Archive for January, 2014

Quentin Blake on his public art

Friday, January 31st, 2014

An evening with Quentin Blake: On and off the page

Tuesday 4 February 7:30pm

Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London

AOI Patron, Quentin Blake, has been producing an incredible body of large scale illustrations for public buildings since the early 2000’s, including the walls of museums and hospitals.


In this talk he describes the challenges involved in some of these projects and the feelings and reactions of the people who encounter his work. This is a unique chance to hear the country’s most celebrated illustrator discuss his work beyond the printed page.


Talk only: £20
Private wine reception including Quentin’s book Words and Pictures (RRP £16.99): £45

Produced by AOI in association with Southbank Centre

Exhibition: Serco Prize for Illustration 2014 at London Transport Museum

Monday, January 27th, 2014

An exhibition of the 50 best entries to the competition organised by the AOI in partnership with the London Transport Museum and sponsored by Serco.

14 February – 6 April 2014 at the London Transport Museum


Across the ages, London has produced and inspired countless stories. Fictitious and real characters and events in this amazing city have always held fascination, from anecdotal urban myths to grand tales of historic legend.

London Stories, an exhibition featuring the best of the entries for The Serco Prize for Illustration 2014, opens on 14 February 2014 and will feature 50 works of art.

Entrants were asked to create an illustration which visually captures a well-known or obscure London narrative; stories that are contemporary or historical, real or imagined.

The shortlisted illustrations celebrate a vibrant, multi-layered London – urban myths, historic events, remarkable characters and London’s animal population. From ghost buses, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show of 1887 and Lenin’s ‘love letter to London’ to a Pearly King and Queen, and an escaped monkey jazz band. Other entries depict the ravens and the white bear of the Tower of London, Tin Pan Alley as well as literary and musical references such as The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Girl from Petrovka, Mary Poppins, Sweeny Todd and Oranges and Lemons.

There’s also a chance to explore the exhibition after hours and enjoy the opening evening of London Stories during the LTM’s Friday Late on 14 February 2014. There will be a bar and DJ and storytelling for adults on board some of the heritage vehicles; a chance to illustrate your own London Story with short illustration workshops, and to strike a pose in a photo-booth with a choice of props. Please see the LTM website for more info.

The exhibition closes on Sunday 6 April 2014.

For further information visit

Live Hazard Collective Present Sanctuaries

Friday, January 24th, 2014

BLOG_DAF_RichMixPoster copy

Live Hazard Collective present Sanctuaries: Temporary Dwellings of the Real at Rich Mix London from 7th February – 1st March, with an illustrated concert opening on Thursday 6th February from 6pm.

“We all seek such temporary dwellings in one form or another, be it old dreams, stories and legends of childhood that offer comfort against the tide or ever rapid change. Live Hazard explores how artists re-establish drawing as an essential mode of communication engaging with technology and music in a multidisciplinary visual landscape. The exhibition will open with an illustrated concert.”

Sanctuaries: Temporary Dwelling of the Real is curated by Live Hazard co-founders Valerie Pezeron and Guy Harries. People participating are Illustators: Gary Embury, Rachel Gannon, Mikey Georgeson, Tim Vyner, Matthew Booker, Derek Bainton, Yossi Waxman, Tracy Thompson, Stephanie Black, Valerie Pezeron Anna Beam, Sophia O’Connor, Chi Chavure, Joseph Lawrence, Charlie Warde, Roderick Mills, First Hand Collective and Yaara Eshet. Musicians: Illi Adato, Jo Thomas, Masol, Ben Bowdler, Guy Harries, Hannah Simpson, Topolski Residents and Yumi Hara Cawkwell.

This exhibition is supported by Rich Mix, Diversity Art Forum, Reportager, Association of Illustrators, University of the West of England and University of East London.


Varoom 24 – the Obsession issue

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Varoom24_450 Cover

Varoom’s Obsession issue – an issue about Obsessive practice, Obsessed with Neon, Obsessed with Ladybird, Obsessed with Outsider Artists who are Obsessed with One Thing or another – sometimes One Thing and another.


Writer Linda Scott observes that East End Outsider Artist Madge Gill would paint, knit and sew while in a delirious trance, whilst in possession of her spirit guide Myrninterest. Don’t try this at home kids. While Barcelona illustrator Mr Mourao says in our feature, We’re Lost In Pictures, “The main goal is to draw as much detail as possible so that the viewer gets sucked in and gets lost in the drawing.”

Varoom 24. Get Lost.

Lost in Pictures_450_keyline

Return to Ladybird World unpacks the emotional, cultural and iconic power of a unique slice of visual history. For a generation of middle-aged adults, the lushly illustrated world of Ladybird brought education, the rush of collecting, and a utopian vision of middle-class life.


Varoom 24 Winter 2014, 64 pages, available in specialist bookshops and assorted news stands in the UK, Europe and other countries, retail price per issue £7, subscription (4 issues) £21 (outside UK £32).

Falmouth Illustration Forum: Witness

Thursday, January 16th, 2014


Friday 7th March, 9.30 – 16.30

Woodlane Lecture Theatre, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 4RH

The MA in Authorial Illustration at Falmouth University announces its forthcoming 12th Annual Falmouth Illustration Forum.

This year’s event is entitled, WITNESS: REPORTAGE & DOCUMENTARY, and will be chaired by Gary Embury, with guest speakers Sue Coe, Anne Howeson, Lucinda Rogers, Jenny Soep, Anna Cattermole and Fumio Obata.

re·port·age noun: an account of an act, event, history, etc., based on direct observation
or on thorough research and documentation. Unabridged (v 1.1)

Arguably one of the most demanding of all forms of illustration, often requiring the capturing of a live event, insightful drawing and accurate visual communication, reportage and documentary illustration has a long and illustrious history, including such artists and illustrators as Otto Dix, George Grosz, Paul Hogarth, Robert Weaver and Ronald Searle. Reportage and documentary illustration provides a direct connection to the world we live in and its illustrators are often noted for their personal visual language and for their in-depth knowledge and cultural understanding of their chosen subject matter.

Tickets are available for £25 at [email protected]

Illustration Cupboard Winter Exhibition

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

22 Bury Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6AL

Until 31 January 2014

Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6pm

The Illustration Cupboard

020 7976 1727


The 18th Annual Winter Exhibition is an international event for illustration art and features over 350 original works from artists all over the world.

Including works by Lauren Child, Axel Scheffler, Shaun Tan, Robert Ingpen and AOI patrons Shirley Hughes and Quentin Blake among many others, the show represents a comprehensive collection of modern illustration art worldwide.

Tom Eckersley: Master of the Poster

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 6SB

11 – 29 January 2014

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm

London College of Communication

020 7514 6500


This exhibition celebrates the contribution Tom Eckersley made to graphic design and design education in Britain over six decades as a practitioner, teacher and master of poster design.

Featuring 40 posters selected from the archive of University of Arts London, the exhibition is housed at the LCC where Tom Eckersley set up the UK’s first graphic design course in 1954.

Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The Folio Society Gallery, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

Until 26th January, 2014

Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6pm and

Saturday to Sunday 11am to 5pm

British Library

(0)1937 546060

Illustration by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Illustration by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The British Library takes a look back at 10 of the most iconic children’s books that have been illustrated and re-illustrated throughout the 20th century with a new exhibition in The Folio Society Gallery, Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics.

The exhibition, which also features rare first editions to original artwork by AOI patron Quentin Blake, focuses on the following 10 classics – Just So Stories, The Iron Man, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wind in the Willows, Paddington Bear, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Hobbit, The Borrowers, The Secret Garden and The Railway Children.


Friday, January 10th, 2014

Beers Contemporary, 1 Baldwin Street, London, UK, EC1V 9NU

Until 8 February, 2014

Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 11am until 6pm

Beers Contemporary

020 7502 9078


Artists Jorge Castellanos, Michael Fanta, Kate Lyddon, and Pawel Sliwinski demonstrate a prevailing desire to reconcile the real with the unreal, and the conscious with the subconscious. Each of the four artists has created a cast of fictional ‘outsider’ characters in their paintings and sculptures.

Interpretation – call for submissions

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014


Deadline for abstracts Monday 3 February 2014 to Jo Davies email here

Academic and professional illustrator submissions are invited for peer review for a VaroomLab/Partners symposium in Autumn 2014 and VaroomLab Journal. Venue to be confirmed.


An open call is made for contributions that broaden the understanding of how Interpretation is manifested within the language of Illustration.

We welcome a breadth of responses and are keen to involve practising illustrators and commissioners as well as academics and theory and practice-based researchers from within illustration and across disciplines.


The place of Interpretation in the commissioning process for lllustration is seldom explored. Illustration not only works to describe textual information in practical applications, but also functions to interpret in narrative, express concepts and convey information. Sometimes error and misunderstanding are factors in the interaction. The relationship between intellect and emotion during the interpretive process is complex and the role of the illustrator’s individual identity and ideology in the theory and practice of
interpretation often hidden.

Papers are invited from illustration practitioners as well as academics

Additional information and Varoom guidelines here

Submissions may reflect on some of these ideas:

  • The difference in interpretations
  • Narrative interpretation
  • Communication and Language
  • Collaborative understandings across disciplines
  • Propaganda and political voices
  • Response to music/sound/performance
  • Interpretive misunderstandings
  • Error
  • Miscommunication
  • Understanding meaning
  • Empathetic relationships
  • Seeing and not seeing
  • Approaches to drawing and writing
  • Truth and Distortion
  • Style – Expression – Methodology
  • Evolution
  • Function – Form – Medium – Message

Image Flora Cox