I am an Artist
Today marks the publication of I am an Artist written by Kertu Sillaste, translated to English by Adam Cullen and translated to Welsh by Mary Jones. This brilliant picture book was originally published in Estonian, and we couldn't be more happy to make this available to Welsh and English speaking audiences. Find out more about I am an Artist below.
What is an artist? Sometimes John finds art easy, sometimes it’s hard, sometimes art is like a game, but sometimes it’s a puzzle. This book takes us through the many ups and downs of John’s life as an artist whilst also showing the fun that can be had with many different art forms, including drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and many more.
Being an artist is about being brave, frustrated and disappointed. But it’s also about being creative, imaginative, excited and fulfilled - which makes it a wonderful thing for all children to say with confidence ... ‘I am an ARTIST!’
When we asked author Kertu Sillaste about the inspiration behind writing I am an Artist, she told us 'The main inspiration was working with kids. They have taught me a lot about the freedom of creation.Although children may not have the best professional skills, I have seen their dedication and some artworks which are almost like those created by professional artists. So I found it possible and reasonable to discuss the different aspects of art making via their own works.'
We're so pleased to see so much high praise for I am an Artist already. When discussing this brilliant picture book, children's book editor at The Guardian, Julia Eccleshare, wrote 'An inspiring and original book which encourages all readers to think like an artist and to think what it might be like to be an artist. Fittingly, through very visually creative illustrations and only a brief text, John introduces himself as an artist and then describes what that means. He thinks big about art as he looks at how art may be defined, the many different forms in which it may be created, where ideas for creating it can come from and simply but very perceptively, how difficult it can be to create. A book to inspire and savour.'
When we asked Kertu Sillaste about what message she wanted to give children through this book, she told us 'Children have art lessons at school and some, who might not be the most skillful at drawing or painting, can feel that they aren't managing well. The message I want this book to convey is that there are all kinds of art and everyone can find a kind they enjoy and feel adequate at making. A personal book is more accessible to a child than an art exhibition. I hope that an eager child will time and time again grab it from the shelf, browse it, study the pictures, find inspiration and jump to action'
The road was not a simple one to becoming an author for Kertu Sillaste. Kertu writes 'I studied to be a textile artist, but worked as a graphic designer for a library for along time. It was there that I made my first book illustrations. I started making my own books because it allowed me to choose the topics I write and draw about freely.I have made a couple books about art, one about ethnographic textile. Last year, my first silent book was published. Sometimes one book is like a sequel to another. Other times the idea and style of the next book differs from the last one quite a bit. I have enjoyed experimenting as an artist instead of honing a single personal style.'