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Francesca Sanna grew up on the Italian island of Sardinia. She first moved to Germany and then on to Switzerland to study illustration. In Summer 2014, Francesca attended the Summer Residency in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She completed a Masters of Art in Illustration at the Academy of Art and Design in Lucerne in June 2015. Francesca currently lives in Zurich where she works as a freelance illustrator.
To find out a little more about her work, we asked Lorena the following questions:
What inspires your work?
I like to listen to other people stories, compare my situation to theirs and trying to empathise with those stories. How it would be if I were in such a situation? How different would I be?
Since I left Italy to live in Switzerland, I am also inspired by a strange sense of nostalgia I feel every time I am back home to visit my family and enjoy the seaside.
Other than that when I look for inspiration I go to my favourite book shop or to a museums, and I really like to exchange ideas and thoughts with people from different background and countries.
Tell us a bit about your process….
I start with a personal feeling or situation. If there is something I am particularly passionate about or on the contrary very mad or worried about, If I want to discuss about a certain theme with other people all the time, that is a signal I need to work on that specific topic.
I like very much the first stages of my process: the research and then the storyboard. For the first one I look for questions and inputs, and then I go back to the white paper and start visualising a story sketching and sketching until I find something that work with the story.
For the illustrations I always try to cut something out from the page, to use the space that is not physically in the book: I think that hiding something from who is reading makes a picture book more interesting.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | Readers of all ages will pore over the pages of this spectacular book. Its enticing die-cut pages encourage exploration as its poetic text celebrates everything Earth does for us, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | Winner for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize | Winner of the UKLA 2017 Book Award | Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 and awarded the Amnesty CILIP Honour | A powerful picturebook which teacher judges described as “taking children to new experiences outside their own”. What is it like to have to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey; one filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope.
Mr Mountain has seen it all - from the arrival of the very first plants and worms, to dinosaurs, mammals, and, more recently... humans. Even when they climb all over him, Mr Mountain is very good at keeping calm and steady, and is determined to spend his long life resting his heavy arms and eyelids. Until one day, when he is disturbed from his slumber by a little voice asking him to 'Move, Mr Mountain!'. It seems his neighbour Lily is desperate for him to move out of the way so she can see what's on the other side of him. But of course a mountain cannot move, and at this Mr Mountain finally loses his temper! The wind picks up, snow starts to fall and the ground begins to rumble and shake... but little Lily remains unfazed. Can they set aside their differences and find a way to get along? This heart-warming story includes themes on unexpected friendships, consideration for others and an appreciation for all the beauty the world has to offer.