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Julie Andrews’ Picturebook illustrated by Astound Artist Chiara Fedele

Published on 11/11/2022

To celebrate the release of the stunning new title The First Notes: The Story of Do, Re, Mi!, Astound chatted with illustrator Chiara Fedele. We can’t wait to hear all about this remarkable story of written music!

What did you find most enjoyable and rewarding about illustrating The First Notes: The Story of Do, Re, Mi? 

“One thing I absolutely loved has been all the research I did for the book. The Authors and the Publisher wanted an Italian Illustrator in the way to be in touch with the landscapes described in the books I suppose.I am lucky I live not too far from where the story has begun. The Pomposa Abbey. It’s a stunning place I visited to take inspiration.I also loved all the study of the rich history about the Abbey and Monks life.”

What was your favorite page to illustrate, and why?

“Pomposa Abbey has this peculiar pavement into the church. Is a very ancient pavement decorated from the VI to the XII centuries. Is a beautiful geometrical mosaic.There is one page of the story when Guido is pretty disappointed by the reaction of his fellas monks, so he become quiet and thoughtful. I painted Guido looking up to to God in the Church, with the lights from the windows on this beautiful pavement. I took 3 days coloring all the tiles but I think the result was worth it.”

How was it working with the team at Little, Brown and all those involved in bringing this title to life?

“The subject of the book and the research has been tough but Little Brown team were always helpful and supportive and of course the Authors too! I want to thank specially Veronique Sweet.”

What did you find most challenging about the project?

“Painting not visible stuff, like music, is always something very difficult. In this case it was the discover of a writing form of music. From the invisible to visible.”

Any takeaways that you’d like to share with budding illustrators or those with dreams of illustrating a children’s picture book?

“I alway say to my students: take your time. Take your time to do research for a book, to practice with all the tools you have for painting. Don’t go to the easiest and fast way, enjoy your journey.”

The ITSme Society is a collective of top creative agencies that represent award-winning talent worldwide. The ITSme Society agencies represent illustrators and writers across 7 agencies: Advocate Art, Astound US Inc, Illo Agency, Artistique, Yeon, CWLA, and Collaborate.

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