cinnamon art stories
cinnamon art stories is a boutique publisher of children's books, celebrating art and creativity. Through immersive and engaging pictures. These books kindle a child’s imagination, spark curiosity, and encourages them to see the world in a different light.
When we curated our first collection, Exploring Art, we wanted to shine a spotlight on a diverse group of modern and contemporary artists. Given the lack of informative and attractive books about art and artists for young children, we decided to fill the gap in the market by selecting important artists of different nationalities with distinct styles - Louise Bourgeois, Wu Guanzhong, Nam June Paik, David Hockney, Piet Mondrian and Gustav Klimt. We focus on telling the life stories of each artist - celebrating their originality and ideas that shaped their work!
After 7 months of conceptualising, writing, illustrating and editing, we released our Exploring Art collection in January 2021! Our illustrator, Sienny Septibella, did fantastic work on these books, especially the covers which had to all look different from each other, but also cohesive as a collection. These 6 books introduce young readers and art enthusiasts to the depth and breadth of modern art history. Each book explores the key concepts of an artist’s oeuvre, their inspirations and important artworks. We also include art terms, guiding questions, a glossary, reflections and activity pages as these encourage conversations between parent and child, as well as piques a child’s curiosity and prompts them to be more present in their reading time.
We wanted to feature a female artist that hadn’t already been over-published. We chose French-American artist Louise Bourgeois for her powerful life story and iconic giant spider sculptures. Her career spanned 8 decades and was defined by childhood memories. A few incidents that happened in Louise’s childhood affected her deeply, and making art was her sole form of comfort, expression and psychological release. Her symbolic spider sculpture was inspired by her mother, whom she looked up to as a protective figure.
As a publisher founded in Asia, presenting at least one Asian artist in our first collection was essential. Wu Guanzhong is a well-known Chinese artist and resonates with a wide audience from our grandparents all the way to Gen Z. We thought it’d be nice to adapt his story to contemporary culture, so that our children and grandchildren will never forget him! We discover the beauty of Chinese landscapes and motifs that were used in all of Wu Guanzhong’s ink and oil paintings.
We also selected a Korean artist - Nam June Paik, who pioneered using old television sets in making art. Nam June Paik was an incredibly innovative artist and experimented with new art mediums in the 1970s, such as upcycling electronics and integrating them into art and nature. He actually paved the way for immersive art that is so relevant today!
To inject some colour into our collection, we decided to have a recognisable pop artist that most people would have heard of. British artist David Hockney has been in the news a lot recently so we felt his style and colours would be really relevant to pop culture today! In this book, we discover his everlasting curiosity and innovative use of technology. Hockney is 83 years old, and perhaps he may remind us of our grandparents. However, his curiosity about the world and technology never stopped as he aged, and his iPhone and iPad art works are considered one of his most important series!
The concept of basic shapes, forms and colour is extremely important, and children identify with these elements from a young age. Dutch artist Piet Mondrian created his quintessential paintings using only the three primary colours - red, blue and yellow. His work is inspired by colour theory, geometric shapes and forms, and has been an inspiration to many creatives like architects, designers and software engineers. In our book, we go through the major milestones in his life that helped inform his decision to use only three colours.
Our sixth book is of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. We loved the classicism, romanticism and use of patterns in his paintings and thought his style would be a good fit in our first collection! We had an enjoyable time recounting his travels seeing intricate mosaics in Italy, to being inspired by ancient Egyptian and Greek motifs. Klimt incorporated what he saw and felt into his portraits and wall murals. He brings these decorative elements to life in his paintings and they truly overflow with expression and beauty.
Since releasing our Exploring Art collection, we’ve had great feedback from children, their parents and grandparents, art collectors and art enthusiasts. They make unique gifts for a budding young reader, and we create each book like creating a design object. Thoughtfully curated, responsibly sourced and printed locally in small batches, we hope that children will cherish their happy memories when they re-read our books and hand them down to their children and grandchildren. It is our dream to share these artist picture books with as many young children around the world, and Bookazine is the perfect retail partner in Hong Kong!