我認為好的故事必須有富有智慧,但或許並不是第一眼就可以發現到的;好的故事可以讓讀者思考、反問自己,並且找到屬於自己的答案。我的目標不只是文字或插畫的創作,而是將每個人人生中都會遇見的重要課題濃縮成短短一則故事。

小狐狸與星星》這本書從故事、插畫、封面設計、裝幀到印刷紙質,都美麗精緻地讓我愛不釋手。作者柯洛莉.畢克佛史密斯 Coralie Bickford-Smith 在英國企鵝出版社擔任封面設計師,她設計的書封曾榮獲美國平面藝術學會(American Institute of Graphic Arts)和英國DAD(Design Advertising)獎項,《小狐狸與星星》是她第一本個人作品,她一手包辦了故事、插畫和印刷裝幀設計。這本書也獲得英國Waterstones書店年度最佳圖書大獎。

以下就是我和柯洛莉的訪談。

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Please tell the readers of “Illustration Today” a bit about yourself.

By day I am employed by Penguin Books to design book covers and by night I illustrate and explore my own projects. I am stuck in the past and much of my work harks back to the world of Victorian bindings and a golden age of book binding. Recently Penguin published my first book, The Fox and the Star, it is a fable for all ages about love and loss. When Fox’s greatest friend disappears, his search for Star takes him on a journey of grief, before he finds his way is lit with hope. I live in a quiet part of London where there are lots of trees so I can escape the city and be around nature. I also eat a lot of macaroni cheese. If I could, I would live in the forest that Fox lives in and it would be near the sea.

請向插畫生活的讀者介紹一下自己。

白天時我是企鵝出版社的封面設計,到了夜晚我則埋首設計自己的作品。我的作品類似維多利亞時期及黃金時代的書籍裝幀風格,而最近企鵝出版推出我個人第一本作品《小狐狸與星星》,這是一個適合所有年齡層的讀者關於「愛」和「失去」的寓言故事。當小狐狸最好的朋友消失了,他踏上一段尋找星星的悲傷旅程直到他發現希望之光。我住在倫敦一處樹蔭林立且安靜的區域,這裡讓我遠離市區的吵雜,更加親近大自然。如果可以,我也希望我可以和小狐狸一起住在海邊附近的森林裡面。還有,我個人很喜歡吃起司通心麵喔!

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You’ve mentioned on your website that the story of “The Fox and the Star” is inspired by your own life experiences. Could you share what they are and how you come up with the story?

The story was inspired by my own experience of loss. I could not help but draw on my own experiences. I integrate my life into everything I create, otherwise it feels meaningless. I, like everyone, have gone through some really tough times. Sometimes I wanted to make life easier for Fox but this wouldn’t have been an honest depiction. I felt it crucial to portray the essence of my own story – one of personal loss – in order to help the book resonate with others. The star represents my mother who I lost at an early age and reminds me of the strongest message I learned when learning to live without her. That she still lives within me and that is what Fox internalizes at the end of the book when he is filled with stars.

你在個人網站上提到,《小狐狸與星星》的靈感來自於你的生活經驗。這些經驗是什麼?以及這個故事怎麼來的?

《小狐狸與星星》的靈感來自我自己「失去」的經驗,我忍不住想要把這個體會畫出來。我將我的生活融入我的創作之中,讓這個故事更有意義。和每個人一樣,我也曾經有過一段非常痛苦的時期。有時候,我會希望小狐狸的生活可以輕鬆簡單一些,但現實中這是不可能的。我認為把我個人失去的體驗描繪出來,有助於讓更多讀者對這個故事產生共鳴。故事裡的星星象徵在我年幼時就失去的母親,星星讓我想起那段學著適應沒有她的生活。然而,我發現母親仍然活在我的心裡,這也是為什麼故事最後小狐狸身邊充滿著無數個星星,因為牠接受了「失去」。

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When you created this book, what came first, the design concept, the illustrations, or the texts? Could you walk us through your process?

Every element felt equally tough, both the illustration and text had to be the best it could be. I had never undertaken such a project before so the learning curve was a big one. I think I take things very seriously and every element had to be loved and cherished so that it was the best it could be. For a illustrated book to work well I feel that I can not just illustrate what the text says literally. It has to be a fine balance where the illustration enhances or plays with the text and vice versa. This was an important learning curve when making the book. I learned so much about how to tell a good story. A good story for me is one that has a wisdom that might not be apparent at the first glance. A good story leaves a person to think and ask their own questions and find their own truth. My goal was not to write and illustrate an action adventure but to distil an important life lesson into the pages that is relevant to many areas of people’s lives.

在創作這本書時,是先有設計概念、插畫、或是文字?可以描述你的創作過程嗎?

文字和圖像都一樣難,因為他們都必須是最好的。我從來沒有進行過類似的案子,所以在那之前的學習和準備是項大工程。我對於製作過程中的每一個環節都相當謹慎,同時我也熱愛並珍惜每一項元素,因為它們都是最棒的。對我而言,一本好的圖文書不能只是畫出文字上的意思,而是圖像和文字兩者間必須搭配出微妙的平衡。有時是插圖強化了文字敘述,有時則是輔佐搭配,反之亦然。這在製作一本書的過程中是相當重要的。我學到要如何說一個好故事,我認為好的故事必須有富有智慧,但或許並不是第一眼就可以發現到的;好的故事可以讓讀者思考、反問自己,並且找到屬於自己的答案。我的目標不只是文字或插畫的創作,而是將每個人人生中都會遇見的重要課題濃縮成短短一則故事。

封面草圖

封面草圖

構圖草圖

版面草圖

內頁草圖

內頁草圖

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The design of this book is exquisite. The orange thread even matches the color of the fox! How was it like to design your own book v.s for other authors?

I love the orange thread too. I did not stop asking for that particular shade of thread and I confess that I did drive my editors a bit mad. But it did get forgotten when the proof was made so I was right to keep mentioning that I wanted it. Small details are really important to me.

When I design a book cover for another authors’ words, my job is to communicate what they are saying with type and image, create a visual hook that makes people want to pick up the book and explore the world of the author. When I worked on my own book I used my day job knowledge to create a wonderful cover for it but I had many lessons to learn about how to create the insides. My day job only took me so far and I found a different sort of pleasure in the work I had to do to write the story and I was left to my own devices. I had only the rules I made myself, I was free to do anything and it was very daunting. When I went back to my day job it was comforting to be bound again by a brief, another person’s words and rules. But I am now creating another book of my own which again is a new journey into the unknown.

這本書的設計好精緻。橘色的縫線甚至跟狐狸的顏色一樣!比較起來,設計自己的書,和設計別的作者的書,有什麼不同?

我也很喜歡小狐狸身上的橘色毛髮。我不斷要求縫線的特殊色調,這項堅持確實讓我的編輯快要抓狂崩潰。但結論往往顯示我的堅持是對的,這也讓我更有理由繼續和編輯討論我所堅持的一些重要細節。

當我替其他作者的書籍設計封面時,我必須不斷進行溝通,了解他們想要的字型和圖像,並設計出引人注目的封面,讓讀者想要翻開這本書來探索作者的世界。設計我自己的書時,我可以運用工作上所累積的知識來替我的作品創造一個很棒的書封;然而內頁的設計和呈現,我卻有太多需要學了!我發現有別於日常工作的另一種樂趣,這次我必須創作自己的故事。自行創作的這段時間相當自由,我可以盡情地做任何想做的事情,規則隨我自己訂,但這樣的自由卻也令人感到害怕。等到我再度回到辦公室,反而因久違的「約束感」而鬆了一口氣。現在我又開始規劃自己的另一本書,這又是另一段未知的旅程了。

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From your design work, I can tell that you love typography and pattern(me, too!). You also have a really distinctive design style. What does inspire you? Who is/are your creative hero(s)?

I was given a William Blake quote, Eternity at a pivotal moment and it inspired me to change the direction my life was taking. This enabled me to take risks – namely becoming a designer, which was the best decision I could have made. I had to accept life’s constant changes in order to gain the necessary courage to move forward. So I wanted to write a story that embodied the idea contained in this poem.

Visually I am also very inspired by William Blake and Audrey Beardsley. I tend to look back in time for inspiration. I was also heavily inspired by William Morris. His use of colour and pattern is stunning.

從你的設計作品可以看得出來你對字型學和紋樣設計的喜愛(我也愛!),你的風格也非常有辨識度。是什麼帶給你創作上的影響?誰是你的創意偶像?

威廉.布雷克的詩《Eternity at a pivotal moment》激勵了我,讓我冒險選擇了不一樣的人生──成為一位設計師,這也是我所做過最棒的決定。這個決定讓我必須接受生活中接踵而來的轉變,累積勇氣向前邁進。所以,我想要將這首詩融入在我的故事裡。在視覺設計上,我受到威廉.布雷克和奧伯利.比亞茲萊的啟發,我常會不時回頭從他們的作品中找尋靈感。另外,威廉.莫里斯作品中迷人的配色和花紋,也刺激了我的靈感。

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Do you have any favorite book designs, other than your own work? What are they?

I love the work of Jon Klassen. His children’s books about hats are hilarious. I am eagerly waiting for his third and final hat book, We Found A Hat. Klassen’s work seems so simple but yet it is rich in emotions. I know from my own experiences of illustrating that the seemingly simple pieces of work I produce are often the most complex and exhausting to create.

I also admire the work of William Blake, I like the fact that he wrote, illustrated, printed and bound his own books as I do love all things to do with the printing process and the creation of books. William Blake had a lot of wisdom and through studying his work he has taught me to follow my dreams, create what I want to create rather than what I think other people want me to create.

除了自己的作品之外,你有其他喜歡的書籍設計嗎?

我很喜歡雍.卡拉森 (Jon Klassen)的作品,他的「帽子系列」兒童繪本非常幽默!我非常期待他的下一本《We Found A Hat》,這也是這個系列的最後一本作品。雍.卡拉森的《We Found A Hat》故事看似有些單調,卻包含了非常豐富的情緒。我也從自己一次次的創作經驗中了解到,看起來簡單的作品,其創作過程往往更複雜且辛苦。

我也很崇拜威廉‧布雷克(William Blake)的作品。我喜歡他自己寫、自己畫,自己印刷並且裝訂,就像我投入創作、印製到裝訂成書的整個過程,我享受其中。威廉‧布雷克讓我了解到,我必須追隨自己的夢想,去設計我想要的作品,而不是別人要求我去做的設計。

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For emerging designers/illustrators who would love to design books or create their own books one day, what are the advice you’d like to give them?

Work hard and follow your dreams. Expect set backs, when they happen dust your self off and take away the positives from the situation. There is always good stuff to be found in a seemingly bad situation if you reflect on it. Do not be scared to fail. I have a favorite mug with Bart Simpson on it, he says: ‘underachiever and proud of it’, it reminds me daily to allow myself creative freedom and that failure is just a part of the process of not only creating things, but finding your true path in life.

對於正在起步,想要從事書籍設計或是創作自己的書的插畫設計師,你有什麼建議給他們?

努力工作並且追隨你的夢想,預想你可能會遇到的挫折,這樣當你真的遇上時才能夠正面迎戰。再怎麼糟糕的情況總是有一絲希望,請不要擔心失敗!

我有一個很喜歡的馬克杯,杯面上印有霸子‧辛普森和他說的一句話:「Underachiever, and proud of it!(我是績優劣等生,而且我很自豪)」這句話每天都在提醒讓我要自由地創作,失敗只不過是創作過程和人生中的一小部分罷了。

Credit_TohmasLehman

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