top of page
  • Writer's pictureLucy Rand

Keats: selected poetry - Q&A with the illustrator

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

An interview with illustrator Lotte Budai about illustrating the guided audiobook of Keats: selected poetry for Audrey.

collage of a girl with plaited hair looking at two Grecian urns
By Lotte Budai for Audrey
a tomstone reading 'This Grave contains all that was mortal of a young English poet... "Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water", Feb 24th 1821l
Keats's tombstone in Rome's Protestant Cemetery.

1. What drew you to wanting to illustrate our selection of Keats's poems?

Lotte: For a decade now, I have admired John Keats's poetry. A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting his final resting place at the Cimitero Acattolico in Rome. As I stood before his gravestone, I was captivated by the profound beauty of the legendary epitaph inscribed upon it – this place was unlike any cemetery I had ever encountered, adorned not only with beautiful gravestones but also wonderful ancient flora and numerous feline companions, adding to the mystical atmosphere. This experience deepened my appreciation for Keats's ability to capture life's fleeting – but also everlasting – beauty. It remains a cherished memory that inspires my love of his work.

2. Can you share anything about your process of creating the artwork?

Lotte: 'The Eve of St Agnes' is perhaps my favourite poem by Keats, and as I was reading the poem, I immediately envisioned this scene: how Saint Agnes hides the lovers gently with the help of a soft veil. I paid attention to these initial intuitions, and the image below is what unfolded. I took note of the details I was struck by in the poem and incorporated some of them into the picture: "casement high and triple-arch'd", apples, a candle, "languid Moon"... The nocturnal scene bathed in moonlight and the apparition of Saint Agnes inspired the mystical and joyful atmosphere that, for me, the poem represents.

Blue and yellow tones painting of a silhouetted girl playing violin inside a window
By Lotte Budai for Audrey

3. What would you say to someone who wasn’t sure about reading this book?

Lotte: Reading Keats provides a wonderful recharge for the soul. Even those poems that don't readily reveal themselves can be the best ones. I promise it's worth a try!

Download this selection of Keats's poetry with a guide by Carly Stevenson and the whole selection of Lotte's illustrations now, exclusively on the Audrey app.

Read our Q&A with Carly here.

Black and white photo of a woman with short dark hair and a fringe

Lotte Budai is a Hungarian illustrator who lives and works in Budapest. She has been teaching at the University of Pécs Faculty of Visual Arts for 8 years, and more recently started her studies at the PTE Doctoral School, researching celestial formations.

She most enjoys drawing, reading and walking in and observing nature. Her primary interest lies in representing supernatural and transcendent connections between beings – visible and invisible. Celestial formations play a significant role in her work.



bottom of page