Why Picturebooks Matter: Me? An Artist? I Am An Artist by Kertu Sillaste

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had the great pleasure of teaching an after-school art class for children at a local primary school. It was great; so many young faces just bursting with creativity trying to get out. And some of them were very confident…but so many of them wanted to make art, but were held back by some notion they had (already) picked up along the way about what art is and how you have to make art. It took a lot to get them to bypass this shyness, fear…the “I’m-not-good-at-this” feeling. I wish I had had this book then….


author/illustrator: Kertu Sillaste

Graffeg Ltd (19 August 2021)

ISBN: 9781914079634

Meet John. John is an artist. But what is an artist? What do they do? What do you need to make art? First of all, you need a good idea…but where does that come from? A good idea can come from any where, at any time; when you take out paper and paint, when you use your imagination, when you look at other art and sometimes, a good idea will just come. You never know when a good idea will appear. And then all you have to do is express that idea through art. You might draw it or paint it or stick it together…or find it and rearrange it. An artist can make art however they want…

More than just a story, this picturebook is a unique journey into the world of creativity! Far from instructing young ones “how to draw” or “what art is”, it frees the reins and knocks down boundaries, inspiring us to reconsider art with curiosity and confidence. With clear, easy-to-read text, the reader is plunged into our young artist Johns’ thoughts about making art, where it comes from and what it means to be an artist. As we read, we discover that art isn’t always easy. We will have days when we are not happy with the art we make….and that’s okay! You can always try again, or try something else. A lesson for life in general! The words work hand-in-hand with the bold, designerly, child-friendly illustrations, and excitement and new understanding reveals itself on each page to encourage creative exploration and expression of ideas. Art is a game; a puzzle; telling stories through pictures; a surprise! And it is yours for the making!

This is honestly the best book I have ever come across on making art for children. (And for a few of us grown-ups, as well.) Vibrant, encouraging, inspirational, quirky and curious; a wondrous, interactive book for home or classroom…utterly marvelous in every way. https://graffeg.com/products/i-am-an-artist

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