Ladybird by Design

July 2nd, 2015 by Special Projects

10 July to 27 September 2015, 10:00am – 6:00pm (Gallery closed on Mondays)

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1C 4BH

The exhibition will feature over 120 original illustrations from classic Ladybird titles, in celebration of 100 years of Ladybird Books.


Specially commissioned illustrations, clever format and compelling design, combined with the quality of the writing, were key to the success of the Ladybird books.

Ladybird’s full-colour, full-page illustrations were commissioned from well-known illustrators such as Charles Tunnicliffe (What To Look For titles, series 536), Harry Wingfield (Shopping with Mother, series 563, and Key Words, series 641), Martin Aitchison (Key Words titles), Eric Winter and Robert Lumley (Well-loved Tales, series 606d), John Berry (People at Work, series 606b) and Robert Ayton (Great Inventions and The Story of Oil, series 601).

Ladybird by Design features iconic images from Ladybird series including People At Work, Shopping With Mother, Science, Nature, Well Loved Tales and Key Words, as well as rare photographs and correspondence.

The Business of Illustration – Question Time with SAA Agents and AOI

July 1st, 2015 by Special Projects

New Designers

Friday 3rd July, 2pm to 2.45pm Talks Theatre, New Designers, Business Design Centre, London N1

For those about to embark on a creative career, be prepared to be a business and BE SMART. For a profitable and sustained career as a freelance illustrator you must be prepared to tackle a wide range of specialisms including financial know-how, negotiation of terms, fees, contracts and PR & Marketing. Here’s your chance to ask the experts about the Business of Illustration at New Designers. The panel of experts will include Society of Artists Agents (SAA) from some of the leading UK illustration agencies and be chaired by the Association of Illustrators (AOI).

Chair Person: Derek Brazell  - The Association of Illustrators

Agent: Caroline Thomson – Arena Illustration

Agent: Andrew Coningsby – Début Art

Agent: Victoria Pearce – Illustration Ltd

Agent: Claire Meiklejohn – Meiklejohn

Booking in advance is free for New Designers attendees and participating students.

To book a place go here Tweet questions in advance to @theaoi

The Amazing World of M.C. Escher

June 30th, 2015 by Special Projects

27th June − 27th September 2015

Modern Two Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4  £9/£7


M.C. Escher is one of the great conundrums of modern art. He is an artist whose work is as instantly recognisable as anything by Salvador Dalí, yet his name means little to a general British audience. Escher was never affiliated to any group, rarely travelling far from his modest home in the Dutch town of Baarn, and focusing exclusively on graphic art. He was a one-man art movement who created some of the most famous and popular images in modern art, yet he remains a complete enigma.

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This exhibition features over 100 prints and drawings spanning his whole career, and is drawn in its entirety from the Geemeentemuseum in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

Day and Night © 2015 The M.C. Escher Company – Baarn, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

Reptiles © 2015 The M.C. Escher Company – Baarn, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

100 Great Children’s Picturebooks – book review

June 29th, 2015 by Special Projects

By Martin Salisbury

Published by Laurence King ISBN 9781780674087

Review by Derek Brazell

Wrapped in a beautifully appropriate Sara Fanelli artwork jacket, Martin Salibury’s celebratory book is “first and foremost about good art and design” – as he is quick to emphasise in the introduction – and it delivers on his intention as compiler of being a “visual feast” for those who love the picture book.


100 Great Children’s Picturebooks takes a broad approach to work published for children, encompassing artwork and stories clearly aimed at children, through to artist’s books which may find stronger appreciation from adults, including Russell Hoban and Alexis Deacon’s curious mind adventure Soonchild (below), “which does not sit comfortably in the category of picturebook, or any other labelled box for that matter”.


The selection therefore avoids what could be ‘adorable character’ fatigue and reaches across the world to include iconic picture book characters such as Tove Jansson’s Moomins, Kathleen Hale’s Orlando The Marmalade Cat and Laurent de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant, also recognising contemporary talents such as Beatrice Alemagna (below) and Kitty Crowther who are yet to be fully embraced by the more conservative children’s book market in the UK.


The variety of individual visual voices on display is a delight, providing an inspirational range of approaches to visual storytelling. This stretches from the Russian Constructivism of El Lissitzky, the atmospheric Maurice Sendak and Surrealistic Jan le Witt up to the drole characterisation of Jon Klassen. The ‘100’ books start in 1910, and as the reader (viewer) leafs through, it occurs that images from the 1920’s could easily be view as contemporary pieces in a different context, and influences can be seen as decades move on through the book.


On each spread backgrounds to the artist and book are provided by Salisbury, who offers comment on why they were selected for inclusion, and a brief history of the work and its period (for the earlier pieces), or the techniques used to create the work. This provides a useful setting for the several spreads depicted from each book, allowing for a slightly more involved appreciation of the images.


Salisbury’s intent was compile a book which would appeal to “anyone who enjoys beautiful things”, and even though his choice may not include your favourite book (I was hoping Robert Lawson’s illustrations for The Story of Ferdinand (the Bull) would be in there), there are a host of images which provoke joy, nostalgia and intrigue ensuring 100 Great Children’s Picturebooks has achieved his stated aim.


You may also be interested in these book reviews

100 Illustrators

Drawn Direct to the Plate

Summer Screen Prints

June 25th, 2015 by Special Projects

Film poster exhibition

West Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

30 July 2015 – 23 August 2015
10:00am – 6:00pm, and 6:30pm – 9:00pm for Film4 Summer Screen ticket holders (6- 23 August)
Free Admission

t: +44 (0)20 7845 4600


Print Club London is returning to Somerset House for the third consecutive year, bringing a new selection of commissioned screen printed posters depicting films that will be shown throughout Film4 Summer Screen.


Artists this year include Rose Blake, Steve Wilson, RYCA, Holly Wales, Lucille Clerc, as well as AOI member Joe Wilson. West Side Story, An American werewolf in London, Princess Mononoke, The Silence of the Lambs and The Graduate will be some of the selected films to be shown throughout the event.

Limited edition prints will be sold at £50 each, signed and numbered.

Film4 Summer Screen features an open air cinema in the Somerset House courtyard, as well as workshops and talks for all ages.

More information in the Somerset House website here.

Copyright Private Exception challenge upheld

June 22nd, 2015 by Special Projects

The High Court has ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review case brought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music.  These three bodies challenged Government’s decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders for the copying.

BASCA, MU and UK Music had welcomed a change to UK law which enabled consumers to copy their legally-acquired music for personal and private use.  However, ahead of the introduction of the private copying exception, they consistently alerted Government to the fact that in such circumstances significant harm is caused to rightholders and European law requires fair compensation to be paid.  On 19 June the High Court agreed with the music industry and found that Government’s decision not to provide fair compensation was based on wholly inadequate evidence – and that Government’s decision was therefore unlawful.

The High Court’s ruling means that Government will now have to reconsider its position. The British Copyright Council (of which AOI is a member) and others have consistently argued that any private copying exception must provide fair compensation for rights holders. Report from UK Music. More information here

Beauty – Book Review

June 19th, 2015 by Special Projects

by Hubert & Kerascoët

Published in English by NBM ISBN 9781561638949

1st edition released 16 October 2014

Review by Marianna Madriz


Simple line drawn characters and lush block colours make way for a rich multi-layered narrative, with a visually appealing cast and plenty of scheming and violence. Whoever said comics were only for children was truly mistaken.


Beauty comes from the minds of Hubert and French illustration duo Kerascoët (Marie Pommepuy and Sebastien Cosset). It’s a cautionary tale with traits most of us recognise: charming princes, fair maidens, hidden fairies, mighty castles and a frog restored to its true form with the power of compassion.


Coddy is a girl mistreated by her Godmother and mocked in the village for her lack of beauty. When she releases a fairy from a spell and requests to be beautiful, she’s immediately transformed into a magnetic femme fatale in the eyes of anyone who gazes upon her. Soon problems ensue and her fate changes dramatically.


Seemingly innocent characters portray serious adult themes – Selfishness, corruption, jealousy, pettiness and greed between them. Despite of its fairy tale qualities, Beauty succeeds at being an impressively realistic story. Nothing is entirely black or white, and nobody is entirely good or evil; every person has a role to play and a purpose within the world Hubert and Kerascoët create together.


Beauty is one great example of how pictures and words marry together in perfect harmony, and subsequently produce a tale of epic proportions. It’s not to be missed by any avid comic readers.


Other reviews you may be interested in:

Death of the Artist



June 19th, 2015 by Special Projects

20 June – 27 June 2015

SPACE Gallery, 129-131 Mare Street, London, E8 3RH

t: (+44) o20 8525 4330

Opening times:

10:00am – 8:30pm


Fatherland is an exhibition showcasing the work of Steven Garnaccia. Childhood, family history and a fraught relationship with his father are some of the core themes in the show.

The exhibition was originally curated by Hamelin Cultural Association and shown for the first time in Bologna Children’s Book Fair last April. The work is now re-curated by Nobrow and brought to London to coincide with this year’s East London Comics Art Festival, starting this weekend.


Steven Guarnaccia is additionally presenting a talk about his work from 16:15 – 17:15 in SPACE Gallery, and tickets can be booked here.

For more information about ELCAF, visit our previous post and their website.

Summer Festival: Psychedelia

June 19th, 2015 by Special Projects

London Illustration Fair

10-12 July Hoxton Arches, 402 Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD. Tickets £5

London Illustration FairSummerFestivalPsychedeliaBanner_3

With 14 exhibitor stands, the festival will feature the work of Material Gallery, Belly Kids, Pirrip Press, Brothers of the Stripe, Ben Oakley Gallery, East London Printmakers, Not Another Bill, The Flood Gallery, plus many more.

Alongside the exhibitor stands will be a psychedelic featured wall, exhibiting prints from a selection of artists. Including Steve Thomas, Paul Blow, Saskia Pomeroy, Supermundane and Pâté.

Additional psychic festivities include a ‘print your own Magic Mushroom’ screen printing workshop with Hello Print Studio, silent Wes Wilson auction, The London Illustration Fair print shop, street food vendors, live music, DJs and a bar.

WIA 2015 – complete shortlist announced

June 18th, 2015 by Special Projects

greyback_banner_AOIDI_2015_550_blogCongratulations to all shortlisted artists:

Carol Adlam
Mattias Adolfsson
A.Richard Allen
Tim Marrs and Chris Curtis
Jean Julien, Adrian Johnson and Eve Lloyd Knight, Anna Dunn,
Roy Schneider and Tonya Floyed-Bradstock
Gail Armstrong
Coqué Azcona
Scott Bakal
Grahame Baker Smith
Anna and Elena Balbusso
Wesley Bedrosian
Jon Berkeley
Rose Blake
Paul Blow
La Boca
Ivan Bravo
Jessica Bromley Bartram
Jonathan Burton
Aurora Cacciapuoti
Jill Calder
Noumeda Carbone
André Carrilho
Sophie Casson
Melissa Castrillon
Julien Chung
Rinna Clanuwat
Ella Cohen
Erin Cole
Livia Coloji
Darryl Cunningham
Mike Curato
Thomas Danthony
Christopher Darling
Benji Davies
Paul Davis
Julian De Narvaez
Marja de Sanctis
Peter Diamond
Antoine Doré
George Douglas
Michael Driver
Matt Duffin
John S. Dykes
Nils-Petter Ekwall
Tom Engler
Maria Eugenia
Monika Fauler
Malika Favre
João Fazenda
Brian Fitzgerald
Alex Foster  Illustration
Andrew Frazer
Nicolle Fuller
De Conno Gianni
Owen Gildersleeve
James Gilleard
Eric Giriat
Aad Goudappel
Verónica Grech
James Grover
Cristina Guitian
Malgorzata Gurowska
Barbara Harmon
Lara Harwood
Chris Haughton
Rebecca Hendin
Sini Henttonen
Ankat Hermanns
Leilei Huang
Lauren Humphrey
Rod Hunt
Astrid Jaekel
Emily YJ Jeon
Nuri Jeong
Nata Joh
Richard Johnson
Jean Jullien
Sam Kalda
Angela Keoghan
Roman Klonek
Bartosz Kosowski
Olivier Kugler
Nicolas Lambert
Irene Laschi
Kyung Lee
David Lemm
Kuocheng Liao
Sara Ljeskovac
Sarah Lodge
Andrés Lozano
Chen-Ying Lu
Marta Madureira
Marika Maijala
Mick Marston
Sean McSorley
Sara Menon
Madalena Moniz
Marta Monteiro
Hajo Müller
Studio Muti
Il Sung Na
Laszlo Nagy
Marieke Nelissen
Gemma O’Callaghan
Cat O’Neil
Eiko Ojala
Charlotte Orr
Enzo Pérès-Labourdette
Sam Pierpoint
Peter Quinnell
Andrew Rae
Peter Richardson
Thereza Rowe
Stephan Schmitz
Bird Search
Tanja Semion
Lisa Sheehan
Catarina Sobral
Nicholas Stevenson
Joost Swarte
Megan Swieton
Sharif Tarabay
Paul Thurlby
Turine Tran
Page Tsou
Gerry Turley
Arianna Vairo
Pieter Van Eenoge
Katrina van Grouw
Marcella Verchio
Jana Walczyk
Andy Ward
Phil Wheeler
Olivia Whitworth
Sarah Wilkins
Phil Wrigglesworth
Joohee Yoon
Natalia Zaratiegui
Hila Zwergel

View the complete shortlist here