Happy Sant Jordi's Day: the magic of the rose and the book through the world of illustration.
Sant Jordi (Saint George) is one of the Catalans' most important and best-loved festivals. In addition to commemorating the patron saint of Catalonia, Sant Jordi has become a day for celebrating culture, love and creativity reflected in the literature of books and their illustrations. And believe us when we say that you can feel them in the air and in every corner of the city. Books and roses fill the streets on a day when hardly anyone stays at home.
In 2019, we launched an initiative to design an image for the Sant Jordi festivity and to showcase the talent of artists from all over the world with their evocative artworks telling stories that need no words.
Below you will find illustrations offering different views of this celebration that are available for download.
Carole Hénaff: Sant Jordi, the Festival of Spring
"I experienced Sant Jordi more as a festival of spring, with sunshine and lots of flowers all over the city, with people strolling, a rose in one hand and leafing through a book with the other, with a smile on their face".
Carole Hénaff describes herself as an illustrator, born in the French city of Orange. Her graphic design projects include the poster for the 2018 Madrid Carnival, the 2020 poster for the Spanish state-run hotels, the Paradores, children’s books, illustrations for the Wall Street Journal, Elle France Magazine, Les Echos, Freundin, etc.. Her work has been recognised by Communication Arts, American Illustration and the Society of illustrators.
For her, Sant Jordi "is an opportunity to meet authors and illustrators who sign their books and prints. It’s also lovely to lose yourself in the streets and find a book at random."
With her illustration Carole pretends "to show how the mind is opened and enlightened through reading with the hair in the form of an open rose, thus creating a link between the rose and the book.."
"And I would say two words to the next illustrator: love and culture."
Cinta Arribas. Sant Jordi turns upside down!
Sant Jordi a Barcelona, Saint George in Barcelona, is a synonym for culture and love, concepts the author transmits through the book and the rose. With a fresh approach, she shows us reading as good thing, thanks to the character in a rather funny pose.
Cinta Arribas describes herself as an illustrator and fine artist and her career is closely linked to children's illustrations. It's interesting to see how she perceives our most beloved festival. Cinta loves the fact that "there's a day to celebrate the importance of books and, at the same time, discover the authors behind them".
Cinta's enthusiasm for the celebratory atmosphere is perfectly reflected in her interpretation of the day designed for her poster. "While I was working on the sketches for the poster I came up with several concepts associated with Sant Jordi: the street, festivities, the legend of the knight and the princess, the book, the rose and the dragon... but I had to simplify these ideas and I chose two concepts: reading and the rose".
Cinta has captured one of the most important Catalan festivals with her personal, dreamlike and colourful style. She considers it "an honour" and has one piece of advice for the illustrator Turisme de Barcelona will be choosing to design next year's poster: "Have a good time, enjoy the experience".
MAGOZ. Books and roses: the essence of Sant Jordi
MAGOZ, with his markedly conceptual and minimalist style has used these elements that he describes as having "a very poetic backstory", and produced an animation showing a book appearing from nowhere. "The story unfolds from here, culminating in a rose", he explains. The pages of the book keep turning and help us understand how the legend of Sant Jordi was forged and has been passed down from generation to generation".
Adding a commemorative poster to a day when culture and talent take centre stage will undoubtedly be a step forward in bringing Catalan design worldwide recognition. According to MAGOZ, who has long-standing experience in the fields of illustration and graphic design, "Barcelona is a highly valued brand around the world, and synonymous with creativity and quality. This isn't just due to its great talents and big names, but because it's a magnet for other artists too".
Walking through the city streets, giving roses, getting your favourite author's autograph, soaking up the feeling of happiness on every corner… As we said earlier, Sant Jordi is a very special day for local people, and for MAGOZ too, who is thrilled at being chosen for the first commission to design the poster for Sant Jordi: "I'm really happy to be able to continue contributing to culture while living abroad [MAGOZ lives in Malmö, Sweden]. And I'd like to say to the illustrator chosen to do the design next year to have fun and I can't wait to see the result of his work".
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