Shaun Tan is an Australian artist, writer and film maker. He has published several illustrated books and is known for his surreal dream-like worlds and characters. This guy’s imagination and creativity is dialed up to the 11.
Creature is a large format 224-page hardcover, published by Levine Querido, that features the creatures that have appeared in Shaun Tan’s earlier published books, and this included sketches and paintings from his personal collection.
Shaun Tan’s technique is interesting. He likes to use penciling techniques that’s commonly used to draw portraits for his creature designs. There’s shading and hatching and lots of textured that all contribute to make the so dimensional and almost life-like. He loves to use coloured pencils too and there are a few paintings in this book as well. The creature designs are so fun and are the exact opposite of creatures you see in video games and movies.
The artworks look great, sure, but one thing that I really like about Shaun Tan’s work is they make you think. Even a simple creature design can make you think about the story behind the creature and that’s happening in the scene. There is narrative and storytelling weaved into the art. And sometimes the images, the imaginative world and creatures, would remind me of films of Studio Ghibli too.
This is such a wonderful artbook that has collected over 25 years of amazing art that Shaun Tan has created. That’s also a good amount of text you can read to find out what makes this man tick.
This is a book I can recommend to those who like sketchbooks, whimsical dream-like worlds and creatures.
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