First Klass Book: Klaas Verplancke

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9789077549537: First Klass Book: Klaas Verplancke

Klaas Verplancke produced his first illustrations when he was still in uniform. It is a career born more or less out of need: as he was liable for military service, he helped shape the military weekly, Vox, and when there was a lack of photos, he filled in any empty spaces with drawings.

He had learned his trade as a draughtsman at the Hoger Sint-Lucasinstituut in Ghent, where he studied Advertising Graphics and Photography from 1982 to 1986. After his military service, he worked for a few advertising agencies and continued to do his illustrating after office hours. In 1990, he decided to become a full-time illustrator. Advertising acted as a handy training ground for his new profession, teaching him to analyse issues and to get a story across to the public at large.

In the following years, he made countless contributions to publications and illustrated more or less a hundred and fifty books, ranging from strip cartoons for youngsters to the frank and fearless Erotisch Fabels. He also wrote and illustrated the strip cartoon books Nopjes en Reus and illustrated the acid satire of Reinaart de Vos and Tijl Uilenspiegel. In so doing he switched back and forth between styles with consummate ease, as well as techniques and materials, which he chose to suit each job and adjusted for the subject in hand. Although computers came to play a major role in developing his illustrations, the conventional drawing, using pencil or pen and paper, remained the cornerstone of his work.

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