Ingrid (1953) and Dieter (1947) Schubert have been co-creating picture books for more than 30 years. The illustrators grew up in Germany, but moved to the Netherlands when they both received a grant to study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. The illustration component of their graduation project resulted in their first jointly produced picture book: Er ligt een krokodil onder mijn bed! [There's a Crocodile Under my Bed!]
Since then they have collaborated on many picture books and read-aloud sets featuring now-classic children's book characters, such as Platvoetje [Flat Foot], Woeste Willem [Wild William], Beer [Bear] and Egel [Hedgehog] and their latest hero, Quibus.
The picture books produced by the illustrators are characterised by their anecdotal and naturalistic pencil and watercolour drawings, which are sometimes subtle and very detailed, as in Monkie, and sometimes full-page and full of nuance, as in De paraplu [The Umbrella]. Those who look closely will spot references to classical painting and other visual jokes. These are conceived by both illustrators as they go through the painstaking process of working on a story for a new book, producing sketches and discussing in detail the best way to convey the story visually. But which of them does what is a well-kept secret. They have won various awards for their work and their picture books are also very popular in other countries.
La Muze‘We believe Miffy plays a significant iconographic role. So we decided not to cover her in paint or change her. When they saw the Miffy statue, many of our – non-Dutch – friends immediately said, “Oh, Miffy!” Just as, if you saw a Rietveld chair or a particular combination of red, yellow and blue, you would immediately think, “Ah, Rietveld!” In other words, Miffy is part of our collective memory – and that applies worldwide. So, out of respect for this icon, we decided to simply adorn Miffy’s body with paint.’ The title of their Miffy statue is La Muze.