Anna and Varvara Kendel are an illustration duo shortlisted for the project On the Shores of Baikal in the WIA2021 Professional Children’s Publishing Category sponsored by Walker Books. Find out more about them and their shortlisted project:

What’s your favourite thing about your shortlisted project?

It seems important to us that with our project we can once again draw attention to the conservation of the environment and the unique Lake Baikal.

What materials did you use?

We love to mix art materials, so you can see watercolor, gouache, pencils and crayons in one work.

What processes did you use?

My sister and I work in a mixed technique. It includes painting and graphics and printing techniques (monotype for example).

How long did it take?

It cannot be said that the project is completely finished. This is a big book about Baikal, which we are working on at the moment. We may work on each illustration for a day or a few weeks, coming back to it again and again.

Why did you choose to enter this work?

Three years ago, one of us traveled down the Baikal by kayak for the first time; it was an unforgettable experience and it was clear that a book would best express it.

What are your plans for the future?

We would like to finish the project by all means, we would also like to kayak around Bakal, and do more books about nature, in particular the nature of Russia, because we really have very beautiful places.

If you could work for/with anyone who would it be?

It would be interesting to do not only books, but also product packaging, for example, we think the illustrations are very attractive stand out on the shelves of stores.

What is your best tip for other illustrators?

If you have a creative stupor and do not know which way to go, then it is best to go on a trip and try to make your little project without the usual frameworks and obligations, so you can find out what else you can do.

What’s your favourite thing to draw?

Animals and nature, of course.

How do you work together?

We are twin sisters and have been painting together since childhood. Back then, we did the same job at the same time (one of us is left-handed and the other is right-handed). Now we can pass the same work to each other, or just ask for advice.