Meet Maud and the Shrimpton Family

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“Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton” is a brand new book by Lauren Child, illustrated by Trisha Krauss. The story is about The Shrimptons family; “flamboyant and eccentric, being noticed is what all the members of the Shrimpton family live for – all except, that is, for Maude. She prefers to blend into the background rather than stand out in a crowd. And this is very much to her advantage when they all come face to face with a rather hungry tiger”. Trisha Krauss tells us more about the collaboration…

How did the idea came to you and to Lauren to do the book together?

Lauren and I met in New York City many years ago and we became dear friends.  We have always admired each other’s work and for many years Lauren has been thinking of ideas for a collaboration.  She came up with the story of  Maude, The Not So Noticeable Shrimpton,  with me specifically in mind and filled the story with visuals that suited my style of illustration and my character.  At the launch she referred to me as the very noticeable Krauss which was a wonderful thing to be called considering I have been pulling antics to make myself noticed for many years. This time I got noticed by quietly painting many pictures rather than swinging off chandeliers which was very Maude like.

How did you work / collaborate? Did Lauren write the story and you had a “carte blanche” for the images?

Lauren wrote the story and approached me with the idea after she had been given the green light by Francesca Dow at Puffin. We went through the text together and discussed the feel of the book.  We agreed whole heartedly that the Shrimpton family would be from the upper East side of New York City and they would be somewhat Royal Tenenbaum like. Eccentrically and poetically off the wall.  Lauren very kindly allowed me to explore each character and discover their personality from my own visual sources.  Of course, because I am a great fan of her work and truly admire her design sense, there are definite hints of Lauren. For example the patterns in the backgrounds. The difference is that I paint on plywood and most of Lauren’s patterns are made from collage.

How much time did it take to put together the book?

The thing about painting patterns on plywood is…… it takes an awful long time.The book from start to finish took about 6 months.  We began discussions in February 2011 and I began working on sketches in March/ April and I finished the book in time for The Frankfort book fair in October 2011.   I worked very long hours and had only the Shrimpton family as company for a very long time but fell in love with all of them. Especially dear Maude.
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Trisha Krauss spent many years working as an illustrator in New York City. Her work has appeared regularly in many publications, fashion campaigns and books. She now lives and works in London. The exquisite illustrations for Maude were painted in Trisha’s signature style, acrylic on plywood, adding texture and warmth to each image.
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