Jean-Christian Knaff

An illustrator, children's book author, writer, educator, animator and all round creator with lots of stories to tell...

The artist, aged 3 years!

See Jean-Christian's work here

1. A brief story about you?

I was about 6 - a terrible hairdo - summer had gone by without a whisper like a white and silent train. We went to the circus that evening and when we got back, there was a kangaroo sitting on the fresh cut lawn.

2. Your first/earliest visual memory?

My first vision of the outside world was framed by the white wooden bars of my baby bed - my mother smoking - her two feet resting on the dinner table, like two black motionless characters from a shadow theater against the back drop of a bleak sun setting down in the window frame.

3. What or who inspired you as a kid?

Jules Verne and ‘La Vie du Rail’ a cheap magazine about Swiss trains that my grandfather kept bringing me, hoping that I would drive one of these some day. I was only interested in bridges and tunnels.

4. An early poignant art making moment/experience?

I had finished working on this big painting. Went to bed and the next morning I took a closer look at it. Something was missing. I turned the painting and started to scribble words on the back. That’s how I started to write.

5. How would you describe your style and approach to your work?

My style is the way I talk. When I paint, I use words and when I write I use colors and shapes.

6. Message for mini budding artists?

Trust yourself and believe in what you do, no matter what the others say.

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