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Artist-illustrator Vladislav Erko talks about Paulo Coelho   
An artist - illustrator Vladislav Erko who had arrived from Kiev became one of the most unusual visitors of the fair "The Books of Russia - 2006". Paulo Coelho thinks this person does the best pictures in the world to his works . He is loved by children. "Fairy tales of foggy Albion"– illustrated by him are published in 20 countries.

Was it difficult to work with Paulo Coelho?

I would not tell that. Before I met him I had thought about writers so as general Caster thought about red-skinned: "The Good Indian is the dead Indian". But Coelho appeared to be surprisingly intelligent. Though at some stage it seemed to me that he interferes with my work excessively.

The matter is that first two books - "Alchemist" and "Veronika decides to die" - I had issued very quickly, even before I got acquainted with him. And then at his request I had to alter some covers. So it happened with "11 minutes" and "Rio-Pjedro". But illustrations because of his alterations , only have won. I was even annoyed by that.

Your books are travelling round the world, they say, and you, even haven’t finished Polygraphic?

When I was a student, I was wearied to death with anti – Soviet propaganda. And it was 1985, and reorganization in the Ukraine still was little observed. I was accused of a careerism: on the second course I received the International Prize, then All-Union Prize. I took offence and when I was in my twenties I entered the Union of artists in spite of my institute chiefs: they said, that I was still a sniveller, and I wouldn’t be accepted there. But in due course the desire to prove something to somebody has passed.

Do your illustrations feed you well?

It is hard to say that I earn a lot. I am not able to buy a castle in Scotland or something like that. But all the same life is better now, than it was five years ago. Because of the secret unwillingness to earn all money at once, you work on a book so much, as you think it is necessary. As a result you do not blush before yourself. The book appears long-playing, it is bought by foreign publishing houses. So it has happened with my "Fairy tales of foggy Albion" and "Snow queen" that has already published in all European countries and will soon appear in America.

How much time is it necessary for you to illustrate your books?

Two weeks are enough for Coelho, but I can torment children's editions for a year or even more. I draw slowly.

Is it true, that your illustration of "Harry Portter" was recognized as one of the fifth best in the world by the studio Warner Brothers?

Yes, but for me this work was the entire compromise. I liked my first cover to this book: Harry Potter with the wings of the butterfly consisting of owls, but it seemed to the publisher too laconic. For two months he was cooperating with other artists, one of them - was Baryba – who drew the composition, that was satisfactory in content, but not in form. I only realized somebody’s idea. The cover appeared to be unexpectedly good.

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