August 6, 2009

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan
Shaun Tan (born 1974) is the illustrator and author of award winning children's books such as The Red Tree and The Lost Thing.

Shaun Tan gave a short talk at NGV this evening. He read a few stories from his book “Tales from outer suburbia” and spoke about his creative process.

Here are a few things he mentioned:

He likes to keep words and pictures in his books separate. They are rarely together on the same page.

When he writes he often gathers ideas together and then cuts them down. He used the analogy of a modeler or carver. He often over writes.

His stories are not rooted in any specific time or place and his characters are nameless. He wants his books to be universal.

Likes creating picture books because they are an overlooked medium. Picture books are not taken seriously and he has worked “under the radar” for many years.

Always been fascinated by the marriage of words and images.

Thinks Television is very similar to picture books.

Regarding collaboration he believes it is not necessary to work closely with an author.
after an initial meeting author and illustrator can work independently.

No great ideas come from big rooms. often good ideas and concepts come from an artist working privately.


Pauline said...

I'm sorry I missed the interview, but thanks for sharing what you took from it. It's very interesting to learn a bit about his creative process - he's one of my favourite story-book illustrators.

Eddy said...

Thanks Pauline.
It wasn't a long talk but his comments were interesting.