Often choosing a medium of watercolor and pencil, Vladyana Langer Krykorka illustrates with vibrant colors that enliven diverse themes. Rich borders and end pages with elaborate, stunning decorative designs distinguish her work. Her love of animals has also inspired her to sneak a few furry creatures onto each page.
Illustrating Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak’s A Promise is a Promise (1988) sparked Vladyana’s love for the Inuit culture. Since then, she has flown to the Arctic many times to meet, paint and photograph the people and their land. She has illustrated all the titles by acclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak. In total, Vladyana has illustrated over 20 picture books for children, including several additional titles for Annick Press.
Vladyana was born and raised in Prague. She was an only child who loved art and studied privately for many years. She attended a high school that specialized in art, then moved to Canada, where she graduated from the Ontario College of Art. Vladyana worked as an art director for a Maclean Hunter business publication for several years before she began illustrating textbooks and then picture books.
In her spare time, Vladyana enjoys volleyball, skiing and the theater. Her favorite hobby is painting on silk. In her home studio she creates handmade decorations, articles of clothing and jewelry. She also designs calendars and greeting cards.
School, Library and Conference Presentations
Tracing a Career in Illustration and Design
Luminous, stunning, brilliant, breathtaking—this is just a sample of the words people use to describe the artwork of Vladyana Langer Krykorka. She is best known for illustrating the stories of Inuit writer Michael Kusugak. Vladyana often bases her illustrations on aspects of her own life, but she also likes to experiment: “I'll try to do something a little different in every book.” She also researches her subjects carefully. Vladyana finds getting feedback from children one of the most enjoyable aspects of her job. Most of her work is painted in watercolors, with blue her favorite. “Kids call me the ‘blue lady’” she laughs, admitting that she does use blue a lot.
Presentation format: Slide presentation with a Q&A period
Recommended age group: Grades 2 to 8
Length: 1 hour