One of the perks of what we do at ReadingStart is getting to know the wonderfully talented people behind some of our favorite picture books. Today’s profile is proof of those perks. We’ve always been fascinated by the depth and dimension of illustrator Mona Yakzan’s work, and naturally we just couldn’t help but share her work.
Mona Yakzan is a Lebanese Cypriot artist. She holds a degree in Computer Graphics and Animation from Fredeick University in Nicosia, and a degree in Digital Graphics from the Lebanese American University. She also attended the University of Central England, and has recently participated in several workshops on Stop Motion Animation in Italy and the Czech Republic.
What is unique about Mona Yakzan’s work is the range. With every new story, a new style of illustration seems to emerge. She uses different mixed media techniques, mixing real photography with illustrated characters, using collage, stitching illustration, and creating 3D puppets for main characters. For her latest book “Faer fe bayt Tamere,” published by Asala Publishers, she built 3D Puppets within 3D settings in order to illustrate the text.
Some of her illustrated stories in Arabic are: “Sadiki Jameel”, “ Kayfa sara el konfouz Faran”, “”Fekrat Hemar”, “Kayfa tastadou Fekra”, “ Baytouna Ahla”, “Far fe bayet tamer”, “Al Keta al moutanakera”, “Ouzon al feel”, “La tataakhara ene antazerkouma” and many others. She has won several awards for her work, most recently the Bank Audi Lebanese Liras Master Card Design Competition and the 2012 Gold Medal at the Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations for her illustrated story “Antar Wa Samir.” She has illustrated several children’s books published in Greece, the Middle East and Asia.
We asked Mona what her favorite children’s book growing up was, and her answer was “Tom and Jerry,” the story plus coloring book.
Apart from her work as an illustrator, Mona is now working on a stop motion animation that will be shown at different European competitions in animation. We’re looking forward to seeing it!