Le carnet rouge by Benjamin Lacombe, illustrated by Agata Kawa ★★★★¾
Read for TIOLI: Read a book by a “hot” author & 11 in 11 Category #4: Visual Arts
Who better than Benjamin Lacombe himself to talk about the genesis of this book for which he put aside his paintbrushes and picked up a pen because he wanted to give illustrator Agata Kawa a project to showcase her personal style. He explains this on his blog (in French and English too!)—in his own words:
“I really wanted [this project] to be made for Agata so she could fully express her talent and love of nature, of the Arts & Crafts movement, patterns, etc. The original idea (Agata’s) was to work on the Arts & Crafts movement and its creator, the emblematic William Morris. So I made up a story which is a kind of imaginary (though well-documented) portrait of this pope of modern design.
[…] Indeed, rather than just piling up dates and facts, the point was to focus on what made William Morris an artist: his background, his love of nature and shapes. It’s a book about the mystery of drawing, of creation.”
Click on the images to view them larger (including cover)
All images © Agata Kawa
I should mention that I borrowed this book from the public library, but now see myself in the obligation to obtain my very own copy so I can pore over it at leisure whenever the mood strikes, as I am not only a newly minted fan of Agata Kawa’s thanks to Lacombe (you will have understood by now that I am a HUGE fan of this young man already), but have always held a fascination for the Arts & Crafts (also known as Art Nouveau), the Pre-Raphaëlite, and William Morris in particular.
This post from Lacombe’s blog features a good sampling of Agata Kawa’s range.