Hans Christian would be pleased: award winner Andersen on “Soyuzmultfilm”, the Harvard mouse and glamour

As accidentally fall into the “Soyuzmultfilm” what happens when Prince Guidon takes the cross, were there any other Kai and Gerda, and why illustrate the misplaced glamour – says the artist-Illustrator Igor Oleynikov, winner of one of the most prestigious awards in the field of children’s literature – prize. Hans Christian Andersen prize for the best illustrations for children’s books. The gold medal artist will be awarded August 31, 2018 in Athens in the framework of the 36th world Congress of the International Board on books for young.

Igor Oleynikov. Photo: Sergey Shedrin

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Igor yulevich Oleynikov , a Russian artist, Illustrator, former art Director of animated films. More than ten years he worked at the Studio “Soyuzmultfilm”, where he participated in the creation of many famous movies such as “Mystery of the third planet”, “there once was a dog”, “Journey ant”.

In parallel with work in animation did illustrations for children’s magazines. Then he began to work as an Illustrator of books, including Pushkin’s fairy tales, “the little humpbacked Horse”, “the Ballad of Robin hood”.

Igor Oleynikov and illustrates books for adults, Bible stories. This year he became the winner of one of the most prestigious awards in the field of children’s literature – award named after Hans Christian Andersen.

Igor Oleynikov. Photo: Sergey Shedrin

Illustrator Igor Oleynikov lives in a small flat in a residential area of Moscow, on the third floor of the “Khrushchev”. In the same room – his Studio, where all work is created.
When we agreed on the meeting, Igor yulevich sheepishly explained that in this room, with an area of less than ten meters, three will be closely. So the photographer went to the artist’s Studio alone, and for the conversations we met at the office. A Igor yulevich brought a big half-meter folder with new illustrations, to then transfer them to publishers.
Igor Oleynikov talks enthusiastically about each of his work – he really wants readers to reflect on the meaning of the illustrations and got a new perspective on famous works.

On the first book, “the voice of the people” and medals Andersen

My first job in book illustration – book “And I was in computer city”. 1990, then the word “computer” I knew it, but had no idea what he looks like, and I was not even given a picture to look at. Therefore, sat up, and eventually drew some kind of remote control submarine, almost with the levers and switches – and it is the keyboard. It was very funny.

I have no problem specifically to change something, although some artists decide which style can be applied to a particular text. I do not know, and draw to me the most liked.

When you start to think about how to hold the line so took to buy it. This immediately tied the hands and feet.

I wonder with illustrations to give a new look to famous works. I prefer to illustrate classical texts, whose authors do not object to a free look at their text.

In recent years, began to move away from illustrating children’s books, wanted to become an adult artist, closed the door to the children’s book, and then it “knocked” the Andersen prize. Think, like, after all I am a children’s Illustrator, will draw anything else to justify this award (laughs).

About children’s drawings and characters from clay

As I remember, I’m in the seventh grade wanted to work in animation. Loved to watch cartoons. Went to the cinema “Rossiya”, where in the small hall always was an animation program.

And in General love drawing in my childhood. All children draw, just someone then the desire fades. Mom was an artist on the carpets, worked on Lyuberetskiy carpet factory, and she has always supported my interest, was given the job: “Igor, try to draw this, try that”. My sister and I would compete to see who is better (she also drew).

Remember, loved to paint on large sheets of drawing paper. First with colored pencils, then gouache. Once on New year parents put under the Christmas tree for me set of gouache in glass vials. How I rejoiced!

My friend Michelle took a sheet of drawing paper and began to sketch his little figurines of different characters in different situations that have come up with on the go, get the whole story on one sheet.

Adored Leonid Vladimir, it was my favorite artist. From clay even sculpted his characters.

My mom kept my children’s drawings, they are in the attic in the apartment of the parents. Recently looked into one daddy and shut down: when I was a child I thought it was very cool, but now I look and think, “Oh my God”. Let it lie.

About rock music and “pink” from the engineering profession

On entrance examination in Printing University I, of course, failed, and not to go into the army, went to Moscow Institute of chemical engineering. But I was always drawing in my notebook for lectures were mostly drawings, cartoons. In the end I’m on second year left because of this.

But the parents were very happy when I showed them (not those, of course, that instead of the lectures was in notebooks). In the 70s had a passion for rock music and 5-6 years will draw only musicians. My mother was very angry: “You would kill this transcription is endless!” But then I got out of this lacuna and began to think.

And at “Soyuzmultfilm” the first time was in 1972 when I was in College – my husband sister’s friend worked there as editor, and he said, “let’s go!” And we went to the puppet Department, I took with me a folder of his work. And there Roman Abelevich Kachanov looked at them and said, “Our people, finish Institute and come.”

But after graduation I was waiting for the obligatory work in distribution, and I worked in the design Institute “Giprokauchuk” in the Department from his father, he was head of the design Department. But, honestly to tell you, there are no exceptions I was not – on the contrary, did not get out of the farms and construction sites, father kept me in the “black body”.

And I always drew: as head of the office left, started to draw like came returned to his drawings. And gradually, I began to give assignments to draw different wall Newspapers, posters for the holidays. Soon I just drew officially.

And then my father said, “Well, how can you embarrass? Collect their pictures and get out at “Soyuzmultfilm”. Enough.”

He gave me a good “kick” from the engineering profession.

On the work on “Soyuzmultfilm” and the fabulous luck

And again the old memory I went to Spaso-peskovsky lane, in the building of the former Church (there was a puppet branch of “Soyuzmultfilm”), to the Roman Abelevich Kachanov. And they tell me that it is not here, he is drawing Studio starts to do “the Mystery of the third planet”. And one multiplier was just about to go to the Studio and said, “come with me! I’ll take you there”. Say: “Let’s Go”.

Scene from the cartoon “Mystery of the third planet”

When we went into the hall, he called a passing man: “Volodya, look at the guy pictures.” It turned out it was Vladimir Zuykov, who worked with Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk by. Say: “I would Kacanovo”. And Kachanov was made a group on “the Mystery of the third planet”, and I got it. I was lucky magically. Remember, it was September 17, 1979.

As life has shown, it was all right. I believe that everything happens in his time. These nine years – six in the Institute and three years of work by the engineer is not in vain: in time I came to the Studio for “the Mystery of the third planet”, where did the backgrounds for the film.

The atmosphere was amazing. “Soyuzmultfilm” was a completely different world. I instantly realized that this is my world, and I he took. We had a very friendly staff, Roman Kachanov all together. And then for many years I worked out of state – was not one. In 1986 I was taken finally to the state. “Soyuzmultfilm” – it was a name that the whole country knew. We in the media called the “magic screen”. Ready was a janitor working there. And then somehow goes to the artists.

Scene from the cartoon “Journey ant”

All work in the animation for me is concentrated in the film “there once was a dog”, “the Caliph-stork”, “Journey ant”, “Martinko”. It was just fantastic times, to leave the Studio didn’t want, I would be there camped out. For me it is still Saturday and Sunday seem to be days wasted.

Natasha Orlova, Vladimir Zuikov, Eduard Nazarov is all my teachers.

At “Soyuzmultfilm” I got ten rubles less from 120 to 110 engineer assistant of the artist, and at that time for the average employee it was a big difference. A little alarmed the parents of his wife. It’s funny that when I was 10 years old worked in animation, my father in law is a respectable kind of man, worked all his life in the gas industry came up to me and said in a whisper: “If you still want to go back to the engineers, I’ll help you”.

And another friend said, “Oh, stop it already with this nonsense, let’s start to earn money”. Was not taken seriously, I find it funny to listen to.

And then I began the evening in parallel to draw for magazines, and salaries have been added and other income. I loved his work and love it now, I think what’s best for me and can not be. Fabulous I was lucky that my childhood hobby became my job.

About England, working with the air force and the lessons of capitalism

Once Eduard Nazarov got a call from “Mike” and was asked to make the cover with an anthill on it – just recently we finished “Journey ant”. And he said to me: “Igor, you know, I’m lazy. Let’s do it”. I did, they liked it, offered to work. And then I noticed the publishing house “Prosveschenie”. So I started my work in book illustration.

In the 90s as an art Director was invited to film “In search of Olwen” – Soviet-British production for the Welsh television channel S4C (BBC). And we half a year lived in England, in the small town of Llangollen (Llangollen) in North Wales. Places prettier than I at that time not seen. I was struck by people who smiled, said Hello (not being friends) were discovered. Since I love England with all my heart.

But then we worked hard for 12 hours a day. So I don’t get tired ever. There’s something to understand about capitalist relations. My assistant, an Englishman told me that his friends – the owners of the pub Eagle – I want to order a picture with an eagle and will pay a good amount. Agreed and took the paints that are purchased at “Soyuzmultfilm” the mistress of the house of our film. She saw it and threw a terrible scandal, “What? You my paint currently earn money?” And then I understood. It’s not my means of production, and I have no right to use them for making money.

On the tasks illustrations and Kayas, which Gerda did not come

Discovered an opportunity to illustrate not directly, but to find hidden between the lines, though, of course, many illustrators this technique has been used before.

For example, “the little humpbacked Horse”. Still painting the sky flying the Horse. Because Ivan is nowhere to put your legs because of the small stature of the Skate. But the text does not say that it flies. So I came up with a special saddle with a foot rest, knees bent.

Or in “the Tale of Tsar Saltan” Prince Gvidon removes the lace from the cross to the bow string. So, he took the cross, the Christian cross. Means, were left without protection. And then Swan spoke with a human voice, different miracles, magical things went, such a black magic.

No one takes such moments of attention, but they are there in the texts. It is interesting to reflect on every line – why it is written so and not otherwise?

Interesting illustrations to remove all the fairy and replace it for the life of the present.

That is, the situation remains fantastic, in the illustration the supernatural stuff removed. For example, a beauty that is lost in the woods and rushes him for a day or more, needs to be dirty and tired, torn, rolled ankle, limp, dishevelled, and her draw in clean, neat clothes and perfect hair.

Artist Igor Oleynikov

I always wanted to have children, earned a fantasy when looking at the illustrations that they thought about each picture.

Look at the book, which I suggest, at first it seems obvious. Illustrator helps you to take another look at the text, and maybe people will read into the text more closely.

In “the Tale of the fisherman and the fish” again, I draw real, living people. I think if the action takes place “in the blue sea”, then why the old woman asks the house? The blue of the sea are likely to be the hut, and the hut is closer to the North. So I decided that the sea on my illustrations will be White North. And a hat the old man – as fishermen-coast-dwellers.

Artist Igor Oleynikov

Nobody pays attention to that old man and woman trough a cracked, them to wash even there is nothing, and draw them in clean neat clothes. And all the illustrations of the old man throwing a net with a pebble. It’s wrong, throw a net from a boat.

From this I assume, combine the fabulous story and the realities of life. But the text are very kind. The text in the book, of course, the primary, if not the book-the picture. Illustration and text work with each other, complement.

Illustration says: “look what you have!” And the text: “Yes? Indeed, it is necessary that I eat it! I didn’t know.”

In the book I’m interested in the drive, nerve, tension, mystery, love and the everyday scenes. Although even in a boring text, you can find something interesting to illustrate. You know, like you would a telephone directory.

I do believe that illustration can change the meaning of the text, when the work is a single sense, but in the picture offered another. For example, the final illustration in the “Snow Queen” published by “Nicaea” I did so: Gerda found Kai in the Snow Queen Kingdom, hugging him and in the distance, sitting many other boys, which Gerda did not come. The snow Queen a lot of them stole. And starts on a different perceived image of the Queen. The tale does not say that there was someone other than Kai, but does not say that he was alone.

It is interesting to take a very famous text, the illustrations show him in a completely different way, to bring a new look.

Glamorous about king Arthur, the Bible and the stories of front-line writers

Artist Igor Oleynikov

“King Arthur,” I began illustrating books for adults. Long wanted, and I have always been irritated glamorous approach to illustrating the text.

“Oh, how great sir Lancelot! How shining his armor!” What armor??? All this happened in the sixth century, and from there the Romans have recently left, out there full game! The dark ages. And I’m king Arthur “deglamorize” absolutely. In that time, just went to London and at the same time for “King Arthur” was looking for materials on the Anglo-Saxon wars in the British Museum and in other museums, but little is found. Had a lot to think through. In short, the Dark ages, Dark Ages.

Once upon a time drew the three wise men on horseback, and the horses are on the belly in the snow. In the distance a small house from the chimney smoke rises, and the angel of the North in the hat and fur coat to warm his hands. Above it all – the star of Bethlehem. And then, when I was asked to illustrate the “Book of Joshua”, I remembered this work and all biblical events are also moved to the tundra, in the snow.

The book “It’s us, Lord” is my tribute to the war. At that moment I just began to illustrate adult books, and “Nike” suggested this.

One truth I realized while working – you won’t know myself until on the brink.

Vasily Bykov in the story “Sotnikov” two guerrillas captured by the Germans: the centurions are weak, “skinny”, and the Fisherman, stalwart. They are sentenced to death by hanging, and weak was very strong, and “strong man” at the last moment, was afraid, and said, “I’ll cooperate with you” and helped to hang his friend.

And I realized that until the last second we don’t know who we are “fishermen” or “Sotnikova” until you are put on this face. And I myself also can’t say may I, too, would be “fisherman,” or, “Sotnikov”.

For me there are three “military” writer Astafiev, Bulls, and Granin. After them the theme of war is closed.

On the development of illustration in Russia and “the American dream”

Book illustration in Russia is developing from one extreme to the other. If you were like socialist realism, Soviet our illustration you can see a mile away, and now all the paint under the Europe. There are exhibitions, mainly of young very similar to one another. But I hope this is due to the fact that artists beginners and then they will find their own. That is why the real teacher must see the potential in a person, I do not know, therefore not taught.

Foreign publishers with whom I worked, asked him to show all the sketches before beginning work, so they are rigidly held. When doing a book for Simon&Shooster (USA), faced with certain difficulties.

This is the tale of Mahalia mouse that went to Harvard. From the basement of the dormitory she went to get food was in the backpack of one student, she was not noticed, and buttoned up, and so the mouse got into the University. Listen to the lecture and decided to stay, took her to the students. For mouse there is made a separate computer, sewed clothes, made furniture, but when I suggested to draw a separate ladder for it, so that the mouse could enter the building, and not to climb on the human levels, then I said, “No, she has to walk like everyone else.” I did not understand the reason, and still don’t understand.

Artist Igor Oleynikov

Started doing the final picture. Racked my brains, and at night the idea was born: the mouse goes into his basement and opens the Harvard – spiders, mice, woodlice and other poor fellows. And like the coat of arms of Harvard, drew three slices of cheese and signed them survival – “survival” (the emblem of Harvard three books and the words Veritas “truth”). Mouse as Moses returned to his people to lead them out of darkness.

What the Americans said to me, “No, this should not be ever, it should only go up in lawyers, attorneys, no return to the past.” Only the success of this American direction.

About gadgets and sense of beauty

Despite the number of gadgets, the child will still need a children’s book, which you can see. For my illustrations I am without any reverence. If the child wants to draw – Yes please, let draws, draws, draws, develops imagination.

I was not insulting you! It’s even good, I would have looked. I have a book “On paths of life” with beautiful illustrations of Zdenek Burian. There on one page drawn marine dinosaur-cryptochid, so I painted him on the back trichological tower of a battleship. This tower is still in the book.

Don’t know how to draw beautiful women: this too is for me some kind of glamour, and ugly faces more expressive.

Edward Nazarov taught me: “don’t you draw symmetrical! Winnie-the-Pooh one ear flattened, because he sleeps on it”. Gerda I drew “fever” on the lip – she caught a cold during your travels.

Everything happens for a reason and small circuits give warmth and develop trust. Trying to draw a life close to reality as possible to reduce her “fabulousness”.

Artist Igor Oleynikov

Now began to make more concise compositions. Once painted a bunch of details, but now left it. It probably comes with age.

Recently at the art center in Solntsevo held my exhibition, and daughter-in-law, school teacher, brought his student, a fifth-grader. We talked a bit, and I realized that she saw all the meanings that I put in the illustration.

Here these children I expect. I want the child was conceived, began to dream, really want to turn the brain. And if one kid out of a hundred will understand, that’s good.

Talked Hope Prokhorov

Photographer Sergey Shchedrin

20 of the best works on illustrations and animations for children and adults: choice of Igor Oleynikov
Book illustration:

1. Shaun tan “the Arrival”, “the lost thing”, “Red tree.”

2. Rebecca Dautremer, “The Bible”, “Cyrano”, “Princess”.

“The Bible”

3. Gennady Kalinovsky, “Alice in Wonderland”.

4. Newell converse Wyeth, “treasure Island”.

“Treasure island”

5. All works of Russian illustrators Sergei Kovalenkov, Cyril Chelushkina.

“Mike and Blue Umbrella”. Artist Sergey Kovalenkov

6. The work of artists Quint bucholz, Lisbeth Zwerger.

“Thumbelina”. Artist Lisbeth Zwerger


Foreign cartoons:

7. Pinocchio (Pinocchio), 1940.
8. Castle in the sky (Laputa: The Castle in the Sky), 1986.
9. Spirited away (Spirited Away), 2001.

“Spirited away”

10. The secret of Kells (The Secret of Kells), 2009.
11. Song of the sea (Song of the Sea), 2014.

“Song of the sea”

12. The jungle book (The Jungle Book), 2016.
13. Hooligan tales (for adults), 2016.

“Hooligan tales (for adults)”

Soviet cartoons:

14. Chippolino, 1961.
15. Mitten, 1967.
16. Winnie the Pooh (3 films), 1969-1972.

“Winnie The Pooh”

17. Ikar and sages, 1976.
18. There was a dog, 1982.

“There once was a dog”

19. The journey of an ant, 1983.
20. Film, movie, film, 1968.

“Film, film, film”

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