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Behind the scenes with Oliver Jeffers

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Nobody looks at the world the way Oliver Jeffers does. In his hit books from Lost and Found to The Heart and The Bottle, he’s examined weighty topics like loss, loneliness and the state of the world in a way that’s as funny and charming as it is profound.

Oliver’s latest story The Fate of Fausto – out on September 17th– is an environmental tale that tackles a complex subject in a simple, touching way.

As ever, the illustrations in The Fate of Fausto bring the story to life with wit and tenderness. But the process of creating this artwork was very different to his usual method. He used traditional lithographic print-making techniques at IDEM in Paris, one of the most reknowned print workshops in the world.

“A friend of mine invited me to come to IDEM, which I obviously jumped at,” says Oliver. “I had to learn lithography (a traditional form of printing using stone plates and enormous presses). I liked the idea of using this process for this book because I feel like there’s a timeless aspect to it. It could have been written 100 years ago.”

Oliver hand painting The Fate of Fausto at IDEM studio, Paris

Oliver has shared with us these photos from ‘behind-the-scenes’ at IDEM, to give us an insight into this process and the beautiful illustrations themselves. We asked him if he enjoyed creating his artwork in an entirely new way.

 

 

Oliver making edits on a lithographic printer at IDEM studio, Paris

“I loved it,” he smiles, although he revealed it took a lot longer than he expected. “We thought initially it would take about two weeks to do it. We got to the end of two weeks and we’d done one and a half images! It took more than seven weeks to do all the images for the book.”

 

 

Well, it was worth it, we’re sure you’ll agree. Here are some of Oliver’s sketches and concept drawings from The Fate of Fausto and (below) a sneak preview of what to expect when the book is published later this month. Enjoy!

 

 

                

#WorldBookDay