P. G. Bell: The Train to Impossible Places (Usborne Publishing 2018, 2019, 2020)
Cerrie Burnell: Wilder than Midnight (Penguin Random House 2022)
Emily Kenny: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alice Tonks (Oneword Publications 2022)
Flavia Sorrentino is a freelance illustrator who was born and raised in Rome, the Eternal City, and currently lives and works there. By her own admission, she grown up on tomato sauce and colors. She likes the saying about Rome that it ‘was not built in a day’ because every day it inspires her to find new ways to communicate and express herself. She worked hard to develop her characteristic technique, which made her famous all over the world, from France to America. She has worked with many publishers and her illustrations have won several awards. Her greatest passions are Toulouse Lautrec, poetry, historical costumes, typography, Tina Turner and of course tomato sauce…
Here are some books where you can find her illustrations:
The protagonist of P. G. Bell’s book, Suzy, has always stood with two feet on the ground, even physics is her favorite subject at school as well. But now something happened to her that cannot be explained: a huge train arrived in their living room! Not an ordinary train, but a magical mail train to Impossible Places. Suzy grabs the chance and joins the trolls who work on the train to help them deliver the parcels.
Conceived by Cerrie Burnell, Silverthorne is a mysterious place with winding roads, thorny forests and a mysterious castle. In the book, the stories of three girls are interwoven: Saffy, a little girl from the village, who always follows the rules; Aurelia is locked in the tower of the castle; And Wild Rose was raised by wolves. Together, they could change Silverthorne forever.
Alice Tonks would love to make friends at boarding school, but she has always struggled to fit in. Then she discovers that she can talk to animals, and that’s not all… As she begins to explore her newfound ability, she learns that some animals have disappeared from the school grounds. Only Alice can solve this mystery, but to solve it, she’ll need help from her new friends – both animal and human. The interesting thing about Emily Kenny’s story is that our protagonist is not a typical hero, yet she has to act heroically in this situation.
Flavia Sorrentino is my favorite illustrator and I am very happy to have a mini interview with her. Please find it below:
Boglárka Döncző: Which was your favorite illustration you made?
Flavia Sorrentino: It is really difficult to say just one illustration. When you are unable to answer, it is usually said that it will be the next one.
Let’s say that with personal projects you feel free and get close to what we like best.
When you create an illustration commissioned, there are some compromises and it is normal to deform a little the idea that one has initially. It’s teamwork.
But if I absolutely had to answer your question and to stay on the book cover that I made for clients I loved How to be brave, La principessa Baciarospi and Seven Wherewithal Way. Here I had more freedom to be able to bring my vision to history completely.
But there are so many covers I did that I love.
For example about not cover work I loved these illustrations made for a myth’s book: this and this.
Boglárka Döncző: What inspires you when creating your works?
Flavia Sorrentino: When I start a new project and I have to enter a new story, keeping in mind the client’s brief, I begin extensive documentation. I immediately understand where I want to go and the documentation helps me to better determine the way. So I look for paintings, artistic currents, posters, objects; all that can help me. Then I stop for a day, metabolize and start drawing.
Also I am lucky I live in a city and a country full of different stimuli regarding art.
So even a walk can help, I stay soft and observe. If something vibrates with respect to what I have to do, I write it down.
You can see more of Flavia Sorrentino’s work on her website, Twitter or Instagram.