2014 was a great year for events and talks, the best for me include Foyles (now newly reopened), Anglia Ruskin, Nosy Crow, the AOI, and Bologna Book Fair. Here’s my exhaustive list of highlights – all these organisations are of course also running events in 2015 and I’m only too pleased to recommend them to you!
Publishers often organise useful conferences; Nosy Crow curated one of the best of 2014, where I had the chance to meet future fellow students and graduates from the MA and Anglia Ruskin. We heard from: Charlotte Eyre (Children’s Editor), Louise Bolongaro (Head of picture books), Hilary Delamere (Agent), Helen Peters (Author), Tracey Corderoy (Author), Adam Tinworth (Building your brand and marketing), and Melissa Cox and Florentyna Martin from Waterstones.
More summer highlights:
- An illustration fair from the guys at The House of Illustration featuring SCBWI, Lorna Scobie, Sharon Chai, Sarah Horne; and Ocado magazine (to name but a few)
- ELCAF by Nobrow
- and Pick Me Up at Somerset House
Here I am meeting a hero of mine: Chris Ware at ELCAF
Here is the lovely Sarah Horne at her stand
Greetings cards By Sharon Chai
I later attended the same venue at the House of Illustration, Kings Cross for the wonderful opening night of Quentin Blake’s exhibition: “Inside Stories”. The exhibition gave an insight into the origins of some of Blake’s most characteristic and popular creations such as Danny Champion of the world and my personal Favourite Roald Dahl’s “The Twits”. We saw examples of illustrations from “The Boy in The Dress” by David Walliams, along with artworks in books by John Yeoman, Russell Hoban and the beautiful book “Sad” by Michael Rosen.
Colin West enjoying the view
2014 also saw a bumper crop of SCBWI Masterclass events which I attended, including:
- Build a better portfolio, by John Shelly
- Portfolio intensive: (Lily Trotter, Art Director from OUP, Ed Burns, Advocate Agency)
- Storytelling with typography and layout (Gillian McClure)
- A Collaborative Brief (with Advocate Art), including a talk on portfolios and working with an agent from Caroline Burns and Lauren Wood of Advocate Illustration Agency.
Lily Trotter at the portfolio intensive event
At the end of April I attended the Illustrators Guide to Business at Somerset House again; top namechecks here go to Fig Taylor (AOI portfolio consultant), James Louis of the Business support team at HMRC on managing your finances, Derek Brazell (AOI project manager, publisher of Vroom Magazine and illustrator) “Know your rights” and Matthew Shearer (AOI Membership Manager) on pricing your work. Day two honours go to Victoria Pearce (Senior Agent at Illustration Ltd), Alex Jenkins, (Art and Interactive Content Director), Alex Mathers of Red Lemon Club on self-promotion, Anna Steinberg (Lecturer and illustrator) and Viv Schwarz (author/illustrator).
Here is Viv Schwarz giving her talk about her many wonderful books.
I also attended a day of events at UCL including talks by fashion magazine Dash, one about raising money for your project and crowdfunding, Doug Richard (of Dragons Den fame) on Angel Investment, Sally Smallwood (publishing consultant), Mark Shaw (Twitter guru), Steven Sparling (Speak Up – the thriving creative on public speaking), and met Sinead Koeler who founded Crafty Fox Market.
Doug Richard (of Dragons Den fame) speaks to us about Angel Investment.
Finally, a mention for the Pencil Wobblers summer picnic organised by Tim Budgen where I got to see the wonderful Moose and Mouse, Colin West:
Colin very kindly shared his fabulous portfolio of illustrations with us.
It was such a lovely day, and I got to meet fellow illustrators in the flesh for the first time including Vicki Gausden, Jo Byatt, Anna Clinton Tucker, Karl Newson, Hannah Marks, Mike Byrne and Karl West to name a few.
It’s been a fantastic year for me; I’ve been very busy pursuing my passion for a career in children’s book illustration. Come and take a look at my other posts for more news on Bologna and my new start at Anglia Ruskin University where I am now studying for my MA.
2014: A look at my year: