Comic continent residency 2018. Berlin day.
He everyone, it is a second part of series of posts about Comic continent residency for illustrators in Germany.
You can read the first part here: http://olgaptashnik.com/blog/comic-continent-1.
Though everyone was overwhelmed with a lot of work to do, we were excited about Berlin day. As you remember (may be) the residency itself was located in small town on the border with Poland. So there was a special day at the residency when we were visiting some important places for illustrators in Berlin:
1. Jaja publishing house
2. Modulor shop
3. City library visit with Sarah Wildeisen
5. International Children's bookstore in Berlin
Also I will include review of another art store in Berlin called Boesner.
So the first stop in Berlin was at Jaja publishing house.
We were late because of the traffic, so it was really short stop, where we were introduced to the Jaja publishing house owner Annette Köhn. It is a very local publisher, mostly works with young authors. Most of their books are comics and graphic novels. They also have illustrated books, cook books and some picture books. Important information from Annette is that mostly publishers prefer to work with books that are ready for production.
Also it was interesting to see the publishing house, bookshop and a coworking in one place. I believe that it is great to have a special workplace and see people sometimes:)
Second stop - art store Modulor.
I didn't make any photos because we had only hour and a half in the shop and there were two huge floors full of art goods.No photos can not describe the size of the store. Actually I've been in art stores like in 6 countries including the USA and didn't think I could be surprised. But I was so wrong! So I would call Modulor as a general art store - there is everything for all kinds of arts. The variety of good for each art is not do big as could be in specialized store, but literally, they have all essentials for everything.
Another store i will talk about later - Boesner - is specialized in visual arts as painting/drawing and the variety of pencils there is crazy.
Near by Modulor there was a public garden. As I understand, it is a common thing in Germany, but I think it is super cool and wish there would be gardens everywhere. One can rent a piece of a garden and plant something there.
Third stop. Library
There was a meeting with librarian Sarah Wildeisen, ATAK artist and his students. At the Sarah's lecture I was really surprised by scientific approach to the children books in Germany. Actually, first children book appeared there, so it makes sense.
Then illustrators in the room told few words about themselves and their works. And I have to say, it is very important for illustrator to do it sometimes. At the residency we did it like 5-6 times, and it was really useful to see yourself and your self-presentation and to compare them to other's. Actually, the funny thing was that the most impressive was presentation of a girl, who started with words "hmm, I think I didn't understand the task". She was showing her kids photos, compared her illustrations with her children toys, and laughing a lot. Her presentation was so bright and interesting, so personal, that everyone wanted to get to know her, asked her contacts etc. It was really great to see a good example of presentation (I usually mumble smth). Also I've noticed that German students were really relaxed to show their study work, sketchbook drawings and all, when residency artists were shy to show even published books. Another great example.
So who is ATAK? I didn't know, but it fell in love with his work in no time.
ATAK (aka Hans-Georg Baber) is one of the most brilliant and dynamic artists of the Berlin arts scene. Born in Frankfurt in 1967, he studied Visual Communication at the University of Berlin, was part of the former GDR punk scene and a co-founder of the comic magazine Renate. His work as a cartoonist, artist and illustrator has been shown in art galleries all over Europe.
(from the Planeta Tangerina publishing page).
Almost all his books are sold out, but at least we saw them.
Look at his amazing book about Martha - The History of the Last Passenger Pigeon. Pigeons that extinct.
"Imagine a flock of birds so huge that you can no longer see the horizon. Imagine that flock passing over you in such a gigantic swarm that the sky is “black with birds” for three days straight."
THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN
In this world
mice chase cats,
hares hunt the hunters,
cars fly through the skies
aeroplanes float on the sea,
penguins live in the tropical jungle
and crocodiles in the icy polar waters!
In this unusual album, ATAK deconstructs the world we live in to make us reflect on right and wrong. It’s a book that calls into question the order of things, full of hilarious details that children (and many adults too) will love.
(from the Planeta Tangerina publishing page).
Absolutely incredible experience to listen to the work process and see sketches of this books.
The photo: http://peonypress.com.au/atak-berlin/ there is a photo-interview with ATAK.
By the way, ATAK is called like this because when he was young, he played in the band named ATAK, and one day he started to do graffiti on the Berlin wall and decided to sign his works as ATAK. Crazy story.
Fourth stop. International children bookstore.
Just the best bookstore in the world. The host of it is Mariela Nagle, who knows everything about all the books around the world. She is in jury in many international illustration competitions. I've bought all the books I was dreaming about (except for ATAK's, because there were 20 illustrators in the shop and only 2 ATAK's books:) ).
That was a really bright day, full of new thoughts and dreams:)
I would like to thank every person that took a part in this day, spent their time with us, it was great.