Monday, 21 April 2014

London Book Fair April 2014

I was overwhelmed by the shear size of the London Book Fair to begin with, and I kept walking around in circles before I got my bearings in the children's publishing section. But it was fascinating, informative and inspiring. Some publishers were happy to give me a catalogue, in return for one of my illustrator cards, and  Advocate Art Agency gave useful feedback on my portfolio.

I was interested to see what books were displayed on each stand, and what was in the pipeline as mock-ups. These picture-books especially caught my eye:-
Walker Books - pop-up books by Petr Horacek (Animal opposites & Animal Counting, 2013) and The Promise (Nicola Davies, Laura Carlin 2013)
Bonnier Publishing (Templar & Orion) - spotting books by Britta Teckentrup (Where's the Pair & The Odd One Out) & Little Tree (Jenny Bowen)
Andersen Press - Aesop's Fables (Fulvio Testa), Mr Wuffles (David Wiesner), Bluebird (Bob Staake) & Rita's Rhino (Tony Ross).
Top Hat - Hattie Peck (Emma Levey) & The Noisy Foxes (Amy Husband). 
Child's Play, Usborne and Little Tiger Press all had excellent stands. 
Maverick Arts Publishing - The Goblin & the Girl (Neil Irani).
Flying Eye - I Like Animals by Dahlov Ipcar) 
Gecko Books - Lets Talk About Animals (Britta Teckentrup)
Scholastic Books had an exciting large mock-up book by Alex T Smith.
Ginger Books (newly set up)has some gorgeous & unusual illustrations.
Polish stand - some gorgeous-looking award-winning children's books (Ibby 2013)


Polish ibby books of year 2013

Polish ibby books of year 2013



A Spectrum of Experience - From First Time Picture Book to a Lasting Career 

I also attended a fascinating seminar at the Children's Hub with Mike Jolley (Templar Books), Tom Cole (illustrator/author) and Chris Wormell (illustrator/author)
Tom Cole, a recent graduate from Kingston University, is signed up with Artworks agency. He successfully pitched a Berlin Wall story to Mike Jolley at Templar, which is at the printers now. Mike highlighted how Tom's 'killer' images (each with the punch of a poster) got the book through publishing meetings, along with a very poignant text with few words.

Chris Wormell worked 10 years as an illustrator (started as an engraver influenced by Thomas Bewick's animal woodcuts) before moving into children's books. He showed us how he developed his 'pensieve' of sketchbook ideas into suitable stories, with a far messier approach than Tom's.He's gradually learnt how  important it is to have sympathy for the child character and have a story that's not so scary the reader can't get to sleep!
Tom Cole

Chris Wormell

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Earls Court Exhibition Centre

I went to the London Book Fair for the first time earlier this month, held at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, but I was saddened to learn the fate of this venue. This handy and iconic art deco style London landmark has been London's main exhibition hall for many decades, but it's to be demolished to make way for a new development. 

I'll miss the distinctive sense of place and history associated with this building and it's proximity to the tube station. These sketches are my homage to this special place.

sketch from tube station bridge

sketch from steps to exhibition centre