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Monday, September 20, 2010

Inspire Me Monday--Kinuko Y. Craft

I decided that today I'd feature a contemporary artist that is living, breathing, and earning a paycheck.  Which, lets be honest, is a rare thing. :)

Cool factoid: her German Shepherd shows up in a lot of her illustrations.

I first discovered K.Y. Craft in college, finding a fairy tale book at the bookstore, and then pouring over the pages, absolutely enchanted with the illustrations in it.  If my art classes had allowed for more of this kind of ethereal art and less funky-modern-new age "art" I might have stuck with the program.  (quote from one of my teachers: "Art used to be about a bronze sculpture of an apple on a pedestal.  Art now pushes the boundaries.  Take a bite out of an apple, put it on a pedestal, and let it decay.  That's art."  At that point, I knew I was in the wrong place.)
Fantasy art has a tendency to border the realm of kitsch.  I am sure you have all seen pictures of fairies or dragons or big busted women in not very much clothing with outlandishly colored wings growing out of her back.  But spend some time with K.Y. Craft and you will see what all of that stuff wishes it could be.  Forget Where's Waldo too...the detail is minute and exquisite, easily overlooked.  Every inch of her paintings is full of symbols and stories...a tale within a tale within a tale.
My sister bought me that story book for Christmas (Sleeping Beauty) and I have since bought several others.  Not to mention the fact that her art has graced the covers of books by some of my favorite authors (Juliet Marillier, Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip to name a few).  I'm pretty sure that I end up liking books with K.Y. Craft covers more than I would have if their covers had been done by someone else.  I'm biased like that. :)
The cover of my first book by her, Sleeping Beauty:

Loved this novel, loved this cover.  This is a YA retelling of the twelve dancing princess slash the frog prince.  Set in Romania.  By one of my favorite authors ever.
These web images barely do these images any justice.  To see more, and to read her biography, check out her official site here: 

If I wrote a book (which I want to) and if it ever got published (which would be nice) and if I got to pick the cover artist (a girl can dream) it would be K.Y. Craft. :)

1 comment:

Carolanne said...

I would love to buy some of these story books for my children, but so far they've been all boys.If only she would do illustrations of dump trucks. Maybe I'll have to buy them for myself.