The Night Box – Illustrated by Ashling Lindsay

The Night Box illustrated by Ashling Lindsay is one of the five books on the shortlist for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize.

The Klaus Flugge Prize judges describe Ashling Lindsay as an illustrator with huge potential. The Night Box is very accomplished technically, beautifully evocative and they were struck by the skilful composition.

Here Ashling Lindsay describes her favourite spread from The Night Box, and the illustration process:

One of the things I love most about picture books is the interesting ways you can work with composition to make meaning. In that respect I think Moon Man, by Tomi Ungerer might be one of the main influences for me in this book.

I’m always trying to find engaging ways to approach composition, and when I first read the manuscript for The Night Box, this spread stood out and I saw a wonderful opportunity to do something creative here. I had a really clear idea about what I thought it could achieve. It was the first spread I worked on, the one I spent least time on, and the one that went through the least revisions.

I wanted the left hand page to feel still and silent. There needed to be an element of urgency but it was also important that the deer seemed safe. I used the ‘v’ shaped trees in the foreground to frame the deer and fawn. This frame creates a sense that we are being given a rare glimpse at a special moment, but it also acts as a kind of barrier between us and the deer, so it’s not so easy for us to pass through and get to them. If the deer’s eyes had been closed here, they might seem too vulnerable, like they could unknowingly be in danger. The deer’s eyes here are alert, and they give a ‘leave them in peace’, kind of look, creating a sense that she could spring into action at any moment. She is brave. I placed the moon in the image too, as a kind of back up for the deer. The night is on their side.

I felt the right hand page should focus on the animals and feel alive. I used the tree in the centre to integrate both sides of the spread as a way to suggest where the animals may have sprung from from without having to use a background.

All of the work was made digitally but used some handmade marks in places for texture.

Ashling Lindsay is an illustrator and animation director from Belfast. She was shortlisted for the AOI Illustration Awards two years running (2013 & 2014) and was also shortlisted for the AOI Serco prize for illustration (2015).

The Night Box is written by Louise Greig and published by Egmont

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The Klaus Flugge Prize is funded personally by Klaus Flugge and run independently of Andersen Press.

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