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Tell me about yourself?
We are married-and-working-together illustrators, specialising in kidlitart, living in the green hills of rural KwaZuluNatal with a menagerie of (mostly rescued) animals. It's bliss!!
Tell me about The Real Farmer in the Dell, what makes it special?
We love how simply and cleverly it shows the subjective nature of reality - the stories we tell ourselves or other people come from our own personal perspective, so each person in the story will tell it differently. This brings us to question - whose story is real? And in the end, if you get what you're after, does it even matter whose version of the tale is true?
What are things that inspire you?
We live in very beautiful countryside, surrounded by gum plantations, big green fields full of black and white cows, and dark blue mountains rising in the distance. Our beloved and hilarious animals are a daily inspiration - just take a look at our profile pic with Jack! Life is always MORE with animals around, isn't it?
What mediums do you use?
We work digitally, with various 'real' bits scanned in and assimilated into the illustration. We're mad about textures, so we incorporate splatters, rubbings and have even used bits of photographed concrete in our work!
What is your process of creating art?
With this book, we made small thumbnails, then full size sketches, before going to final colour. Lately we are experimenting with 'winging it' - we just start drawing! Layer after layer of stuff, deleting bits we don't like as we go and developing the illustration very organically and freely. It's a real adventure because we're never entirely sure where we will land up - a bit like Bilbo Baggins setting out on the road and not knowing where it'll take us...
What other projects are you working on?
We're thrilled to be working with the lovely people at Clear Fork on our second Sandra Sutter book 'Stan's Frightful Halloween' - thanks Callie, Mira and Sandra for this new and exciting project - it's gonna be a SCREAM! We also have a second book coming up for Jacana Media which we can't wait to unveil, and a fabulous book with award winning author Jeanne Willis coming out later this year with Stripes (part of the Little Tiger family). On top of that, we are working on a couple of new books with Imagine That and developing our own author-illustrated picture book 'Good Boy, Jack!'. Aren't we the lucky ones?)
The REAL Farmer in the Dell
Written by Sandra Sutter, Illustrated by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne
Coming in Spring 2019
Everyone knows the song, The Farmer in the Dell. But no one knows the REAL story. Find out the truth from a little mouse who was actually there. Prepare for a modern twist that turns the original stereotypes upside down and empowers girls and boys to imagine new possibilities. Filled with humor and fun retro-rodeo illustrations, this book is sure to delight and surprise you to the very end.