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Marja-Liisa Plats

Biography

Marja-Liisa Plats (1984) is an illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, and singer. She graduated from Tartu Art College in photography and is a member of the Young Authors' Association in Tartu and the Tartu Artists' Union. Plats has illustrated more than 40 children’s books and regularly contributes to the children’s magazine Täheke. She has received extensive recognition for her works and has been listed in the White Ravens catalogue three times. Her illustrations are inquisitive and experiment with a broad range of visual techniques.

When I was asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was terrified. I was too little to think about going to work! Since I drew all the time, though, I soon wanted to become an “artdist” – the word “artist” in Estonian was very difficult to pronounce (kunstnik), just like my own complex name, about which I was awfully shy. Luckily, Estonian kids have much harder names today, which is also logical – children are constantly getting smarter.

Profile photo: Piia Ruber

Tia Navi. Seven Little Elephants, Kirisild, 2016, acrylic, digital treatmentMarja-Liisa Plats. Kitten and the Flood, Kaksikhammas 2020, watercolor, lead pencilHasso Krull. Kitten and the Flood, Kaksikhammas 2020, watercolor, lead pencilHasso Krull. Kitten and the Flood, Kaksikhammas 2020, watercolor, lead pencilHasso Krull. Kitten and the Flood, Kaksikhammas 2020, watercolor, lead pencilTriinu Laan. John the Skeleton's Goings-On, Päike ja Pilv, 2020, lead pencil, digital treatmentTriinu Laan. John the Skeleton's Goings-On, Päike ja Pilv, 2020, lead pencil, digital treatmentTriinu Laan. John the Skeleton's Goings-On, Päike ja Pilv, 2020, lead pencil, digital treatmentTriinu Laan. John the Skeleton's Goings-On, Päike ja Pilv, 2020, lead pencil, digital treatmentReeli Reinaus. Rahel, Anders and the Wormholes, Ronk Ronk, 2021, ink, digital treatmentReeli Reinaus. Rahel, Anders and the Wormholes, Ronk Ronk, 2021, ink, digital treatmentReeli Reinaus. Rahel, Anders and the Wormholes, Ronk Ronk, 2021, ink, digital treatmentHasso Krull. The Evil Fish Café, Kaksikhammas, 2019, mixed mediaHasso Krull. The Evil Fish Café, Kaksikhammas, 2019, mixed mediaHasso Krull. The Evil Fish Café, Kaksikhammas, 2019, mixed media

The Evil Fish Café

Hasso Krull

Kaksikhammas
2019, 39 pp
ISBN: 9789949999149
fiction, picturebook

How the Twins Grew Up

Milutin Duričković

Translator: Jüri Talvet
Avita
2019, 62 pp
ISBN: 9789985222799
fiction, storybook

Homeward

Härra Tee & proua Kohvi
2014, 48 pp
ISBN: 9789949339396
fiction, picturebook

Miss Whirlwind

Eva Koff

Päike ja Pilv
2012, 32 pp
ISBN: 9789949921096
fiction, storybook
2022
Nukits competition, 3rd place (Triinu Laan. John the Skeleton's Goings-On)
Bologna Children's Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition winner (Triinu Laan. John the Skeleton's Goings-On)

2021
The White Raven (Triinu Laan. John the Skeleton’s Goings-On)
International Illustration and Book Design Competition "Image of the Book/Obraz knigi", Moscow, laureate (Triinu Laan. John the Skeleton’s Goings-On)
5 Best-Designed Estonian Children's Books, Special Prize of the Estonian Graphic Designer's Union (Reeli Reinaus. Rahel, Anders and the Wormholes)

2020
Good Children's Book (John the Skeleton’s Goings-On)
5 Best-Designed Estonian Children’s Books, Certificate of Merit (John the Skeleton’s Goings-On)
5 Best-Designed Estonian Children’s Books, Special Prize of the Estonian Children's Literature Centre (John the Skeleton’s Goings-On)
Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee

2019
5 Best Designed Estonian Children’s Books, Certificate of Merit, special prize of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre (Hasso Krull. The Evil Fish Café)
Good Children’s Book (Hasso Krull. The Evil Fish Café)
Edgar Valter Illustration Award nominee

2018

The White Raven (Reeli Reinaus. Marius, Magic, and Liisi the Werewolf)
Nukits competition, 2nd place (Mika Keränen. The Good Ship Jõmmu, The Phantom Cyclist)

2017

25 Best Designed Estonian Books, Certificate of Merit, special prize of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre (Reeli Reinaus. Marius, Magic, and Liisi the Werewolf)
Good Children’s Books (Reeli Reinaus. Marius, Magic, and Liisi the Werewolf; Mika Keränen. The Phantom Cyclist)

2016
Good Children’s Book (Reeli Reinaus. How My Dad God a New Wife)

2015
Good Children’s Book (Juhani Püttsepp. The Society of Gibraltar Ship Dogs)

2014
25 Best Designed Estonian Books, Certificate of Merit (Indrek Koff. Homeward)

2011
Karl Eduard Sööt Children’s Poetry Award (Wimberg. Rock'n'Roll)
The Knee-High Book Competition, 1st place (Eva Koff. Miss Whirlwind)
Good Children’s Books (Mika Keränen. The Mysterious Flower Snatcher, Wimberg. Rock'n'Roll)

2008
The White Raven (Triinu Ojar. The Big Black Dog)

2007
5 Best Designed Estonian Children’s Books, Estonian Graphic Designers’ Associations’ Special Prize for a young artist (Triinu Ojar. The Big Black Dog)

2006
The Knee-High Book Competition, Special Prize (Triinu Ojar. The Big Black Dog)
2021
Exhibition on Baltic illustrators "Running with Wolves. Werewolf", Napoli, Rome, Frigento, Italy
Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB 2021), Slovakia
"Fables for Robots", Estonian Children's Literature Centre, Tallinn; Central Library of Lääne County, Haapsalu; Gdansk, Poland
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators “Fox Spirit. Fox Charm”, Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, Tallinn; Central Library of Lääne County, Haapsalu
Children's Books' Illustrations from Estonian artists, Kehra, Estonia
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators "From the Mountains to the Sea", Central Library of Lääne County, Haapsalu
“John the Skeleton’s Goings-On” illustrations, Võru Central Library, Estonia

2020
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators “From the Mountains to the Sea”, Central Library of Saare County
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators "Once Upon a Time..." (Grimm's fairy tales), Tapa Public Library, Estonia; Gallery Deák17, Budapest, Hungary
International illustrations exhibition "It's Always Tea-Time", Vyborg, St. Petersburg, Russia; Kondas Centre, Viljandi, Estonia
Joint exhibition of Edgar Valter Illustration Award nominees, Estonian Children's Literature Centre, Central Library of Saare County, Kuressaare, Estonia
Solo exhibitions: "Between Two Worlds", Leevi, Estonia; "Woman-Looking-Into-the-World", Tartu
Group exhibition "On Monday We Still Had Snow Here", Tartu, Estonia

2019
Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB), Slovakia
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators "Once Upon a Time..." (Grimm's fairy tales), Gdansk, Opole, Poland; Tapa Public Library
International illustrations exhibition "It's Always Tea-Time", Moscow, Krasnoarmeysk, Mytishchi, Russia
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators “From the Mountains to the Sea”, Kraków, Rabka-Zdrój, Elbląg, Poland
Group exhibition “From the Mountains to the Sea”, Central Library of Lääne County, Estonia; Kraków, Rabka, Elbląg, Poland
Group exhibition "Retrospective", Kogo Gallery, Tartu


2018 - 2020

Exhibition of Estonian illustrators “Running with Wolves”, Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, Tallinn; London, the United Kingdom; Gdańsk, Warsaw, Płock, Białystok, Poland; Pordenone, Italy; Vilnius, Lithuania
Exhibition of Estonian illustrators “Masters of Estonian children’s books”/“Power of Pictures” in Russia: Krasnoarmeysk, Moscow

2017

Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB), Slovakia
Tallinn Illustrations Triennial (TIT), Estonia

2015

Solo exhibition, Mooste, Estonia
“The Story of a Picture (together with Kristina Viin), Tartu, Estonia
Baltic Illustration, Vilnius, Lithuania

2012

“Line”, Tartu, Estonia

2010–2011

“A Display of Affection” (together with Kristina Viin and Huup), Tallinn, Tartu, Võru, Estonia

2010

Spring Exhibition of Estonian Illustrators, Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, Tallinn