December 2, 2013

Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse (Part 2 of 2)

At the beginning of our fourth year at Vilnius Academy of Arts, we had an assignment to create a picture book and submit it to a competition "Un livre d’images pour demain" ("A Picturebook For Tomorrow") organised by Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse Seine-Saint-Denis. This competition was open to students from higher education art schools in Europe.

After studying at NUCA previous semester, where we collaborated on projects, Alina and I were inspired to create a picture book together for this assignment. We found collaboration very hard at the beginning since we hoped to create illustrations together. During the process we realized that we think and work in such different ways that our intent to collaborate may fail in the end.

Thankfully, we found an alternative way to collaborate which gradually turned into the main theme of our picture book. This book became a showcase of how different we are despite the fact that we are twins. We hope it challenges the common preconception that twins look and think alike. You can find the images of our book here and here.

We got the news last month that our book was selected among 24 books to be exhibited during the fair. All selected students could book up to three appointments with publishers. Alina and I couldn't miss such an opportunity (we never showed our portfolios to publishers before), so we booked the appointments and planned our trip to France. 

It was a very useful and enriching three day trip. We got to see our book at the exhibition, show our portfolios to publishers, and see a lot of wonderful illustrations and books at the fair.

Some images of an exhibition on the same floor:


December 1, 2013

Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse (Part 1 of 2)

After a long hiatus, I decided to give this blog another try.

Since starting a sketch blog in May, I abandoned this blog for good. During that period, I graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts and started my MA studies in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. 

This time I want to share photographs from Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse, a French children's book fair in Montreuil, that Alina and I attended this week. The reason we decided to visit it was because our collaborative picture book was exhibited during this fair. Also, a
s part of having our book selected, we each got to book three appointments with publishers.

I am really glad we had the chance to visit this fair. We got to see and learn about French publishers that do not exhibit at Bologna Children's Book Fair, so this fair was a unique opportunity to look through their books. French children's books and comics are very diverse both in their content and form (very complex pop-up books, for example). You get to see very edgy and sophisticated books that really push the boundaries of what is acceptable in children's books.

The fair will take place until December 2, so do consider visiting if you are in Paris.

I decided to split my photographs into two posts. I will explain more about the exhibition that featured our book in part 2.

Below are some photographs of different stands by publishers:

May 7, 2013

Sketch Blog on Tumblr

It's been a month since my last post, so it's time for an update. I started a sketch blog on Tumblr! It's been up for 6 days, but I can already tell this is going to be fun and challenging at the same time.

The idea of starting a sketch blog kept bugging me for over a month now. One side of me was hesitant, but the other one kept saying "just do it!"... so I did. The reason behind the sketch blog is to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone (which is to hide everything that I create from the rest of the world :)) and to keep track of my progress. I hope it will help me stay motivated and improve faster. Even if it doesn't work out in the end (hopefully, this won't happen), at least I'll know that I tried.

April 7, 2013

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2013

Alina and I were lucky enough to visit Bologna Children's Book Fair for the first time last month. It happened to be its 50th anniversary! We went there for all four days of the fair. It was an overwhelming yet really rewarding experience. If you're an aspiring illustrator planning to publish children's books, then visiting this fair is a must. It gives you a clear idea of the current tendencies in this field and also is an enormous source of inspiration. We probably looked through several hundred books in those four days! 

Books that were selected as the winners of BolognaRagazzi Award:

BOP - Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the year:

This year the guest of honour was Sweden. Below are some images of their exhibition featuring contemporary Swedish illustration:

Illustrators exhibition (there were over 3000 participants and 77 illustrators selected this year):

Just a few of many illustrations that were exhibited:

Konomi Kita

Won Hee Jo

Marco Somà

Richolly Rosazza


Hassan Amekan

A show by Evelyne Laube and Nina Wehrle who were 2012 edition winners of the International Award for Illustration:

White walls full of self-promotional material by illustrators:

A presentation of Eyes by Iwona Chmielewska. This book is the winner of BolognaRagazzi Award - Fiction:

A presentation of Paul Thurlby's Alphabet. Paul Thurlby's book is the winner of BolognaRagazzi Award 2013 - Opera Prima:

Some stands by different publishers:

A queue of illustrators waiting for a meeting with one of the publishers

I was nicely surprised when I saw Ana Juan signing the books. I have just recently discovered her work and was quite impressed by it. I couldn't miss this opportunity, so I bought Sorelle and got it signed. The illustrator next to Ana Juan is talented Lorenzo Mattotti.

Michele Rocchetti signing a newly released book

I snapped a few photos of Lithuanian stand: