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​​Young Vietnamese artist spends over a year illustrating ‘The Little Prince’

​​Young Vietnamese artist spends over a year illustrating ‘The Little Prince’

Monday, June 11, 2018, 17:22 GMT+7

The 25-year-old is known as the designer of many book covers for millennial penmen’s works

A young Vietnamese painter has dedicated more than a year to making an illustrated edition for the French novella The Little Prince, which has enjoyed warm reception from many fans of the world-renowned book and young artist community since its release late last month.

Nguyen Thanh Vu had read the book, originally titled Le Petit Prince, over and over again for years before he decided to draw his own illustrations for the literary work, the 25-year-old shared at the release ceremony on April 21, which was also Vietnam’s Book Day.

First published in April 1943, The Little Prince is the classic literary work of the writer and pioneer aviator Saint - Exupéry. The book is rich in philosophy but full of dreaming and suitable for all ages.

Even though many versions of The Little Prince by different publishing houses are already available in the market, Vu still managed to have Kim Dong, one of Vietnam's leading book producers and publishers, get his work printed.

During the book’s introduction ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, Vu shared with the audience that it took him more than one year taking reference from many versions of the famous novella including other countries’ printed, theatrical and cartoon formats to create his own The Little Prince illustrated in watercolor.

“It was like riding on a roller coaster of emotions,” he said.

Vu added while everyone has their own imagination about The Little Prince, it is advisable to stick to the original paintings by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

“My illustrations are a combination of my creativity and the stories and characters in the novel, giving readers a fresh, but not unfamiliar, impression of the book,” he added.

For some pictures, Vu, who graduated in interior architecture from the Ho Chi Minh City Architecture University, had to make three to four versions before being able to choose the final one, which he again had to edit and revise many more times.

The book release ceremony was attended by many young and senior illustrators, particularly famous book cover designer Ta Quoc Ky Nam.

Nam, who directly designed and presented the illustrated book for Vu, took the stage to help readers better understand its post-production.

Nam said he had talked to Vu a lot during the process of illustrating the book, discussing such issues as how not to repeat the details in the paintings and how to keep drawings logically linked with one another and show clear storylines.

One of the event’s attendees then questioned Vu as to why the original paintings look much softer and deeper than the illustrations in his book.

“I wanted [the illustrations] to be more cheerful and brighter to balance with the plot, so the color was pushed up with the help of computer technology when printed,” he responded.

To the budding artist, illustrating The Little Prince is the biggest challenge ever, an important milestone in the book illustration career that he is pursuing.

“I will focus on personal projects with more artistic characterization, which can be in written, drawing, comic or artbook forms," Vu said of his future plan.



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