Friday, 23 March 2012

Shaun Tan: The Bird King and Other Sketches

Front Cover - The Bird King and Other Sketches - Shaun Tan - 2010

Detail of a page from The Bird King and Other Sketches - Shaun Tan - 2010
Shaun Tan is one of my heroes. I've collected his books for many years and was lucky enough to see him speak at the Storylines Festival back in 2007.  
The Bird King and Other Sketches, published in 2010, is a collection of drawings, doodles, observations and trials, straight from the pages of Tan's sketchbooks.
Revealing process and writing about one's approach is a sensitive matter for most artists, let alone opening up the pages of your workbook for all to see! Tan writes openly about his practice and refers to Paul Klee's concept of "taking a line for a walk."
Reading that Tan can feel "utterly uninspired and unreceptive" when staring at a blank piece of paper made me feel so much better!

"There is only one thing to do: just start drawing."

See more at
If you visit, do read his account of learning that he had achieved the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2011. It's on the news page. Heartwarming story. A well-deserved honor for a great artist.

Link for this book on

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