“The painter rabbits” illustrated by Stéphane Poulin: luminous fable and sweet paintings

“The painter rabbits» illustrated by Stéphane Poulin: luminous fable and sweet paintings


Two rabbits live near a pond. The rabbit painter by day and the rabbit painter by night coexist wonderfully, until the day when a black cloud is positioned above the pond… Stéphane Poulin has been an illustrator since the 1980s and is still passionate about albums youth!

You have been working as an illustrator for about forty years. How have you seen the environment change?

What has changed is the world around. We consume quickly. I remember in the 1980s, when a book was published it could stay in people's minds and in the news for six months, even a year. Today, there are wonderful books coming out, we talk about them for two weeks and then poof! It's as if things no longer have an impact. This is not a defect; I am not criticizing this environment at all. It’s a great environment and I have immense respect for the publishing work that is done in Quebec. There is talent here.

You are the illustrator of the Painter Rabbits, a bright and hopeful fable. Tell us this story, through your paintings…

If the text tells us that there are two rabbits painting on a pond, it has to be natural and for it to be natural, we have to feel it in the text. I found it extraordinary to paint on a pond! It's a very strong image. However, I thought to myself that, for the people who live around this pond with the two painter rabbits, it is ordinary. It's part of their daily life. It's a little magic. I call it ordinary magic! This story, for me, is an ode to ordinary magic.  

What keeps you so passionate about the oil painting?

It is a medium that is slow, that takes time, but whose possibilities are endless. When I paint, everything is drawn about four times. It gives a slightly fluffy effect; very soft, where there are no brush strokes. Normally for children's book illustrations, I start work at the beginning of September and have to deliver my work at the end of June. 

What mark would you like to leave on the children's literature?

Not being there. I like not being there (laughs)! I like that the children take the books with their parents and have a good time reading at home. I would like my books to remain among the others, among all these beautiful books. I want to contribute to the beauty of the world.

Would you be more a bunny painter by day or a bunny painter by night?

I would say both , in fact… The night painter rabbit, somewhere, is cut off from the world. He is in his art. The rabbit painter by day, he is in life. When I draw, I am in my studio, quiet, but I really like the world.