Monday, 6 May 2013

fine fine books

I met through the blog during these years,many interesting people:
artists,crafters and,above all,other bloggers.
Passionate people,mostly women,from all over the world.
With some of them,the pleasure of sharing the same passions evolved
 in a continuous dialogue through the web.
This experience is the origin of a new column of conversations
that open today with Saskia Nickles,
the woman behind fine fine books,
a very special blog about images and books.
I've asked her some questions 
and some others she asked to me here.

From where does your passion for images originate?
I'm a very visual person.When I spot a picture book I have to browse it.
I'm attracted to images in a very strong way.
I came from a very bibliophile family 
and I remember me as a little girl sitting 
in my father's home office filled to the ceiling 
with history books,novels,encyclopedias and picture books.
So this might have been the beginning of my passion...

 In a world where images are overwhelming,
through your blog you show a very fine taste in your choices.
Which are your criteria when selecting images?
On my blog I only show images I really like.
This is the only fixed criterion 
and this also was the main reason for me 
to launch a blog about picture books.
I just wanted to have a nice place
 for all the books and magazines I found and like.
I think they contain all too beautiful pages
 just to store them away on a bookshelf... 
When I'm asked to analyze what I like 
I can say I like patterns and colours,
and I like old book style from the 1950s to the 1970s.
I also appreciate a good binding and printing.
I don't like gender determined books 
with pink and glitter for girls and blue for boys.
And I always prefer the weird and off beat books
 to the mainstream brand named ones.

 Which elements affect you most in a magazine?
The paper quality differs a lot.
So it is a real plus for a magazine if 
it has good paper(though it is pricier).
And the typo plays an important role.
But please,don't think I just read well designed magazines,
I also enjoy common fashion or interior design magazines!

 How do you choose a picture book for a review? 
What is more important for you,the images or the story?
First of all I look for the images,
because my blog is mainly about pictures.
If the illustrations are great,
I showcase the book even if 
I don't understand a word of the story,
which is maybe written in italian or portuguese.
Most of the books I share are 
in german or english however.
Among those,I prefer the ones with a narrator:
in lots of children's books almost everything
 is told in direct speech
and this can sometimes be 
a bit annoying, in my opinion.
Concerning the relationship 
between text and images,
it's always fine when words are
 an integral part and shape of the layout.

 Do you think that picture books play a special role in children's growth,
and if yes,which ones in particular?
Almost all timeless classic children's books 
leave space to let the imagination roam,
think of the books by,e.g.,Maurice Sendak,
Bruno Munari and Leo Lionni.
What could be better?
And also,beyond that,
children do learn so much from books of course.
I personally love to watch and read books
 together with my children.
These are often the only really peaceful and
 intimate moments of so many busy days.

What are your favorite picture books,and why?
First there are children's books
 I know already from my own childhood,
like Maurice Sendak's Where the wild things are,
Eric Carle's The very hungry caterpillar 
and Leo Lionni's Swimmy.
I still remember the feeling how it was 
to look at some of the pictures as a child.
Now there are many more books I love,of course.
First of all I admire books by 
portuguese publisher Planeta Tangerina.
I think the pop-up books by Anouck Boisrobert et Louis Rigaud 
and Joelle Jolivet et Jean Luc Fromental are all fantastic.
I like the funny picture books by Eva Janikovszky and Laszlo Reber
and the Olle Eksell monograph by Pie Books,
Marimekko's "In pattern",
the Paumes books when it comes to photography.
There are so many...

What strikes you most in the work of an artist 
and what are your favorite artists at the moment?
Illustrators Katrin Stangl,Bernardo Carvalho,
Franziska Neubert and Carson Ellis,
 artist/designer Elisabeth Dunker.
I like the work of Karen Barbe,
the lino-cutting by Joelle Jolivet
 and last week I came across 
the tapestry and illustrations of Hannah Waldron 
which are amazing. 
They all have a very unique style
 and are kind of brave in doing what they do.

You are a copy editor,a blogger and a mum of two little boys,
how do you combine all that in your daily life?
I work as a freelancer,
at the moment I copy edit short stories 
and I work for an CI/CD agency based in Munich,
so there are months where I have a bigger job 
and it's kind of juggle for me to manage everything.
But normally I can handle it quite good.
My kids are both in the kindergarden till 4 o'clock,
so I can work till 3 before I pick them up.
I normally post twice a week on my blog,
but if times are busy,I leave that out.

Thank you to Saskia for opening the doors of her so rich world...

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