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Interview 2018 : Steve Antony
A la Une
Auteur Illustrateur Steve Anthony
Pour lesboutchous

Let’s meet Steve Antony and discuss lizards, rectangles and others stories !

Mes Premières Lectures : Hello Steve, and thank you for your time !

Green Lizards VS Red Rectangles
has just been released in France by La Martinière Jeunesse. How did you come up with the idea for this picture book ? What were your influences ?

 



 

Steve Antony : Firstly, thank you so much for your interest in this book !

As with most of my books, it was inspired by something that caught my eye. I used to work part time as a Student Support Worker at Swindon School of Art, and one day I was tidying up a classroom when I noticed a very striking painting on the cover of an art magazine. It was Eight Red Rectangles, by Kazimir Malevich. I found myself just staring at this intriguing piece of work. It was both chaotic and static at the same time. Incidentally, earlier that week I had been drawing reptiles at the local wildlife park. The combination of the two inspired a rather strange dream about lizards and rectangles.

The idea seemed odd, but I was keen to write a story about the lizards and rectangles. I just couldn’t quite figure out how two very different things could exist in the same picture book, which led me to the idea of conflict. Really, it was an exercise in design. But more importantly, it became a book about learning to peacefully co-exist in spite of our differences.

Mes Premières Lectures : Which drawing techniques do you use ?

Steve Antony : For the rectangles I simply used Photoshop to create the shapes. For the lizards I used soft pencils and graphite sticks. The palette was simple but the drawing was, at times, painstaking. I would sometimes go to bed with lizards in my eyes !

 



 

Mes Premières Lectures : I believe you are colour blind. How does it affect your work ?

Steve Antony : It makes me think more carefully and intentionally about the colours I use and why I use them. It’s probably why my colour palettes are more abstract than literal. It used do get me down when I was younger, but now I realise that it’s actually pushed me into developing my own unique illustrator’s voice. My books probably wouldn’t stand out in the way that they do if not for my red-green colourblindness. I do occasionally doubt my choices, but for the most part I am really happy and confident with my use of colour. It just goes to show that sometimes a limitation can be liberating.

Mes Premières Lectures : Do you have any other on-going projects ?

Steve Antony : I am currently working on a new story about a little dragon and his owner, who happens to be a child in a wheelchair. It’s a fun little story that celebrates all the little things that make each and every one of us amazing, which will publish first in the UK in January 2019. I am also working on a creative project with my local library service here in Swindon. I am Patron to Swindon Libraries Reading Services and I regularly meet with my local librarians to brainstorm new and exciting ways of encouraging children to engage more with their library.

Mes Premières Lectures : Will you be visiting France anytime soon ?

Steve Antony : I would love to ! France is so beautiful. I have holidayed in France a few times, but it would be great to have the opportunity to meet my readers. I have been fortunate enough to tour all over the UK as well as in the States, Italy and Taiwan. I would definitely like to tour France at some point.

Thank you very much for your time and for this funny and efficient picture book !


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Interview 2018 : Steve Antony : Mes Premières Lectures