Chris Raschka

Biography

Chris Raschka

I’m sometimes asked about my general approach to illustration, which has over the years come to be described as minimal. Hmm, I’m not sure minimal is such a complimentary term, but I’ll accept it. I wasn’t always minimal. In the early days I was laying it on as thickly as I could, trying very hard to get it right. But I found that the harder I tried, the more tired whatever it was I was working on looked. And then I grew tired of it as well.
 
“There is too much sweat in it,” is how my friend, the artist Vladimir Radunsky, would put it. 
 
Perhaps he means that there has been an imposition of too much of my will upon the material with which I was working. It is an offhand remark of Wordsworth’s that helped me when I needed a new way to move forward: “The matter always comes out of the manner.” How you say something has direct bearing on what you say.
 
So, if you labor heavily upon a work of art, then part of what you are saying is, this is a heavy work of art. If you happen to be trying to say something about lightness, then the art should be light as well.
 
It is much the same with food. There are heavy meals and light meals. There are sauces that contain endless lists of ingredients, and there are sauces that contain only a few but in exquisite proportion. Does an apple taste best bitten directly into, sliced thinly with a light squeeze of lemon, or baked for an hour with nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon, flour and egg whites? Maybe the answer is that there is a time for all of those things.
 
My answer in my illustration has been to allow the materials to speak as directly as possible. I want each and every entire brushstroke to be seen. I want the marks made by the tip of the brush to carry as much meaning as the marks made by the dragging tail end, the part that splits open as the paint pulls away, thins and dries. I want each brushstroke to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, a story in itself and a life in itself. Then the life of this brushstroke can wrestle with the life of the brushstroke next to it. There is enough action there between two brushstrokes for a little story. And what happens when the next brushstroke comes in a different color? 
 
It could be epic. Of course, if it’s just brushstrokes wrestling around, it isn’t much of a picture book is it? There still has to be a picture. And maybe it needs to be a picture of a dog named Daisy or a little girl riding a bike. So I have to be careful before I get too carried away in the manner itself.
 
In the end, this is how it goes in my books. There are always two stories happening: one is me having fun watching brushstrokes wrestle, and the other is the story told in pictures and words on a page. It may be minimal, but it’s enough for me.

Events

Chris Raschka

02/12/13

Arlington Central Library Presents Chris Raschka
Arlington Central Library Auditorium
1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA
(703)228-5951

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/21/13 | 12:30 PM

Picture Book Panel & Signing w/ Frank Viva & David Kirk
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES, CA

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/22/13 | 10:00 AM

Bookstore Reading & Signing
BOOK PASSAGE
51 TAMAL VISTA BLVD., CORTE MADERA, CA

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/23/13 | 7:00 PM

Bookstore Reading & Signing w/ Bob Staake and Dan Yaccarino
THIRD PLACE BOOKS
6504 20TH AVE NE, SEATTLE, WA

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/24/13 | 7:00 PM

Reading & signing with Bob Staake
ANDERSON'S BOOKSHOP
123 WEST JEFFERSON AVE, NAPERVILLE, IL

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/25/13 | 4:30 PM

Bookstore Reading & Signing with Bob Staake
BOOK STALL AT CHESTNUT COURT
811 ELM ST, WINNETKA, IL

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/27/13– | 10:30 AM

Bookstore Reading & Signing with Bob Staake
BLUE MANATEE BOOKSTORE
3054 MADISON RD, CINCINNATI, OH

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/28/13 | 1:00 PM

Panel & Signing with Bob Staake, Tad Hills, Chris Raschka, and Jarrett Krosoczka
THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM OF PICTURE BOOK ART
125 WEST BAY ROAD, AMHERST, MA

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/30/13 | 10:30 AM

Screen Free Week Event w Dan Yaccarino, Chris Raschka, Bob Staake, and Tad Hills
POLITICS & PROSE BKSTR, INC.
5015 CONNECTICUT AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC

get directions


Chris Raschka

05/03/13 | 5:00 PM

Bookstore Reading & Signing with Bob Staake
BOOKS & BOOKS
265 ARAGON AVENUE, CORAL GABLES, FL

get directions


Chris Raschka

05/04/13 | 11:00 AM

Bookstore Reading & Signing with Bob Staake
BOOKS & BOOKS, MUSEUM OF ART FORT LAUDERDALE
1 EAST LAS OLAS BOULEVARD, FT. LAUDERDALE, FL

get directions


Chris Raschka

06/25/13

Shenandoah University Children's Literature Conference Presents Chris Raschka
Shenandoah University
1460 University Drive, Winchester, VA

get directions


Chris Raschka

07/19/13

Mazza Weekend Conference Presents Chris Rasckha
Mazza Museum University of Findlay
1000 North Main Street, Findlay, OH

get directions


Chris Raschka

10/13/13 | 1:00 PM

Reading & Signing
BOOKS OF WONDER
18 W 18TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY

get directions


Chris Raschka

12/21/13 | 2:00 PM

Reading & Signing
CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF MANHATTAN
212 WEST 83RD STREET, NEW YORK, NY

get directions


Chris Raschka

01/18/14 | 3:00 PM

Reading/Talk & Signing
THE VORACIOUS READER
1997 PALMER AVE, LARCHMONT, NY

get directions


Chris Raschka

04/26/14 | 11:00 am

Southern Kentucky Bookfest Presents Chris Raschka
Knicely Conference Center
654 N. Campbell Lane, Bowling Green, KY

get directions

displaying results 1–5 of 8 titles


Super Rover's Space Adventure (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)

By Tish Rabe; illustrated by Tom Brannon

In this 24-page deluxe picturebook, the friends explore the Solar System with their robot dog, Space Rover. Kids ages 3-7 will love planet-hopping, getting tangled up in "space junk," and ...

Recommended for AGE 3-7 years


Release Date Sept. 6, 2016

learn more

Daisy Gets Lost

By written and illustrated by Chris Raschka

"A must for Daisy fans everywhere," declares School Library Journal in a starred review.

With the same emotional intensity that he brought to his New York Times bestselling, New York ...

Recommended for AGE 3-7 years


Release Date Oct. 8, 2013

learn more

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle

By Chris Raschka; illustrated by Chris Raschka

“[Raschka's] marvelous sequences, fluid style, and emotional intelligence capture all of the momentum and exhilaration of this glorious accomplishment,” raves School Library Journal in a starred review.

Learning to ...

Recommended for AGE 4-8 years


Release Date April 9, 2013

learn more

First Grade Math Flashcards

By Sylvan Learning

Basic math skills are critical for early success in elementary school and beyond. These brand new flashcards provide plenty of math practice and are designed to help children catch up ...

Recommended for AGE 6-9 years


Release Date April 9, 2013

learn more

The Purple Balloon

By Chris Raschka

When a child becomes aware of his pending death (children tend to know long before the rest of us even want to consider it), and is given the opportunity to ...

Recommended for AGE All


Release Date June 27, 2012

learn more