Eleonora Marton’s Impactful Marks And Hand-made Aesthetic for Children’s Books

Working by hand with real, tangible materials, Eleonora Marton creates powerful marks on the page.

They highlight the unique patterns, forms, and brushstrokes that come by enlisting non-digital techniques and give her full-page spreads an impactful presence and style.

Eleonora has already created many children’s books as well as posters, zines, and other forms of graphic art, for which the raw characteristics of working in this way are perfectly suited.

She tells us more about these kinds of projects but also touches on the importance of personal work and how it feeds into her commissions and encourages her artistic development to flourish.

“I’m Eleonora Marton and I’m an Italian illustrator and author based in London, I studied art and design in Venice, where I was born.”

“I work from home, I have a long desk with a lightbox, computer and scanner and an extra table I can use for larger and more messy things. I also have a back garden, so when it’s warm I can work from there too.”

Above photo by Michael Crabtree 

“I do all my work by hand, with brush and ink, watercolour, acrylic, crayons and sometimes cut outs. If it’s something commissioned that’s going to be printed, I make separate black shapes, scan the drawings and add colour in Photoshop, often working in layers. This way allows me to make changes quite easily.”

“I don’t use a Wacom tablet, I like to get my hands dirty and I enjoy using a real brush and ink on paper. I embrace the imperfections and textures given by these media.”

“My illustrations are very simple, I keep editing an initial sketch by removing elements that are unnecessary or just decorative and I usually try to limit my palette too, deciding on the colours I’d like to use at the beginning.”

“I often include text in my drawings that can originate from a phrase I see written somewhere, or a fragment of an overheard conversation. These kinds of starting points can prompt an idea for a poster or an entire project.”

Above photo by Michael Crabtree 

“The commissioned work I do is for advertising, editorial, and mainly publishing. I’ve illustrated several children’s books and I conceived two activity books (‘Bigger’ and ‘DIY ABC’), both published by Cicada Books.”

“Doing personal work is a vital part of my practice, I always find the time to make self-initiated projects as these have often helped me develop my work in new directions. I think it’s also very important to learn how to be critical and art direct one’s own work.”

“I make acrylic paintings on paper and canvas, risograph posters, zines, and recently I’ve self-published two books, ‘Rising’, which is a collection of drawings of my unmade bed that I did every morning for a whole year, and ‘Museum of Rejected Objects’, which is a project I particularly enjoyed doing as it involved making 100 unfired clay sculptures that represent some imagined, remembered or found rejected objects.”

All images © Eleonora Marton

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