Interview with Children’s Book Illustrator Maruf Hasan

Maruf Hasan is a children’s book illustrator and artist from Bangladesh. He works in a variety of styles, his favorites being semi-realistic and cartoon styles. Maruf has over 100 published books.

maruf hasan illustration

BookBildr: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Maruf: Hi, I’m Maruf and I work as a full-time digital artist. I live in Bangladesh, it’s a beautiful small country. As a full-time illustrator, I work mostly on kids’ books, character and background design in both cartoony and semi-realistic styles.

BookBildr: What made you become a children’s book illustrator?

boy watercolor illustration

Maruf: I’ve always loved fairytales and reading books, ever since I was a child. Cartoons always attracted me a lot, too. This love for books and cartoons got combined with my love of drawing, so when I got an opportunity in my early days, I started working on children’s books. I know that kids love to imagine things, and as an illustrator, I can help them to visit their dream world by drawing beautiful book illustrations and artworks.

BookBildr: What were the challenges of illustrating your very first book for children?

Maruf: Although I love to draw since my childhood, I never got a chance to complete an arts degree. But I really wanted to draw professionally, so I completed some online courses on perspective, fundamentals, and cartoon drawings, which helped me a lot to improve my skills. Still, I believe one can learn every day so I try to learn new things whenever I get an opportunity.

When I got my first commission, I was a bit scared that I won’t be able to do it right and transfer the author’s ideas into illustrations.

watercolor girl

BookBildr: In your opinion, what’s the hardest part of illustrating children’s books?

Maruf: Capturing emotion, expressions, and thinking like a child to create a child’s world. As an adult, it’s becoming hard to think like kids. I guess a children’s books illustrator needs to stay childish (*laughs*).

BookBildr: What’s your advice for children’s book authors who’re looking for an illustrator?

Maruf: I believe every author imagines what their characters and their world look like when they write a story. They also usually have an idea of the artistic styles they prefer. Some clients need realistic pictures and some want cartoony. So when an author is looking for an illustrator, he or she should have a clear idea of what style they want to go for.

As an illustrator, I always appreciate hints and instructions for each scene. That helps to be on the same wavelength.

train illustration

BookBildr: What’s your advice to people who want to write for children but don’t know how to start?

Maruf: Kids love to imagine a lot and childhood is the best time to learn new things. So if you are a newbie author, just start writing. The story doesn’t have to be perfect but remember that children love funny stories with morals and learning new things. Also, keep in mind that children see the world differently, so try to capture the kids’ vision.

BookBildr: As a parent, do you see any gaps in the children’s books choice in book stores?

Maruf: There’s so much choice of children’s books today but I think we should see more books promoting good values, traditional values.

window illustration

BookBildr: What do you think about BookBildr?

Maruf: It’s a great platform for both authors and artists. I love the idea that people can just create a book and get it professionally printed. And those who want to take their children’s books to the next level can hire an illustrator right here, on BookBildr. This makes things so much easier!