CHILDREN'S BOOKS CATEGORY WINNER
Levi is an illustrator well known for his detailed use of watercolour, gouache and egg tempera. He studied Illustration at the University College Falmouth and has since written and illustrated a number of books for children. His book, Django was shortlisted for the English 4-11 Best Children's Illustrated Book Award in 2011. He won the Booktrust Best New Illustrators Award 2011 and the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2013.
Levi is based in Brisbane, Australia and you can see more of his work at levipinfold.com
Black dog is an illustrated tale that uses metaphor to depict how fear can distort reality. The fears of the Hope family are embodied by a giant black dog, which only the youngest member of the family has the courage to confront.
The judges were very impressed with this elegant and highly accomplished picture book by a young illustrator with talent beyond his years. They felt the characterisation was strong, the pictures beautifully composed and the luminous painting exquisite. Black Dog is an original picture book, which has global appeal and has the capacity to become a timeless classic.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Levi featured in the awards issue of Varoom magazine.
BRIEF: 32 Page Children's book, based upon a self-written text.
MATERIALS: Egg Tempera (pre-mixed and self mixed), Arches Hot Pressed, many, many, many, pencil leads and reams of recycled paper. A pair of hands and a mildly obsessive brain.
RESEARCH: Getting lost on a snowy day, my sister's dog, curious items of interior decoration in friends houses, a particularly thin house down a mysterious side street in Bath, first hand accounts of ghost sightings, the colours of liquorice allsorts, local folktales.
PROCESS: Thumbnails, then lots of working until whatever I'm drawing feels complete and not stopping until that point is reached: Often drawing the same object or room a number of times until the desired effect is achieved. After a precise rough is decided upon it's painting, and strange imposed hermitude for a fair few months.
RESISTANCES: The infernal tendency of tempera to pick up its under-layers. Old Father Time tapping me on my shoulder and informing me it's Wednesday when I KNOW it's Sunday-Tuesday-ish or thereabouts.
INSIGHTS: The unexpected often happens and sometimes it's best to go with it: work with mistakes in painting, avoid starting again. Preparation is key.
DISTRACTIONS: Picking the right music for the day in the morning. Going for a spin on the motorbike – though it helps to with keeping a clear head, which can be a necessity sometimes. BILLS.
NUMBERS: 00000. The number of that fabled, hard-to-come-by tiny brush which is perfect for dotting the shine in an eyeball or painting eyebrow hairs.
AFTERWORDS: Things you saw in your brain go out to do things and meet people without you. Almost everything humans have is because of this. Take care.