Illustrators who are inspired by books


They can’t imagine life without books, even though drawing is their greatest passion. These illustrators talk to us about—and illustrate—their love of reading.

Kate Pugsley: “Books are really important to me. They’re an escape into a different place and an opportunity to learn and grow. I sometimes read non-fiction, but my favorites are always fiction: The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Bell by Iris Murdoch are a few of my personal classics. My bookshelves are mostly organized by genre, but I don’t keep them very tidy. I keep one stack on the shelf of my queue of books to read next. I love to read outside in my yard or at the beach in the sun, and I think life would be pretty boring without books.”

Kate is an illustrator, who works with gouache, watercolors and pencil.

Bryksenkova :“My outlook on life, love and beauty is influenced by the stories I’ve read. The only books I have in my house are the ones that are very special to me. I always borrow a book from the library or read it on my iPad first, and only buy it if I really loved it. I am surrounded by all my favorite books, such as Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto and Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin. My favorite place to read is lying 
on my bed on a quiet summer’s afternoon. Books are so important to me; I can’t imagine a life without them. I have read so many stories at exactly the right time in my life, and they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.”

In her work, Yelena likes to use pens, acrylics or gouache.

*In Issue 29 you can find three more illustrations of reading, and the story behind them.

Text Alice van Essen  Illustrations Kate Pugsley (left), Yelena Bryksenkova (right)