Five aspiring children’s book illustrators are to benefit from a Scottish-based scheme to boost their careers.
Founded by the leading Edinburgh-based writer Vivian French, the Picture Hooks scheme, which is backed by Creative Scotland, will see the illustrators work with experienced artists for a year, and their work displayed at an exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for three months.
Excellent, autobiographical blog post by Laurence Anholt:
One way or another, we were unbelievably fortunate to be working in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s. That was a Golden Time in children’s publishing, when the UK led the world with an astonishing range of imaginative picture books. It was possible to make a really good living by sitting in your studio, listening to Van Morrison and dreaming up weird and wonderful ideas for children’s stories. It felt like it would go on forever and barely a day went by without another Foreign Rights deal or an exciting offer from a publisher. Alongside my artist series I wrote the Seriously Silly Stories (illustrated by my good friend, Arthur Robins), Chimp and Zee and eventually more than 200 children’s titles, many illustrated by Cathy.
Following on from the highly successful 70th anniversary editions led by Quentin Blake, 5 more world renowned illustrators create brand new covers for the Famous Five.
Babette Cole, Polly Dunbar, David Tazzyman, Tony Ross and Shirley Hughes have re-imagined Blyton’s classic series for today’s readers.
If you took a look at the ACHUKA photo report of the Katherina Manolessou picture book launch yesterday (and it was one of our most highly-viewed blog pages ever) then you must also check out Sarah McIntyre’s highly-illustrated blog report of the same event.
Sarah explains why she wanted to be there:
The reason I was so keen to see Katherina’s book and exhibition was that she was one of the very first illustrators in Britain to inspire me. I went to the London Artist Book Fair, something like ten years ago, possibly even twelve. And I bought a copy of her screenprinted Parasites, which delighted me in the way it worked beautifully folded as a little book, but also unfolded, as a poster. And I was just starting to get my head around the idea of using limited colour palettes (instead of every colour in the rainbow), so I was very struck by her use of red and orange, without any black outline. It was only later that I got into comics and realised that making little books and selling them at fairs was something I wanted to do.
Do visit the page – there are lots more illustrations, namechecks and several interesting hyperlinks, including a rather remarkable interview with Irish illustrator Steve Simpson on Russian TV. You have to get past the opening ad, and I intentionally don’t provide the link here so that you have to visit Sarah’s blog for this and all the other goodies which she has so carefully crafted into her blog post.
The events for Children and Young Adults at this year’s Oxford Literary Festival have now all been booked and confirmed, and what a fine programme Nicolette Jones has put together.
Follow the link below to see the full listing and to book your tickets.
I’m in the process of updating our Links page and have added a fourth column for Bloggers.
As with all the links the aim is not to be comprehensive but selective. In the case of blogs, for example, I am not listing any that are not updated at least a few times each month.
But I’m very happy to receive pointers for inclusions that do not appear yet (in any of the categories).
Children’s illustrators show heart
from the Telegraph
Some of the most celebrated names in children’s book illustration have specially donated artwork to help raise funds for children’s charity, the International Children’s Heart Foundation. The illustrators, including Cressida Cowell and Quentin Blake, gave artwork showing their best-loved characters.
A private silent charity auction of the donated artwork will be held on 6 August, 5.30pm-7pm at the Illustration Cupboard in London to mark the publication of The BIG-Hearted Book by Nicholas Allan, published by Hodder Children’s Books.
A Q&A from The Independent with Branford Boase winner, Dave Shelton:
Do you have any advice for other authors who would like to illustrate their own work?
My advice for authors wanting to illustrate their own work is this: whatever you rashly write into the story now, remember it’s you who will have to draw it later. For instance, if you don’t consider yourself especially adept at depicting boats or the sea then don’t write a book almost wholly set on a boat at sea. That would be foolish. Many, many times (and this happens with my comics work a lot too) my illustrator self curses my writer self for his lack of understanding and foresight.
What’s your top tip for any aspiring authors and illustrators reading this blog?
Writers: finish things. Don’t write the beginnings to 20 different stories. Write all of one story. Keep going to the end, even if it’s bad. Then go back to the beginning and change it. Even if it’s awful, it’s a better place to start from than having just a blank page.
Illustrators: draw. A lot.
Letters to Klaus, a new book bringing together a collection of 100 illustrated envelopes sent to him throughout his career from illustrators including David McKee, Max Velthuijs, Tony Ross, Satoshi Kitamura, Posy Simmonds, Chris Riddell, Axel Scheffler and Emma Chichester Clark is being published exclusively for independent booksellers for Independent Booksellers Week (29 June – 3 July) as part of the Independent Booksellers Week Collectibles range. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Save the Children.