“I realized that, all along, my theory was right: Make music that you want to hear, and instead of having fans that one day might criticize or abandon you, your fans aren’t even fans. They’re people with tastes similar to yours. They’re friends you haven’t met yet.”
Selected images from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, by Jules Verne. Published by the Folio Society. You can buy it here.
One of the best part of being an illustrator, in my humble opinion, is reading books that you might not have otherwise. Given the modern-day representations, I think I was expecting some sort of pulpy adventure story (quite an anachronistic notion, given the book was written in 1869). In reality, it’s a scientific travelogue: very thoroughly observed and researched. There are also some very beautiful descriptions of foreign lands that, when you think about it, are no closer to most of us now than they were in 1869.
Other Folio Society books I have illustrated:
Goblin Market and Selected Poems - Christina Rosetti
Irish Myths and Legends - Lady Gregory
The Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream Kickstarter is still going strong. I think they’ve finally reached the point where no-one is going to LOSE any money from it, so! Hopefully we can sell a few more copies before the final ten days are up. I’ve got a lot to say about my piece, so I figure now is as good a time as any.
This was a fantastic project and I feel lucky to have been involved in it. In high school, I discovered Winsor McCay’s work while reading about Bill Watterson. In 1989 Watterson delivered an incredible speech at Ohio State University’s Festival Of Cartoon Art called “The Cheapening Of The Comics”, and I found it online at some point when I was was supposed to be boning up on Picasso, or whatever. The speech lit a fire in me as a teen. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s here. I hope you have a similar reaction.
Olivia Knapp’s illustration style is directly influenced by European engravings of the 16th and 17th centuries but Olivia keenly infuses contemporary eye candy into the detailed works. See more below!