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Zdenko Basic distinguished Croatian animator and illustrator of children's books
Zdenko Bašić, illustrator and animator, Zagreb, Croatia
Music by Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni
ZDENKO BAŠIĆ BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Zagreb) is a famous Croatian illustrator and animator.
Early Life and Eduaction Zdenko Bašić was born in Zagreb in 1980. He graduated from the Zagreb's School of Applied Arts and Design, Department of Graphic Design, in 1999, and from the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Animation, University of Zagreb in 2005. Thanks to his graduation stop motion film Snow Story – Angels in Snow (10 min) he was awarded as the best graduate. Presently, he has a studio, and works as an independent artist, illustrator, and animator.
Career As a student, Zdenko Bašić was an inventive, original, and creative artist who took part or created many projects. Witch's Office, an ambiental-costumographic project held during the carnivals in Zagreb and Samobor in 2000 and 2001 is just one of them.
He has been working as an illustrator since 2002. Ever since he illustrated many children books, book covers, and magazines for major Croatian publishers, and since 2006 he has been collaborating with the London Bright Agency, as well as various British (Carlton Books), American (Hachette), and other publishers in Europe. His originality and creativity were recognized from the beginning, and many of his illustrations were either nominated for, or awarded with the most prominent Croatian awards.
In 2010 he illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the British Carlton Books, and in 2011 this collaboration continued on the Pinocchio's adventures. Both the books were published in a number of languages throughout the world.
In 2011 he published Sjeverozapadni vjetar (The Tales of the Wind). He is the author of both the text and illustrations. This book has become a bestseller within weeks, and major Croatian magazines and newspapers have selected him as the most promising, original, creative, and productive author.
Awards In 2005 he was nominated for a prestigious Grigor Vitez Award for best Croatian children and picture book;
In 2006 his illustrations were awarded at The First Croatian Biennale in Zagreb; In 2006 he received the Sheep in a Box Award for the best Croatian picture book – The Story of Chocolate by both - children and professional jury;
In 2006, he received the biggest Croatian literary award Kiklop for the Story of Chocolate. In 2008, he received the Grigor Vitez Award for the best illustrated children books (Priče iz davnina - Croatian Tales of Long Ago, and Novela od stanca) – remakes of the most popular classics of the Croatian literature;
In 2009 he received Octavian (the Croatian Association of Critics Award) for his animated film Gulliver (13 min). The same film won Grand Prix at the Croatian film festival Days of Croatian Film – the biggest Croatian national film festival, and was also awarded as the best short animated film at the Dubrovnik International Film Festival Liberthas;
In 2010, the Croatian Association of Applied Art Artists awarded him with The Best Young Artist award;
In 2010, his animated music video Žeđam received the biggest Croatian music award Porin for the best music video;
In 2011, his book The Tales of the Wind was selected as the most beautiful book published in Croatia in 2011 by Croatian weekly magazine Globus.
I bought myself a new book yesterday. It’s been quite a while since I’ve bought myself a book. But the moment I heard about it and saw it, I knew I had to have it. It’s called “Sjeverozapadni vjetar” or “The North-West wind” by Zdenko Basic. It’s a book that is both an immense pleasure to read and to behold as you can see here. I knew I had to have this book for three reasons: the first one being its beauty, the second being the fact that it is about fairies and other wood’s creatures and the third that the stories were based on those narrated to the author by his grandmothers.
Although I didn’t have my grandmothers close by me growing up in Australia, this book reminded me of all the stories that my mother told me about her childhood in Krasicevica – about how her father could forecast the weather by looking at the stars, tell the time by putting a stick in the ground, about how for all important feast days he would put extra hay on the floor of the stable so the animals would not walk on the bare ground as a sign of respect, about how she found a orphan fawn in the forest and looked after it, about a time not so long ago when man and nature were one, when people could hear what the trees, wind, water were telling them, a time when fairies were visible to many not just a few…
And although I have recited many stories of my and my mother’s childhood, I have decided to retell them again to my children, perhaps even write them down, and teach my children how to listen to the wind, to the plants growing, to the fluttering of fairies’ wings….
I will leave you with the words of Zdenko, so that we can all learn their language:
For all those who are asking themselves and want to understand… …the wind’s language and how to listen. The wind will always speak as long as there are ears to listen. Hear stories, the secret quiet language you can learn and listen to by yourself. Find a place, where all other sounds are silent, and you can hear the silence. Let the heavens be open above you, the north wind at your back, open this book and listen to where the wind is coming from. Turn the book in the direction of the wind’s finger. Level your body in that direction. Close your eyes, and let the wind blow freely in your face. Listen, because it speaks through touch, sound and murmurs, as well as scent. Breathe deeply, and when it passes through you… Listen then to what the wind is telling you. Clouds, leaves and birds. Now everything is speaking its language. It will teach you more. Thank it!
And thank you Zdenko Basic for reminding us of its language!
Zdenko was born in 1980 in Zagreb, Croatia. In 2005 he graduated from the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, receiving an award for Best Graduating Student.
Zdenko has illustrated many children's books, and articles for children's magazines. His work has been displayed at the Zagreb carnival, and since 2004 he has been working with the Merlin Theatre as a costume/scenic and graphic designer.
In 2006, he won the Sheep in a Box Award for best Croatian picture-book for his work on 'The Story of Chocolate', which also won the Kiklop Award for best book-design.
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