Tuesday, May 28, 2013

140. The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook by Shaun Tan

The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook by Shaun Tan

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Feb. 1, 2013, Scholastic, 128 pgs
Age: 10+

"A new book of sketches, artwork, and personal reflection from the brilliant mind of award-winning, bestselling author and illustrator Shaun Tan.  
"I'm often wary of using the word 'inspiration' to introduce my work — it sounds too much like a sun shower from the heavens, absorbed by a passive individual enjoying an especially receptive moment. While that may be the case on rare occasions, the reality is usually far more prosaic. Staring at a blank piece of paper, I can't think of anything original. I feel utterly uninspired and unreceptive. It's the familiar malaise of 'artist's block' and in such circumstances there is only one thing to do: just start drawing." —Shaun Tan  
And when Shaun Tan starts drawing, the results are stunning. In The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook, we find a window into the creative process: the stops and starts, the ideas that never took off, and the ones that grew into something much bigger. Fans of The Arrival will recognize the quirky, surreal sensibility that is so distinctly Shaun Tan in this stunning collection, and gain insight into how his many gorgeous books were made."

Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Not much to say for this review.  If you are a fan of Tan's work you'll enjoy browsing through this mostly wordless art book filled with examples from his journals and notebooks.  Divided into sections each begins with a short text introduction by Tan, otherwise the book is for looking not reading.  Will be most appreciated by fans of Shaun Tan and by aspiring artists themselves.

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