Stian Hole, born in 1969 in Hokksund, East Norway, has made a name for himself as one of Scandinavia’s leading graphic artists and designers. After completing his education in visual communication at the National School of Arts and Crafts in Oslo, Hole and his colleagues founded »Blæst Design«, an agency specializing in book design and typography. This saw Hole creating notable cover illustrations for authors such as Saabye Christensen, Gaarder, and Guillou.
Entering children’s literature in 2005, Hole published »Den gamle mannen og hvalen« (tr: The Old Man and The Whale), a picture book that received significant attention. Using a unique blend of naturalistic and surreal elements in his 3D digital montages, Hole presents an old man’s contemplative life in the Nordic countryside, intricately intertwining bitterness, persistence, and the vagaries of life in his narrative.
His second major work, »Garmanns sommer« (2006; Eng. »Garmann’s Summer«), was recognized as an »opulent masterpiece« by »Aftenposten« and won the Brage Prize. In this piece, Hole employs a groundbreaking graphic language to illustrate young Garmann’s summer before school. With influences from various artistic movements and periods, Hole manages to think »outside the box«, as praised by the jury of the Bologna Ragazzi Award in 2007. His next work, »Garmanns gate« (Eng. »Garmann’s Street«, 2010), was published in 2008, further cementing his position in the realm of children’s literature and followed by two picture books »Annas himmel« (2013; Eng. »Anna’s Heaven«, 2014) and »Morkels alfabet« (2015, tr: Morkel’s Alphabet).
Among his accolades, Hole received the Brage Prize, Bologna Ragazzi Award, and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2010. In recent years Hole has co-operated with the Danish writer, Kim Fupz Aakeson. They have made three picture books, nicknamed »The corona-trilogy«. Book no 2: »Ting der bliver væk« (tr. Things which disappear) will be published in German in spring 2024. Stian Hole currently resides in Oslo.