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over the course of his career as an illustrator, Mikhail Fedorov has been responsible in transporting young readers to different corners of the world and of the imagination. Born in Moscow, in 1941, he showed early promise for art. In 1958, he enrolled in the Moscow Academy of Textile to become a stylist of clothes and designer. At the same time, Fedorov also became a pupil of Mikhail Schwarzman, a Russian avant-garde painter. All of these experiences lead him into the fashion industry, painting and designing posters for theater and circus in 1964. His journey into book illustration was started in 1974, when he drew illustrations for children, young people and grownups. He has since provided illustrations for different kinds of book – ranging from original stories, anthologies of fairy tales and poetry anthologies.
Working with a variety of texts has led Fedorov to be inventive in his illustrations. He employs different illustration styles and is very attentive to the details in the texts that he works with. His works are so rich in details that one can spend more time enjoying them than reading the texts. He carefully works to make the setting an authentic socio-cultural environment for the readers to enjoy. In this way, Fedorov tries to show children the life of different countries and epochs, cultures and histories. Instead of stopping at merely including noticeable cultural items in the drawing, Fedorov also adapts his style to the the setting evoked by the text. This kind of diversity is very apparent in his illustrations to fairy tales and legends. However, despite his versatility as an artist, there is a striking resemblance in all his works in terms of composition. Similar to pre-Renaissance art style, Fedorov’s illustrations combine rich, inventive and colorful backgrounds, with static, doll-like characters.
In the time of the Perestroika in 1988, different publishing houses all over the world started to publish books illustrated by Fedorov. This brought him international recognition, which means that children in Europe, USA, and Korea are now able to enjoy his illustrations.