x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Creativity Corner to inspire young minds

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair: Children's authors and illustrators including Yusof Gajah, Samar Mahfouz Barraj and Quentin Gréban will attend.

This year's Creativity Corner - a section of the book fair that aims to grab the attentions of young minds - will focus on electronic and digital applications and how children can use these tools as educational aids.

The programme will serve both Arabic- and English-speaking audiences and will feature appearances by international authors and illustrators including the Malaysian artist Yusof Gajah and the Lebanese author and illustrator Samar Mahfouz Barraj.

The Belgian illustrator Quentin Gréban will also be in attendance. He has published more than 25 children's books and had his work selected for the prestigious 1999 and 2000 Bologna Children's Book Fair annuals.

Gréban says he will be in Abu Dhabi "to show the audience the real face of my work. Lots of people have the wrong idea about what an illustrator's life really is ... Do we all write our books? Do we closely work with the writers? How long does it take to illustrate a book? I am there to answer all those questions."

The 36-year-old cites the illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger, the Impressionist painter Manet and even today's Pixar movies among his influences. He says that he also finds inspiration in other areas of cultural production and even in the great outdoors.

"It was hard to create my own style because she [Zwerger] inspired me so much. But now I have found it. Inspiration is everywhere now. Around me in nature, in movies and music," he says.

Gréban is currently working on an adaptation of Peter Pan and will bring his original paintings to ADIBF. "A little sketch is sometimes better than a long speech," he says.

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