Sunday, 23 April 2017

Bologna Illustrators Exhibition 2017

Here is a selection of photos from the impressive Illustrators exhibition this year, which was displayed on tables with desk lamps to allow the viewers to see the work from the jury's point of view. 75 illustrators were selected, representing 26 countries, including my home country Lithuania. Quite a few of these artworks were non-fiction, such as the vibrant screen prints of giant insects by Joohee Yoon, gorgeous monkeys painted by Claire Agnelli and the bold dress pattern designs by Mayumi Oono.

There was a great range of techniques used to create the selected artworks, including collage, coloured pencils, ink, screen printing, engraving, gouache, acrylic, oil and even embroidered textile. A good majority of the exhibited pieces, as far as I noticed, were either digital or used digital media to imitate traditional printmaking techniques. However, the winning artist this year, Manuel Marsol from Spain, did not follow this trend and used a mixture of various paints and wax pastels on wood to create his surreal and mysterious illustrations. If you would like to learn more about Manuel's creative process and inspirations, please enjoy this interesting article featuring his amazing debut book on Picture Book Makers.

These pictures were taken on the last day of the fair when it was least busy
The illustrations were framed by white cardboard

Manuel Marsol - the winner of International Award for Illustration 2017 (Spain, fiction)
Ausra Kiudulaite (Lithuania, fiction)

Joohee Yoon (USA, non-fiction)

Kevin Ward (Ireland/Canada, fiction)

Yu Teng (Taiwan, fiction)

Daniela Tieni (Italy, fiction)

Claire Agnelli (France, non-fiction)

Adolfo Serra (Spain, non-fiction)

Cecilia Ferri (Italy, fiction)

Zosia Dzierzawska (Poland, non-fiction)

Olga Ezova-Denisova (Russia, fiction)

Marie Mignot (France, fiction)

Mayumi Oono (Japan, non-fiction)

Mariann Maray (Hungary, fiction)

I hope you have a chance to visit Bologna Children's Book Fair at least once. I always come back from this four-day fair feeling inspired to create new work and improve my artistic skills. If you would like to see more examples of the artwork from this beautiful exhibition, please check out the official Bologna Children's Book Fair Photogallery

Friday, 21 April 2017

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2017

My fifth Bologna Children's Book Fair was very exciting. It offered many wonderful exhibitions, both inside and outside the fair, and interesting new ways of displaying illustrations. The Illustrators exhibition was showcased on tables instead of walls. I will share a selection of photos from this exhibition in my next post. The talks I went to were great too, including the one by Juan Palomino, the winner of the International Award for Illustration 2016, an insightful conference about books on art featuring Isabel Arsenault and Klaas Verplancke and an entertaining meeting with six children's laureates with live drawing by two amazing artists Chris Riddell (UK) and PJ Lynch (Ireland). 

A new addition to the fair this year was the Illustrators' Survival Corner, which offered a good range of masterclasses, workshops and portfolio reviews with an exciting selection of Italian and international artists. As expected, the queues to sign up for these events were quite long as you had to get there early in the mornings, but I was lucky to attend a sketching workshop with Chris Riddell, who was drawing portraits of illustrators while the rest were sketching around him. The fair is also a fantastic opportunity to network and catch up with friends, who live in different countries such as Estonia, Spain, Korea and Taiwan, but all share the same passion for children's books.

The Fiction category winner of Ragazzi Awards was delicately illustrated by Oliver Jeffers 

Artworks from the Opera Prima winner by Emma Lewis were also selected in the Illustrators exhibition

Non-Fiction category award went to William Grill's book, published by Flying Eye Books

The New Horizons winner, illustrated by Alejandra Acosta, and the two special mentions on the right

The book fair had many inspiring exhibitions this year

Artwork of Rotraut Susanne Berner, the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen award winner

Juan Palomino, the 8th International Award for Illustration winner, had a really impressive exhibition

Juan Palomino illustrated a Mayan myth about the creation of world and man

The new display of the Illustrators exhibition invited the viewers to see the art from the jury's perspective

The guest of honour exhibition had been displayed on these hammocks to enjoy while resting

Beautiful illustrations from the Silent Book contest

A fabulous selection of Taiwanese art in one of the big halls

I found illustrations of my talented MA friends Chen-Ying Lu, Shu-Ti Liao and Jo Shin Lee on the same wall

Gorgeous vintage pop-up books next to the Illustrators' Survival Corner

Some of the intricate pop-up books on display at the fair

Illustrators' Survival Corner was organized together with Mimaster Illustration

Chris Riddell surrounded by a group of enthusiastic illustrators during the drawing workshop

Viola Wang, a Cambridge School of Art student, explaining her digital work method

One of my posters with the little prince on a busy Illustrators' Wall

The big bookshop at the fair was replaced with a small one, which had these nice books

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

My Recent Trip to Bologna

I had a fantastic trip to Bologna in Italy earlier this month. It was my fifth time visiting Bologna Children's Book Fair, but I will review this great event in a separate post. The weather was really nice and I had a chance to explore this beautiful city and even see some fascinating art exhibitions. Here are a few photos I took in the city centre.

Ancient ruins next to the Parco della Montagnola

The view behind the two tall towers Le due Torri

Shops windows had interesting Easter decorations

The beautiful architecture in the city square Piazza Maggiore

Giannino Stoppani Libreria per Ragazzi in Piazza Maggiore is full of good picture books

Piazza Maggiore looks just as impressive at night too

Three amazing children's book illustration exhibitions I visited in the city centre:

Lively artwork from Isabel Arsenault's new graphic novel

White Rabbit and his busy wife by the great french artist Gilles Bachelet

From "The Zoo Inside Beatrice Alemagna" exhibition

Cute toy characters based on Beatrice Alemagna's books

Sunday, 5 March 2017

MA Children’s Book Illustration graduation show 2017

Since I had a chance to see both of the MA Children’s Book Illustration graduation shows, which took place in London last month and later at the Cambridge School of Art too, I thought it would be selfish of me not to share some photos of the things that caught my eye. By the way, this small selection is less than a half of the artists that exhibited this year.

The Cambridge exhibition at the lovely Ruskin gallery featured mostly the illustration prints and a few dummy book and sketchbook examples in glass cabinets. It was much smaller than the one in London, but was equally beautiful and inspiring. I was excited to look through the amazing artwork again and noticed a few I missed in the London show. We will certainly see some of these incredible talents in bookshops soon. Please enjoy!

Sally Walker, Greta Haaz, Anna Gordillo, Lucy Morris, Jacqueline Rayner

Jessica Meserve, Roxana de Rond and Tzu-Li Kuo
Laura Casella
Rachel Stubbs, Elina Ellis and Sylvia Liang
Tommy Fry and Lucy Dillamore
Mrinali Alvarez and Federica MuiĆ 
Aining Wen and Cho Ye Seul
Agata Pankowska, Phoebe Swan and Ivonne Vargas
Beth Waters
David Lambourne and Nien-Chen Yang
Duncan Annand
James Andrew Howard and Julia Maisen

I enjoyed the marvelous London exhibition together with a small group of my MA friends. This year the degree show expanded over two floors of the Candid Arts Trust gallery to accommodate the fabulous work of 75 graduates. The details of all the exhibitors can be found on the official MA Show website. The London exhibition had so many things on display it was challenging to see everything in one go, but it offered a unique chance to look through the original sketchbooks, read the wonderful dummy books, adore the handmade toys and also leave encouraging comments for the graduates. 

I noticed lots of beautiful nonfiction, such as the delicate nature-inspired printmaking by Josephine Birch, brilliant biography of a British mathematician Ada by Anna Doherty and the funny family encyclopaedia by Sawanee Draw, documenting various vintage objects and her mother's childhood. There were some outright hilarious and some very sad and dark stories as well as board books, toys and wordless books. I was pleasantly surprised by the wide range of genres, from comic adventures to social issues and some mind-blowing fantasy such as Tommy Fry's surreal graphic novel about aliens disguised as pigeons. The variety of children's book forms was equally inspiring, from the loose and playful screen-printed pages by Chie Hosaka and the novelty story-making book by Alina Kasparyants to Duncan Annand's conceptual and thought-provoking three-dimensional posters. The MA Children’s Book Illustration graduation show never ceases to amaze me!

Puck Koper
Lucy Dillamore
Chie Hosaka  
Anna Doherty
Sawanee Draw
Alina Kasparyants
Ivonne Vargas
Susannah Lovegrove
Josephine Birch
Rachel Stubbs (Sebastian Walker Prize winner)