"My work is a fusion of collected/found materials, various traditional techniques and digital elements - i approach my art, illustration and design as a quilter combining recycled elements with modern technology..."

BIO

 

I was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and grew up in Kortrijk, a Belgian town close to the French border. I studied classical drawing and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Flanders, before leaving for Canada to continue my studies in art history, fine arts and graphic design. After my schooling, I worked as an assistant production manager and colorist for a publisher of children's books in Montreal. It was there, after having viewed a beautiful catalog of the illustrators' exhibit from the Bologna Children's Book Fair, that I was inspired to focus on art and illustration for books and educational projects. Since then, I have worked for magazines, illustrated and designed childrens' books and educational projects for publishers in Canada, the United States, Belgium and Switzerland. Each time I start a new project, the research and study of the topic will inspire me toward certain techniques and materials that I feel will suit the subject matter. My style resembles a quilt of various expressions woven into one -- from traditional, realistic imagery, to collage and texture, to quirky and surrealistic illustrations. Recently, I moved to the woods where I find inspiration for my work in the quiet of the forest and the natural beauty around me. When I am not working on a project drawing, painting, gluing or sewing bits of paper or fabric, I might bake a lemon-zucchini cake or I lose myself on a walk or a snowshoe or ski trip in the forest ...

 

AWARDS

2016 - Annual N° 13, 3 x 3 Magazine, Professional Show, Honorable Mention

2014 - Social Justice Literature Award, Int'l Reading Association, Winner

2014 - Middle East Book Award, Pict. Book, Middle East Outreach Council, Winner

2014 - USBBY Outstanding Int'l Book, Int'l Board on Books for Young People (IBBY),  Commended

2014 - Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Women's Int'l League for Peace + Freedom, Short-listed

2014 - CCBC Choices 2014, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Winner

2014 - South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Lit., South Asia Consortium, Winner

2014 - Best Books of the Year for Children / Young Adults, Bank Street Children's Book Comm., Winner

2014 - White Raven List, International Youth Library, Winner

2013 - White Raven List, International Youth Library, Winner

2012 - Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse - French Cat., Winner

2012 - Prix Jeunesse des libraires du Québec - ALQ - Cat.Québec - 5-11 years old - Winner

2012 - IBBY int'l honorary list- French Canada Category

2008 -  “American Illustration and Photography”, AI/AP 25-26-27 - Selected Winner Website

2008 - Applied Arts Magazine, Category: Illustration, Winner

2007 -  “American Illustration and Photography”, AI/AP 25-26-27 - Selected Winner Website

2006 - “American Illustration and Photography”, AI/AP 25-26-27 - Selected Winner Website

2005 - Applied Arts Magazine, Category: Illustration, Winner

2005 - “American Illustration and Photography”, AI/AP 25-26-27 - Selected Winner Website

2004 - Applied Arts Magazine, Category: Illustration, Winner

REVIEWS | REVUES

Razia's Ray of Hope

“Using collage techniques that employ photography, traditional fabrics and realistic pencil sketches, Verelst creates a striking complement to this realistic story of contemporary life. The explanatory material at the end and the classroom activities are useful for educational settings. Purposeful in a positive way, this imaginatively illustrated book should open readers'  eyes to issues facing children who live in very different circumstances.” Kirkus Review, August 2013

“This inspirational story is as beautifully illustrated as it is told. It is vital that young readers have stories like this one to show them that positive change is possible in the world, and that believing in yourself is the first step.”  Mary Chapin Carpenter, multi-platinum Grammy-winning recording artist/songwriter, September 2013

La saison des pluies

"J’ai reçu ce livre de l’éditeur comme un cadeau du ciel. Il est si difficile de trouve de bons livres sur la mort d’un papa, d’une maman, le deuil et les enfants. Si vous connaissez un enfant endeuillé autour de vous, offrez-lui ce livre. C’est un bijou!  En plus, ce livre est illustré d’une manière exceptionnelle par Suana Verelst. L’illustration de la page 24 m’a arrachée une larme au fond de mon cœur. Trop d’enfants viennent à Parent Étoile en traînant sur leurs épaules « l’ombre » du parent décédé.Sylvia Hamel (www.parent-etoile.com) - August 2011

"Voici un livre remarquable. Si vous ne l’avez pas encore lu, faites le détour par ces pages. Lisez bien assis, pour ne pas tomber, parce qu’il y a là-dedans des phrases coups de poing. Le deuil est raconté en mots tout simples et en métaphores si fines qu’elles vous pénètrent jusqu’à l’os. Le texte est accompagné d’illustrations de Suana Verelst qui sait rendre de manière vibrante le désarroi de l’enfant endeuillé comme l’absence du père." Danielle Marcotte, Ricochet - 2012