“Nature and emotions” are easy for her, she says. Children’s book illustrator Britta Teckentrup likes to focus her drawings on the profound and relies on a balance of objectivity and empathy.
By Romy König
Teckentrup’s first picture books were created in London, where the artist, who grew up in Wuppertal, Germany, moved at the age of 18 to study illustration and free art at St Martin’s College and the Royal College of Art. In her own words, the first thing she wanted to do with these first publications was to make a living instead of fulfilling any artistic dreams. However, she soon discovered that she wanted to combine free art with the medium of the “book”. The publishing house of Jacoby and Stuart finally enabled her to do just that – to illustrate children’s books on a much higher artistic level, with all the freedom to let her passions run free.
„Der Baum der Jahreszeiten“
Britta Teckentrup: „Der blaue Vogel“
Britta Teckentrup: „Bienen: Kleine Wunder der Natur“
Britta Teckentrup: „Der Baum der Erinnerung“
Britta Teckentrup: „Wunderdinge der Natur“
Britta Teckentrup: „Mond: Eine Reise durch die Nacht“
Informative, but also atmosphericShe created many works, but one in particular, Alle Wetter (Look at the Weather), stands out as one that she not only illustrated, but also wrote. Unlike other children’s stories on the subject of meteorology, it is not a mere lesson in “nature study”, as the publisher says. Teckentrup describes the emergence of weather phenomena in rather factual terms, but at the same time captures their mood in her pictures: the awakening of spring, damp mists, hot summer days, raging storms.
The artist names Titian and Turner, Van Gogh, Munch and also Caspar David Friedrich as models for her atmospheric style – painters in whose paintings weather phenomena always played a role. For its balance between science and empathy, Alle Wetter received a nomination for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) in the non-fiction category.