Silent Book Workshop with German Illustrator Katrin Stangl

  • Silent Book Workshop © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 2 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 3 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 4 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 5 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 6 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 7 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 8 © Bettina Quabius
  • Silent Book Workshop 9 © Bettina Quabius

As part of the 7th edition of their annual cultural collaboration of the “Books – Made in UAE” initiative, UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region have organised a workshop with the focus on silent books. The genre has proven to become more popular and powerful than ever in helping to stimulate children’s imaginations.
The workshop for 13 UAE-based illustrators took place from 5 – 8 May 2018 at the 1971 Design Space at Sharjah’s Flag Island and was conducted by multi-award winning German illustrator Katrin Stangl who has won some of the world’s most respected awards including the “Hans-Meid-Preis für Buchillustration” and received the bronze medal in the “Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt” (World’s Most Beautiful Books).
Katrin Stangl first gave an overview about the numerous types of books without texts, e.g. discovery books (Wimmelbücher), collections, picture stories, and concept and artist books. The participants then had the opportunity to develop their own silent book ideas and discuss them among each other and with the workshop instructor. In the group and in one-to-one sessions Katrin Stangl gave tips on what to consider when working on a silent book and how to structure it. She also shared new drawing techniques, such as black-and-white scratching and linocut. In the end, every participant had completed a storyboard and two double pages of her story.

“The workshop was a wonderful experience for me and showed once again how the narrative power of images can bridge cultural and linguistic barriers. Through initial warm-up drawings and one-on-one meetings with the participants, we tried brought their books to life. We discussed together what kind of visual language and what technique they would like to use to shape their story. It was nice to see how open and communicative the group was, both to me and to each other."
Fatma Fairooz, a graphic designer from Dubai, said: “I had the best time in this workshop, it was really great to get my creative juices flowing with an amazing group of women. All the exercises were fun and I am quite happy with where my first silent book is headed. This workshop gave me the tools that I desperately needed to create something I know I’m going to be proud of.”
For Khadija Al Mulla, an interior design graduate from Zayed University in Dubai, the workshop was very inspiring and she added: “Katrin was great and inspiring. She has left the workshop making us feeling empowered to do what we love. The workshop was super supportive in all its aspects to explore and create.
And Sara Hassan, an Abu Dhabi-based freelance graphic designer, was sure: “This workshop gave me the tools and confidence to take active steps towards my dream to illustrate children’s books. I am very thankful for everyone that made this workshop possible.”
“Books - Made in UAE” is organised by the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Knowledge without Borders.
More information on the “Books - Made in UAE” project