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Kertu Sillaste

Biography

Kertu Sillaste (1973) is an illustrator, art teacher, and picture book author. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in textile design, studied tapestry at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré in Paris, and received a master’s degree in art education at Tallinn University. Sillaste has worked as a graphic designer at the Tallinn Central Library, and currently teaches art at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. She has written five books, illustrated 16 works, and is a long-time collaborator with the children’s magazine Täheke. Sillaste was listed in the 2016 White Ravens catalogue and was a candidate for the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Her signature style includes thick, vibrant India-ink brush strokes combined with acrylics or collage.

I've authored texts for picture books. The writing in my books is very concise – what matters is that it always fits with the pictures. I usually write a story and illustrate it simultaneously, and therefore I might not tell everything in the story itself: the pictures tell part of the tale, too. When I write, I keep in mind that a book meant for small children should have short words and sentences, but also a little bit of excitement and great characters.

Profile photo: Piia Ruber

2020
Annual International Contest ‘Image of the Book’, Moscow, laureate

2019

25 Best-Designed Estonian Books, Certificate of Merit (The Prettiest Skirt)

2018
5 Best-Designed Estonian Children’s Books, Special Prize of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre
Good Children’s Book (I Am an Artist)

2017

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award candidate

2016

The White Ravens (No, It Isn't So!)
Good Children’s Book (Everyone Makes Art Their Own Way)

2015

Raisin of the Year Award (No, It Isn't So!)
Nominee of the Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (No, It Isn't So!)
Good Children’s Book (No, It Isn't So!)
The Knee-High Book Competition, winner (Astrid and Ott)

2014

25 Best-Designed Estonian Books, Certificate of Merit (Liis Sillaste-Toots. „Kokatarkusi must valgel”)
Good Children’s Book (Kätlin Vainola. Where is Love?)

2013

The Knee-High Book Competition, 1rd place (Kätlin Vainola. Where is Love?)

2011

The Knee-High Book Competition, 3rd place (It’s Pancake Time!)