When Sven Völker’s son, Malo, was three years old he developed a serious illness. Völker and his son traveled back and forth to the hospital for treatment. On one such journey, world-renowned musician Sting’s song ''King of Pain'' came on the radio. Moved by the music, Völker’s young son found the words he needed to help him describe the pain, isolation, and fear he was feeling.
How to capture pain with a book...
Sven Völker translated Sting’s lyrics into images. Concentrating on geometric shapes with sharp distinct edges and color, Völker has created a highly evocative interpretation of Sting’s poetic words. Originally destined for Malo’s bedroom walls, these bright images have become a picture book of intense emotions transforming Sting’s words into a captivating children’s book.
"I absolutely love Sven's illustrations. They are a wonderful interpretation of my lyrics." (Sting)
"That’s me, I’m the king of pain." (Malo, 7)
Sven Völker – graphic designer, artist, author, and professor – lives with his family in Berlin, Germany. He studied at the college of art in Bremen and Middlesex University in London. He also works as a Professor at the German Universities of Karlsruhe and Halle. His son Malo is now fully recovered.
The book addresses these themes:
- What is pain?
- Overcoming fear
- Helping children to cope with chronic illness
- Creating something positive from an illness
There's A Little Black Spot on the Sun Today, Hardcover, 40 pages, fully illustrated and printed in eight colours, ISBN 978-0-7358-4238-0, $19.95, NorthSouth Books On Sale Oct 1, 2015.