... Iacopo Bruno on the Art of Illustrating and Ulysses Moore
... Iacopo Bruno on the Art of Illustrating
It's not all that easy to find out anything about Iacopo Bruno. There is
hardly more to be found than his birthdate (1964) and the fact that he is
working as an illustrator. Yet more often he is being mentioned in connection
with all sorts of books.
The Italian is very successfully working as an illustrator for books and
his works are of high recognition value. Incredibly fascinating are his works
in the books on Ulysses
Via the editor Edizpiemme and its employee Maddalena Contini (Maddalena,
mille grazie!) we got into contact with Iacopo Bruno bekommen and had the
opportunity to have an interview with him by email.
With the little bit of Italien we are able to speak: "Ti sono molto
grato, Signore Bruno."
Zauberspiegel: The books on Ulysses Moore wasn't the
first time I came across your illustrations. There is a German book with the
title "Geist der Bücher", which you also added illustrations to. Google
offers a lot of books you made illustrations for when one searches for you. What
makes the job of an illustrator for books appealing?
I. Bruno: I've worked in the publishing world for many years and since then more than 300 titles have been published with my bookcovers both in Italy and abroad, for adults and kids, but every time I have to illustrate a new title I feel really excited. I believe that the most fascinating thing is "penetrating" stories and tell them through images.
Zauberspiegel: How does the work of an illustrator work?
I. Bruno: As I've already told, I'm an illustrator completely dedicated to books, therefore I'm always in contact with editors who order me the illustrations.
Usually the editor calls me and tells me the story of the book I have to illustrate, he gives me a brief and the full text. He also gives me all the information about the book, that's to say the target (age, kind of reader, male, female etc), the bookbinding, the cover size and other information to help me.
Then, I realize one or more coloured sketches (very precise) to be shown to the editor.
Usually the people I work with trust in me and in my experience: I'm completely free to decide the subject, the image shot and very often I worked also on the lettering or on the series logo, as for Ulysses Moore and other series that probably aren't on the German market yet (for example Century, Criptoanimali...).
Zauberspiegel: It seems to me that illustrations are
getting increasingly important for selling books. I think about books such as
"Ulysses Moore", "Operation Red Jericho" or "Hugo
Cabret". Am I right? Is this a trend?
I. Bruno: The illustration have always been important for books and they had followed the book evolution from the origins till now. Today the phenomenon we're witnessing is due to a book market more and more overstocked with books, where a book must "fight" to emerge from the thousands and thousands rivals in a bookshop.
Once reading was a privilege for few people, instead today everybody can buy a book almost eveywhere (bookshop, supermarket, newspaper kiosk...) And one of the most important element to get people attention is the bookcover. Thanks to it, the reader decides to take a book in his hands, to choose it. This is the first step to the purchase. In the nineties, in order to fascinate the potential reader, it was enough putting a fluorescent colour on the front cover. Luckily a greater sensibility is growing, even among Italian publishers, which let us to leave these rigid marketing strategies and to create more and more sophisticated books, able to win the readers attention (as the series you mentioned).
Zauberspiegel: Is there a difference between the work of
an illustrator and a sketcher? And if there is - what makes the difference?
I. Bruno: I don't like to look for differences in artistic activities and I always try to mix drawing with illustration, painting, graphics and everything that can be useful to realize good images.
Zauberspiegel: How did the cooperation between Mr.
Baccalario and you come about?
I. Bruno: We met in 2004 right in the occasion of Ulysses Moore project. Marcella Drago and Clare Stringer, the project editors, introduce him to me during a meeting at the Battello a Vapore headquartier. Immediately, even if Pierdomenico is much younger than me, we understood we had a common imagery as regarding books, games, films...This cooperation is still going on and I think it will proceed still longer.
Zauberspiegel: Looking at the illustrations of Ulysses
Moore I always have the feeling you were having a lot of fun doing them since
they are so imaginative and detailed. Am I right?
I. Bruno: I consider myself really lucky because I was able to make my passion my profession. Indeed I rarely feel to "work" when I'm drawing, above all when I deal with kid illustrations (especially Ulysses Moore kind of illustrations). Imagination and the great care are distinctive of my way of work.
Zauberspiegel: Are there other books in the area of
suspense to be published where we can find illustrations of yours?
I. Bruno: Yes, sure, above all in
For another foreign country,
Zauberspiegel: Is there an Italian author (of the
suspensegenres) we absolutely have to read? And why?
I. Bruno: Undoubtedly Pierdomenico Baccalario, nowadays the best for kids writer in
Zauberspiegel: Please write two or three sentences about
I. Bruno: I can tell you three things which were really important for my education: Jules Verne's "20000 leagues under the sea", everything ideated by Tim Burton and "A Christmas Carol" illustrated by Roberto Innocenti.