Meet Anna Laura Cantone, the illustrator of ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’

Italian Anna Laura Cantone, illustrator of 'What is This Thing Called Love?'

Below is an interview with the illustrator of ‘What is This Thing Called Love?‘ and A Dad Who Measures Up, Italian Anna Laura Cantone.

1. What materials do you use to create your illustrations?

I started my career by using the traditional mediums of acrylic paint and collage. In 2007, I was commissioned to create the characters and background settings for a cartoon series, as a result of this experience I began to create my illustrations using digital media. This gave me a lot of opportunity to change the colours of the artwork and use various imported elements, like photographs, enabling me to bring real life into my illustrations ….

2. You use a lot of collage in your work. What do you find attractive about this method?

I have always loved using collage, but now with my ability to create digital imagery, it is more interesting than ever before. I am always finding something interesting to take photographs of when I am out walking and use these in my drawings! Everywhere I go I see funny faces in unexpected places, like in buildings or pieces of fruit – some people believe that I’m a little bit crazy!

When it is winter in my city more women wear fur coats and I can’t help but imagine brown bears!

3. Why do your people have such large noses and your cats such large tails?

Because they entertain me. Usually when I am out walking all I see are boring/normal looking people and I try to imagine them in my illustrations…and then I’ll laugh because in my mind I enjoy turning them into my funny characters!

4. You have illustrated many books in several countries. How do you approach a new commission? How closely do you work with the authors?

I have been working in children’s book illustration for 12 years now and, for me, the most important thing is visiting the international book fairs. I have been to Taipei, Frankfurt, Chicago , Paris , London and Bologna.

Normally I am friends with the authors, or will be…

5. In your opinion, what makes successful book illustration?

A good story with funny, colourful illustrations and good quality print!

6. What illustrators and artists do you most admire? Which have influenced your work the most?

I love Jacovitti, who is a very famous Italian designer/illustrator and am inspired by his long noses and funny combinations, but for the colours and collage I admire Robert Rauschemberg…

7. Which of your own books are your favourites?

The next one! Each book is an interesting adventure!

8. What are you working on now?

It is a professional secret! :^) I hope you understand me!

PS  We recommend a visit to Anna Laura’s quirky website.