Robert Sabuda – artist

Robert Sabuda

Robert Sabuda is an American illustrator, pop-up artist and paper engineer who works in the field of children’s books. He grew up in Pinckney (southeastern Michigan) with reading being a key part of his childhood. Sabuda, as most children do, experimented with paper a lot, cutting and sticking it to create various things, after he discovered pop-up books Sabuda used his skills with paper and the books as reference to create his own pop-ups.

As an adult Sabuda began working in the area of illustration, firstly illustration the works of others and then progressing to writing his own stories and illustrating them himself. Recalling his passion for pop-up art, Sabuda used his old books to teach himself more pop-up skills which he then improved, eventually becoming one of the leading pop-up artists in the children’s book industry.

Sabuda’s work is inspiring in the way the art and story compliment each other whilst working as individual pieces. The pop-up art is intricate and appears like a small 3D world, bringing the story to life in ways other pop-up art I’ve seen haven’t done. The intricate level of the pop-ups add a level of interactivity to the books even though they’re not physically engaged with, as the reader can see the visual of the story as though they are part of it themselves, which is a good way of keeping younger children engaged in a story whilst also appealing to older children which makes his books good ones to read as bedtime stories in families with multiple children who will, most likely, be of different ages.


(photo from:


Avengers Age of Ultron – film


(Warning: this post contains spoilers of the Avengers Assemble and Avengers Age of Ultron films)

Marvel’s film “Avengrs Age of Ultron” was, in my opinion, a good film. Whilst I preferred the action and characters of the Avengers Assemble film the second film was appealing in other ways. The first film focused on getting the Avengers together and their relationships with one another, only a little focus placed on their backgrounds (possibly due to the fact that most of the characters have their own films dedicated to showing how they became who they are).

Avengers Age of Ultron introduced some new characters who we got to see develop throughout the film, as well as reintroducing the old cast and exploring them in a more personal in depth way, especially Hawkeye who we didn’t really know a lot about in the other films he appeared in.

One thing I didn’t like about the film was the character Vision, not because of the character or actor, but because, to me, he didn’t seem to be a necessary character. Yes, he had a few major roles, but they could have been done by any of the other Avengers and he wasn’t really explored in terms of conciousness and personality in the way Ultron was (probably because he had less screen time and didn’t appear until late in the movie) which made him a character that couldn’t really be related to, instead seeming like a kind of higher being.

In my own work, whether it’s writing or art, my favourite part is creating the characters, giving them names and appearances is just the first step. To make a relatable character that people will connect to and like, I feel you need to also consider personality, how they interact with others, future goals, status, and, most importantly, their history—the most interesting characters I’ve comes cross are the ones with in depth pasts. In Avenges Age of Ultron I liked the exploration of these pasts as it made the characters, despite all of their superhuman / God powers, seem human and ordinary and believable. Characters I hadn’t been sure about in the first film I now like having seen the second film and would actively want to watch films dedicated to that character which is important, not just for fans to engage, but for the filmmakers to have increased interest in their characters.

so as a conclusion: the film was great and the way it explored characters was inspiring to me and I want to find better ways of making my art characters appear to have a history despite being static characters on a page.

Interactivity in books

For my current project I’ve been looking into interactivity and books is an area of this that really caught my attention when I did some research. Here’s what I found out:

There are lots of different forms of book interactivity, most often found in children’s books as a way of getting them to engage better with the activity of reading to encourage interest.

Some of the main forms of interaction in books are: pop-up, lift the flap, touch and feel, hide and seek and sound books where a button corresponds to an image and the child pushes the button to make the sound when they see the image.

Another type of interactive book I’ve come across a few times involves a child sticking pieces (often made of felt or magnets) into the correct place on the book, or on a playmat to act out the story being read to them. This, I think, is one of the best forms of book interaction for children who struggle to sit still listening to a story, as it allows them to both read and play at the same time.

Pop-up books, whilst mostly aimed at younger children, can be interesting to people of all ages because of the 3D appearance they give and, as shown with the major interest in 3D films and 3D technology, this is something that appeals to a lot of different people.

From the point of view of an art student, I find these books the most inspiring as they show creativity and have been carefully thought out, illustrated and crafted to form books that, no matter what age the story is aimed at, appeal to people of all kinds.

Zootropolis – film


Over easter I saw the new animated film Zootropolis. While I like anime, I’m not a big fan of cartoons or animated films normally, but I did enjoy this film. I liked it because the characters, whilst animal, were human like in behaviour and appearance (standing upright, wearing clothes etc) which meant you could relate to the characters in ways you normally can’t with others animated films. There was a lot of focus on stereotypes and withholding or subverting them within the film which was interesting for me as I often consider stereotypes when creating characters myself. What was more intriguing though was that the backgrounds of the character were explored which showed why the  chose to conform to or subvert the stereotypes, something I look into when designing characters in stories or art when I think about what made them who they are and how to portray them.


(image from:

A thought on mythology

my current art project is themed around mythology so I’ve done a lot of research on a few different mythologies. One of the things I noticed most was that in each mythology the same character types pop up (e.g. Trickster), and generally there are three deities who appear as the main three and who the myths are often about.

There are similar themes in the various myths too (most commonly creation, love, betrayal and war) and in many places ideas cross over even though the myths come from different parts of the world and therefore different cultures. For example, a common idea is that they sun was drawn across the sky by a chariot usually steered by a God / Goddess and pulled by an animal sacred to the culture (e.g. Norse mythology = goats).

This made me think that maybe the myths originated from the same story and are, rather than being completely seperate stories, are different interpretations of the same story.


Dino Tomic – artist

Dino Tomic ( is a professional artist from Norway. He owns a tattoo shop, works as an art tutor and is an artist who mostly works with traditional mediums, usually paint or pencil.
What inspires me most about him isn’t his artwork, although that is incredible, it’s his dedication to art. He set an unlikely goal for himself at age 19, to “become a good / great artist at the age of 26 and be well known / famous in a way” and he set a challenge to achieve this of drawing / tattooing / airbrushing or painting every singly day. Naturally, this meant that sometimes his right (dominant) hand would hurt too much to use, when this happened he used his left, letting nothing stop him from achieving his goal—which he did in 2014 at age 26. I find his dedication admirable and look up to him as a role model in art.
Another thing about him that inspired me was this: , a collection of his artwork to show his progression and evolution as an artist from age 8 to age 25. I love seeing his progression and how he got to be where he is. I also like the fact that whilst his artwork was, in my opinion, good, before he turned 22 when it became incredible and then, over the years, exceptional which, to me, emphasises and proves that hard work is the key to success.

Izanagi Aadi – artist

Izanagi AadiIzanagi Aadi is a hobbyist artist from India who works in traditional media, mostly pencil, and has created several 3D anamorphic drawings. His work is one of the main reasons I became interested in Anamorphic art and it is something I plan on trying for myself in the near future. Another thing he does which is unusual but inspiring is negative art, where he colours his images in the negative and then uses a camera / computer effect to invert the image to show the intended colours. As well as using styles which are new and intriguing to me, he also works in the manga style which allows me to use his work as reference to help me improve my own as I have better understanding of how he created his artwork.


(Drawing belongs to Izanagi Aadi, found: