Archive for June, 2012

Beach Gallery Launch Night

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


Beach Gallery are inviting you to an exhibition launch on Thursday 5th July from 6-9pm.

A group of illustrators, designer and artists have worked together to create the event with the theme  ‘garden.’

The exhibition will include a collaboartion of artists and handmade books affiliated with Topman General Store based near Spittalfields.

Beach Gallery
20 Cheshire Street
E2 6EH

Stephen Fowlers Exhibtion/Book Launch

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


Artist Stephen Fowler will be showing a new book work on a shelf in LXV Books. This is the fifth part of the Shelve project that is taking place on Roman Road.

Fowlers latest book, Cosmic Forces, explores the artists fascination with American B movies of the 1930’s and 40’s.

The private view and screening begins Wednesday 4th July, 6-8pm and continues until the 4th September 2012.

Opening times are Tues- Fri 12-6pm, Sat 12-5pm.

LXV Books
65 Roman Road

Bethnal Green

London E2 OQN

Victor Ambrus – A Life Drawing

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

ends  26 June 2012
Saturday 11am – 5pm

Victor Ambrus is one of the greatest living draughtsmen working today. After manning the barricades in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, Victor fled to England and became a Royal Scholar at the Royal College of Art. As a prolific illustrator he has spent over fifty years painting, drawing and writing. Twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal Victor has acquired a host of other prestigious accolades in all fields including the Royal Academy Arts Club Award and Fellowship of the RSA, amongst others.


A prodigy of the influential editor Mabel George at Oxford University Press Victor has gone on to work on over 300 books and latterly has become a television personality on the acclaimed Time Team series. His virtuosity in line drawing and corresponding use of colour is without equal; his historical and folk stories remain amongst the finest works published. In 1998 he travelled to Japan as one of the invited seven British illustrators included in the ground-breaking exhibition The World of English Picture Books.

This exhibition focuses on Victor’s book illustrations from the last twenty years, and is the first event of its kind to display his book artwork in Britain, offering collectors and enthusiasts a true opportunity to acquire work by a master draughtsman. Victor has also included a rare selection of his drawings televised on Time Team.

V&A Illustration Awards 2012

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The V&A Illustration Awards have finally revealed their winners. The awards celebrate the best illustration published over the last year. Original artwork from the best illustrated book, book cover, editorial illustration and student illustrator of the year are recognised.

Congratulations to the five winners who were presented with their prizes on 11 June.

The overall winner of the awards and Book Illustration prize went to French illustrator and artist Laëtitia Devernay with her book, The Conductor.


Laëtitia Devernay: The Conductor

The Best Book Cover and Jacket Illustration prize went to Matthew Richardson for his cover of The Folio Society edition of Albert Camus’s The Outsider.

Matthew Richardson: The Outsider

Matthew Richardson: The Outsider

Nick Lowndes won the Editorial award with his illustration for the Financial Times, Mastering Growth.

Nick Lowndes: Mastering Growth

Nick Lowndes: Mastering Growth

Finally, the winner for the Student Illustration Award, Holly Mills with Hothouse.

Holly Mills: Hothouse

A display of the winning work can be seen in the V&A Gallery 74 from 12 June until 31 December 2012.

European Illustrators Forum meet

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

EIF Board members (plus one member's son)

The European Illustrators Forum (EIF) Board convened in Amsterdam in early June for their annual meeting. Board members come from the German, Dutch, Spanish, Italy, Swedish, UK and Finnish organisations. The Norwegian representative also attended.


Under discussion was legislation affecting creators in Europe, and how that was affecting the members of each organisation, general conditions for illustrators, what the new EIF website should contain and what the long term goals of the organisation should be.

AOI MD, Heng Khoo and Projects Manager, Derek Brazell covered issues in the UK, including the ongoing Government consultation on copyright, and the AOI’s work with the Pro-Action committee.

Following a day long meeting at the offices of the Dutch organisation BNO, the group visited Haarlem, outside Amsterdam, the next day for the Comics festival and Illustration Biennale.

AOI MD, Heng Khoo, outside the Illustration Biennale

AOI MD, Heng Khoo, outside the Illustration Biennale

Comics Fair held around Haarlem cathedral

Comics Fair held around Haarlem cathedral

Looking at Dutch comics

Looking at Dutch comics

The well attended Biennale was held mainly in Dutch, but a few invited speakers were handily in English for those whose Dutch was non-existent. There was a digital exhibition held as part of the Biennale, and AOI’s Board member, Roderick Mills, had been invited to take part along with a host of Dutch illustrators.

The digital exhibition

The digital exhibition

New VaroomLab symposium

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012


For details go to Varoom website

For booking

Children’s Picturebooks, The art of visual storytelling – book review

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Children’s Picturebooks, The art of visual storytelling

by Martin Salisbury and Morag Styles.

Laurence King Publishing, 2012 ISBN 978 1 85669 738 5


From Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are to Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea children’s picturebooks make a profound impression on us in childhood. As co-author Morag Styles writes, picturebooks, ‘appear to weave themselves seamlessly into the lives of young readers.’ Yet it is easy to dismiss this genre as lightweight or ‘babyish’, a stepping stone to stories told entirely through the written word. Children’s Picturebooks addresses that misconception. Written by two well-respected academics – Professor of Illustration Martin Salisbury, and Professor of Children’s literature Morag Styles – it covers the history, practice and theory of picturebooks, intermixed with professional case studies of individual artists (such as Marta Altés’ witty dog story ‘No!’), printers, and publishers.

Cover artwork by Beatrice Alemagna

Children’s Picturebooks bridges the gap between scholarly text and basic overview. And gaps are what picturebooks are often about – those spaces left between the words and the pictures that allow the reader to interpret the story in their own way. These ambivalent spaces are what make picturebooks so intriguing, so beguiling, the authors cite the 1964 picturebook Grandpa by John Burningham, where the verbal text does not explicitly mention that Grandpa has died, but the image of his empty chair implies it.

Relationship of word and Image

Picturebooks are distinguished from illustrated storybooks not only by the increased number of images they use, but also by the particular relationship between word and image. In a picturebook, the authors argue, these two elements work together in a playful and dynamic way, each enhancing and extending the other to create meaning. There is a sequence of images that, usually in conjunction with a small number of words, carry much of the ‘narrative responsibility’ of the story.

By learning to read these sequences of images, children not only learn about the rules of narrative – for instance how the plot is driven forward by one event following another – but also about how character and mood can be conveyed through the use of colour, line, perspective, framing and positioning on the page. Even young children, the authors argue, can interpret the body language of a character, or understand a visual metaphor, for instance where an object is used to represent a character, such as in Anthony Browne’s The Tunnel, where a ball represents the boy and a book his sister.

Challenging subjects

In some picturebooks words and pictures act in counterpoint, each telling different stories. The authors cite Pat Hutchins’ Rosie’s Walk as a celebrated example of this. The words in this book focus solely on Rosie the hen’s unflustered journey across the farmyard, but the pictures show the sorry tale of an unfortunate fox’s thwarted attempts to catch her, stepping on a rake, or being chased by a swarm of bees. Picturebooks may incorporate challenging subject matter, too, encompassing such sensitive and controversial areas as bullying, aggression, depression and even domestic violence. Two books that fall into this category are Bully by David Hughes and Håret til Mamma by Norwegian husband and wife team Svein Nyhus and Gro Dahle. And many are not solely for young children – for instance Shaun Tan’s wordless picturebook The Arrival, which deals with the complex and emotional subject of migration.

As well as a fascinating history chapter referencing the works of illustrators such as Randolph Caldecott, Edward Ardizzone, William Nicholson, Kathleen Hale, Brian Wildsmith and Charles Keeping, Children’s Picturebooks has useful practical sections on printing techniques and the publishing industry. The former includes explanations of relief printing, such as wood and lino cuts and wood engraving, etching, lithography and digital print-making, while the latter includes information about publishers, agents, contracts and the editorial process.

Packed with illustrations and drawing on a host of academic research, Children’s Picturebooks highlights the unique qualities of this genre, confirming its importance within both children’s literature and the visual arts. It will be an invaluable addition to the library of any illustrator interested in working in the field. For not only do picturebooks entertain and tell stories, they can, the authors suggest, be ‘timeless mini art galleries for the home’.

Clare Walters is a freelance journalist, writer and co-author of several children’s picturebooks. She originally qualified as a primary school teacher and has recently completed an MA in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University in London.

AOI Intern Tom Jay

Monday, June 11th, 2012

The AOI would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our Publications & Membership Intern Tom Jay who had his last day with us on Friday. Be sure to check out his folio at and follow him @tomjay_illo


Gas Gallery presents “Pattern & Process”

Thursday, June 7th, 2012


Frameless Gallery

20 Clerkenwell Green



Tuesday 12 June – Saturday 16 June 2012

Opening times 11am to 8pm

Pattern & Process showcases a selection of work from Artists and Designers represented by the Gas Gallery. It includes not only Art for the walls but a selection of ‘objects’ and furniture pieces. Bringing together 2d & 3d work with pattern and the process involved in creating them as the central theme.


Find out more about the Gas Gallery here

[email protected]

+44 (0) 20 3627 2350

New Designers 2012: SPECIAL TICKET OFFER

Friday, June 1st, 2012

AOI members can purchase tickets for New Designers 2012 in advance for just £8.50 instead of £14 on the door. To take advantage of this special offer please quote ND232 when booking before 22 June.


Part 1: 27 – 30 June (Awards Preview 27 June)
Textiles, Fashion & Accessories, Contemporary Applied Arts, Ceramics & Glass, Jewellery & Precious Metalwork, One Year On

Part 2: 04 – 07 July (Awards Preview 04 July)
Product and Industrial Design, Furniture Design, Visual Communications (including Graphic Design and Illustration) Spatial Design, One Year On
New Designers is the UK’s most important graduate design exhibition. Over 3,500 of the brightest and most creative talents from Britain’s leading design courses will come together for the 27th edition of New Designers.

Book online at

*£1.50 booking fee applies to tickets purchased in advance