illustration as something only seen in children’s books.  Ingman was an active member of a group of creatives and academics who helped devise and support the proposal to get the series commissioned; other members included Sir Quentin Blake and Sir Christopher Frayling.  Dick Bruna was an international star far beyond the sphere of children’s books. The simple complexity of his work appeals to children, artists and designers. The colours, the space, carefully chosen text, the complete control has paradoxically allowed for interpretation and imagination across ages and artistic disciplines. Between 1951 and 1969, he designed more than two thousand covers for the detective series Little Black Bears (Zwarte Beertjes) of which over a hundred million copies were sold. By the time of Bruna’s retirement in 2012,  Miffy had appeared in 32 books, translated into more than 50 languages with over 85 million sales.   The Illustrators book examines and provides new insights into Bruna’s artistic inspirations and working methods and how he dealt with the challenge of working to a commission and illustrating a narrative. The book includes examples of the artist’s roughs and shows work from his private archive which has never been published before.    A fascinating introduction to the art and techniques of the illustrator who, in Miffy, ‘created one of the most recognizable characters in the world’ (The New York Times).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThames and Hudson
Number of pages112
ISBN (Print)9780500094136
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2020

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