Loren Capelli
©Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse

Loren Capelli

For me, a book must provoke reactions. That’s why I draw.

Fascinated by various creative methods, Loren Capelli brings a unique touch to children’s book illustration. In the way she draws childhood and a world in constant movement, she lets a refrain be heard composed of melancholy dreams and poetry.

Published on 27/10/2020

5 min

Loren Capelli comes from Échirolles, and left the Grenoble region to study at the École supérieure d'art (art school) of Épinal. After getting her diploma, she returned to the town where she grew up where she met the author Corinne Lovera Vitali, and together they started a fruitful collaboration. Now a children’s book illustrator, she also worked for the New York Times to illustrate current affairs articles.

A multidisciplinary artist, she loves collage, engraving, sculpture and photography. In 2014, she published for the first time a book she wrote and illustrated, De ma fenêtre (From my window), and in addition produced paintings for the Lille Opera with studio Belleville. She repeated her solo work experience five years later with Cap !, an unusual album following the traces of a little girl exploring a forest.

First of all working with different authors (Corinne Lovera Vitali, Léonie Lasserre, Pascale Tison), Loren Capelli multiplied illustration techniques by using pencil, pens and paint. Her aim was to test all of a visual artist’s creative possibilities intended for children. Being fairly used to being expressing herself through images, her texts are often set back, concentrated around the storytelling, whereas her drawings mix movement and introspection.

The illustrator looks to question childhood by leaving her readers project their own vision of things. Her works fluctuate between poetry and melancholy in an outline of passing time, environments that change and transform. In the minimalism of a style using crayons, the young artist knows how to bring together, with sensitivity and delicateness, a record of little things and characters drawn within a transforming world.

In sketching what’s happening in the news in the columns of the New York Times, Loren Capelli has charmed the international press. After having written an article about her work in 2008, the magazine Print commissioned her to illustrate its cover in November 2009. She was also able to show some of her drawings in the exhibition SketchBook Obsessions in the New York Times Gallery the same year. 

Working with her favourite partner Corinne Lovera Vitali, they won the Rhône-Alpes du livre jeunesse (children’s book prize) for C'est Giorgio in 2009, and were shortlisted for the Pépites du Salon de Montreuil children’s book awards for Kid in 2010. In 2020, her work Cap ! won a Prix Sorcières award in the “Carrément Beau maxi” (most beautiful children’s book) category. Established in 1986, this literary prize rewards a children’s book in order to promote its artistic aspect and give its readers a book to develop their personality while exploring curiosity.

  • 2008


    Loren Capelli started working with Corinne Lovera Vitali by illustrating C'est Giorgio (It’s Giorgio), which won the prix Rhône-Alpes du livre jeunesse children’s book prize the following year.

  • 2009


    The illustrator did the cover of Print Magazine’s Children’s Book Review.

  • 2014


    Loren Capelli published her first solo work, De ma fenêtre, with Éditions courtes et longues.

  • 2020


    Cap !, her second book, was awarded the Prix Sorcières in the “Carrément Beau maxi” category.

The Institut français and the artist

Cap ! by Loren Capelli is part of the selection at the 2020 Institut Français Pépites Internationales and the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse de Montreuil. This programme promotes French-language children’s literature among French learners around the world. 

Find out more about Pépites Internationales 2020 ("International Gems”) programme here. 


L'institut français, LAB