Illustrating Young Adventurers

gestalten
4 min readApr 27, 2023

Outdoor activities are fun, exciting, and can be found right around the corner! Young Adventurers energizes children to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors, engage with their surroundings, find new friends and gain confidence through important experiences, while learning to appreciate the wonders of nature. We spoke with the book’s illustrator, Caroline Attia, about her experience designing the book, her creative process, and much more!

Q. Hi Caroline, can you give a short introduction about yourself for those who may not know you? I am an illustrator and animation director, based in Montreuil, France, which is a 5 minute metro ride from Paris. I work from a lovely and bright home-studio, where I illustrate for books and animated films. Sometimes I have two little assistants of 3 and 7 years old: my daughters. I have always loved drawing, like most kids, but I never stopped. I knew I wanted to do this as a living since I was six and never saw myself doing anything else.

Q. What does your usual illustration process look like? I usually start doodling in a sketchbook. I do some very fast and unreadable things to search for the global composition of the page and ideas for characters. Once I am happy with this, I go on the computer to do a more precise line drawing. Then I do some very small and fast color rough, before diving into the actual illustration. My final work is more shape and color based than line based. The lines come to highlight some elements. Even though I work on the computer, I like adding handmade textures to give the illustration a final touch.

Q. Is there a particular illustration within the book that you enjoyed creating the most? I don’t think I have a specific favorite. I enjoyed doing many of them for different reasons: either the slack-lining one because it was fun to project myself back into childhood playing with friends in the park, or the one with sailing activities because I love the colors and lights of the sea, I loved the camping one too because it’s another light set-up compared with other ones in the book.

(Illustration: Courtesy of Caroline Attia, Young Adventurers)

Q. Do you often create illustrations for children’s literature, or have you worked across other publications too? Most of my work is geared toward Children. I guess it’s the period when my imagination was the most vivid. But I don’t illustrate for literature only, I have also created works for film, and sometimes I even illustrate products.

Q. What makes Young Adventurers unique in your eyes? I remember being a child aspiring for this kind of open-air adventure: I lived in the city and was not exposed to nature as much as I wanted to be. I guess as a child I would have spent hours dreaming of being in the shoes of the children depicted in this book. I don’t know if that’s what makes it unique, but it’s what makes it special to me.

Q. What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in illustration? First, you have to be patient, because it can take some time before things start working out. Then I would say a personal project is the key when there is no work and even when there is a lot of work: it’s where you are gonna experiment and make your own creations. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy what you are doing, it always shows.

Q. This will be your third book with gestalten after Whatever the Weather, and The Big Book of Treasures, how was your experience working together with gestalten on Young Adventurers? Well, like the previous books, Little Gestalten has put a lot of trust in me in how to create the illustrations for this book. It’s great to be able to do books where there’s as much space for illustration as there is in picture books. So it’s always a pleasure for me to do them.

Q. What do you hope readers will take away fromYoung Adventurers? I hope they will want to go outside and try some adventures with their friends of course!

(Illustration: Courtesy of Caroline Attia , Young Adventurers)

What are you waiting for? Get outside and ride a bike, climb a mountain, or spot wildlife and go camping. Whether in the local park, your backyard, or amongst the trees in a nature preserve-the great outdoors is the place to be! Discover more from Young Adventurers today.

Originally published at https://gestalten.com.

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gestalten

Berlin-based publishing house that specializes in developing content for aficionados of cutting-edge creative culture worldwide.