Friday, August 9, 2019

Christian Robinson Keynote

Award-winning illustrator, author and allaroundbeyondsuperamazingmegageniustalentofaneon Christian Robinson is giving a keynote talk called You Are Here: Finding Yourself in Picture Books.

His slideshow visuals are so good, I feel like we're in a cinema! Seriously! Go find every video Christian's ever done right now. At the very least go follow his joyous instagram account @theartoffun . His presentation starts with simple chalk board drawings progressively added onto and it's like watching a short stop motion animation. He shares his studio with us and a glimpse into the story of his bittersweet upbringing.

Christian talks about the book, THE LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch. Pausch talks about how not getting what you want isn't bad, it's experience. He talks about how life can throw a brick wall in your path:

Brick walls are not there to keep us out. They're there to show us how badly we want something

Part of finding yourself in picture books is remembering where you've struggled and understanding all that means to you to connect to others who feel the same.

Christian talks about his process:

"It starts with the words! The words of the author."

Christian says it can be overwhelming to illustrate a whole picture book, so he likes to start small. With the teeeniest post-it notes available. And then he moves on to larger pieces with more confidence.

He shares some of his influences, lots of Eastern European and talks about his feelings on style, and quotes Quentin Blake, "An illustrator's style should be like your penmanship, it should just come naturally."

Christian talks about the diversity in his books and the gamut of criticism he's received. He's hopeful that future generations will feel represented with the recent uptick in diverse characters in mainstream entertainment.

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