Archive for June, 2016

Payback 2016 launches

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

A record £5.5 million in royalties will be available for visual artists who have had their work published in a book, magazine or shown on TV, through the annual Payback campaign launched by DACS, the visual artists’ rights management organisation.

DACS has successfully run the Payback scheme for over 15 years, distributing over £43.5 million in total. From 4 July until 30 September 2016 visual artists can again apply for their share in collective licensing royalties here. AOI recommends illustrators whose work is in a book, magazine or has been shown on TV apply. It’s an easy process, and there is a minimum payment even for those with little work published.

All types of visual artists whose works are copyright protected are eligible to apply, from fine artists and photographers to designers and illustrators. These royalties are an important income source for visual artists. Last year, 25,000 visual artists and estates claimed Payback and their individual payments – made just in time for Christmas – ranged from £25 to around £3,770.

Children’s book author and illustrator, Benji Davies, said:

“In the past, Payback has enabled me to buy new equipment or contributed to studio costs. When the royalties come through it’s a friendly slap on the back – a similar feeling to receiving a Christmas bonus (I imagine!). It always feels like an unexpected and very welcome reward when the statement pops up in my inbox.”


Payback-artist-and-illustrator-Benji-Davies-in-his-studio. Photo-©-Brian-Benson,-2016. Image-courtesy-DACS.

Payback royalties come from the re-use of published artwork, such as the photocopying and scanning of work in books and magazines, or the recording or re-broadcasting of work in TV programmes.

Chernobyl. The Zone – book review

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Written by Francisco Sánchez Illustrated by Natacha Bustos

Published by Centrala ISBN 978-0-9933951-1-6

Review by Marianna Madriz


“Some say that it was the last major historic event which wasn’t reported live on TV.” With an insightful essay by Álvaro Colomer (first published in 2008) we swiftly enter the world of Chernobyl: a graphic novel in three acts, published on the 40th anniversary of the nuclear catastrophe in Soviet Ukraine.

We are introduced to Pripyat, a city built to allocate workers from the nearby nuclear plant and their families. The city is modern and thriving, reaching a population of nearly 50000 residents. Yuri and his family share together in the mundanities of every day life until the explosion in Chernobyl nuclear power plant; The city is quickly evacuated and family members are suddenly dispersed. Yuri’s grandparents try returning to their homeland and to go back to the way things were, only to find a slow silent death. Years later the protagonist and his younger sister also go back to the ghost city to try finding their relatives, and to somehow make sense of the events that have irrevocably affected them forever.

Chernobyl. The Zone - book review

Francisco Sánchez and Natacha Bustos’s compelling graphic novel is the result of a successful creative collaboration and thorough visual research on this historical event. Bustos’ brush strokes feel quick yet precise, and her dense black and white lines (as well as great character designs) help bring Sánchez’s words to life through the page.

It may not be a light read, but it’s a story that makes you dive in quick once you are past it’s almost silent first act; not to mention, the Appendix features great essays and reflections from Sánchez and Bustos on the narrative’s creative process. It even has a brief documentation on the arranged trip to the abandoned surroundings by Prityat, and on the overall motivation for starting the project.

Chernobyl. The Zone - book review

Part fiction, part documentary, Chernobyl is an important graphic novel that records a forgotten piece of our global history (and most likely an event ignored by the younger generation). It’s slow, sharp and, at times, quite emotional: A recommended read for all.

Chernobyl. The Zone - book review

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Chris Riddell wins Kate Greenaway Medal

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Judges claim Laureate Chris Riddell is “at the height of his powers” as he wins for The Sleeper and the Spindle.

Chris Riddell becomes the first ever triple winner, winning the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations of Neil Gaiman’s retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, The Sleeper and the Spindle. Riddell also becomes the first reigning Children’s Laureate to win either Medal.

The Sleeper

His previous Medal wins came in 2001 for Pirate Diary and 2004 for his adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver”. Speaking of his record third win, Riddell – for whom the support of libraries is a central theme of his Laureateship – said he was “honoured and humbled” to accept the award, going on to praise librarians as “pretty amazing people […] they love turning children into readers by teaching them one of the most important life skills you can acquire, which is reading for pleasure. Not SATs tests, or attainment levels, or league tables but the joy of losing yourself in the pages of a good book.” He said he was humbled that Neil Gaiman had chosen him to illustrate his “wonderful story…from all the talented…young…good- looking…fashionable illustrators he could have chosen.” He also thanked his publisher, Bloomsbury, for “giving me 96 pages and gold as a second colour.”



Punk London – AOI Colleges artwork

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

In the year of the 40th anniversary of Punk appearing in the UK, AOI has partnered with the Creative Team at the London Mayor’s office to involve our London college member students in a competition to create images to promote the events happening to celebrate Punk. These are being used to promote events over the year.


Punk London is a year long programme of gigs, exhibitions and films that will look back at the excitement and energy of the movement’s genesis, and at punk as an on-going catalyst that continues to inspire, refuse categorisation and spark creativity around the world.


Camberwell College of Art student and AOI member, Richard Manders‘ artwork was used in Time Out in June 2016 (above).

The finalists for the Punk London advert images were:

Henry Mata – BA Middlesex University; Richard Manders – MA Camberwell College of Art; Shazleen Khan – BA Middlesex University; Molly Howard-Foster – BA Middlesex University

Refugee Week – workshop by Olivier Kugler

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Great Court and galleries – Free

For Refugee Week (20–26 June 2016), the British Museum is collaborating with Counterpoints Arts, and illustrator Olivier Kugler is presenting a special workshop.


Friday Late event on 24 June is curated around this year’s Refugee Week theme of Welcome and the Museum’s collection of objects, stories and ideas.

Illustration workshop by Olivier Kugler

24 June 18.00-20.30, West Foyer

Over the last two and a half years illustrator Olivier Kugler has been commissioned by Médecins Sans Frontières to create drawings documenting the circumstances of Syrian refugees. Join Olivier in his ‘artists studio’ to explore his practice.

The images shown here will also be featured in the World Illustration Awards 2016.

Artworks by Olivier Kugler


Developing your ideas: from inspiration to publication

Friday, June 17th, 2016


Thursday 7 July

Seven Stories, Newcastle upon Tyne

Come to Seven Stories – the National Centre for Children’s Books — for a children’s publishing panel discussion with the illustrator Chris Chatterton and his agent from the Bright Agency, Arabella Stein in conversation with the author and artist, Niel Bushnell and his agent Juliet Mushens from the United Talent Agency.

Tintin by Chris Chatterton

Tintin by Chris Chatterton

Included in the ticket price is a tour of the new Michael Morpurgo exhibition, a white glove manuscript handling experience, lunch and refreshments.

£25 for members / £35 for non-members.

AOI members can quote the promotion code ‘AOI16’ when booking to qualify for the member rate!

There is also an optional cartoon drawing workshop on the day, £5 per person.

More information

Middlesex University degree show

Friday, June 17th, 2016

New Wave: School of Art and Design Degree Show 2016

F Block T1-T5, The Old Truman Brewery, 81 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June, 10am-7pm Monday 20th June, 10am-4pm


Illustration by BA degree student Nicole Cowan

Pictoplasma Academy Masterclass

Friday, June 17th, 2016


September 24 – October 2, 2016

The Pictoplasma Academy Masterclass in Berlin is suitable for all interested in expanding their practise in a specific field related to the creation of characters – whether as illustrators, animation filmmakers, fine artists, or graphic, fashion, and product designers. It invites a group of international graduate students and young professionals selected upon application to kick-start their careers as character designers in close collaboration with industry leading creators and producers. The 8-day intense masterclass challenges participants to explore their personal projects right across the media spectrum – from drawing and illustration to sculpture and visual storytelling – and find the right path for their further development.


The Pictoplasma Academy aims to bring the participants’ personal projects to the next level and help them find the strategic path to connect with key partners for their further development. This mentoring process continues after the course during the six months leading up to an exclusive group exhibition, in which participants of the Academy present their work to a professional, international audience as part of the Pictoplasma Festival 2017 in Berlin.

The staff includes illustrator and children books author Rilla Alexander; illustrator, toy designer, animation and game director Nathan Jurevicius; fine artist Mehdi Hercberg aka Shoboshobo; Benjamin van Oost, creative director, exceptionally gifted sculptor and founding member of Case Studyo; and Phil Hunt, director of multi-award winning, London-based animation Studio AKA.


Deadline for application is July 15 via Email to [email protected]

The Academy’s tutors will review all applications during the last week of July.

The fee for participation is 1.390,- €

Further information

Ronald Searle’s America – book review

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Edited by Matt Jones

Published by Fantagraphics Books ISBN 978-1-60699-843-4


Observation – some people appear oblivious to what is around them. Others cast a keen eye across their surroundings and the people inhabiting them. Illustrator Ronald Searle (1920 -2011) was a master of the latter, injecting it both into his reportage work and successful cartoons such as St Trinian’s, and this superb book revisits his impressive output from across America (and Canada) on assignment for several magazines from the late 1950’s onwards.


Curated by Matt Jones, who runs the Perpetua: Ronald Searle Tribute website, this impressive coffee table sized publication breaks down Searle’s travels into various locations (and political campaigns by Kennedy and Nixon), showing work that has rarely been seen since original publication in the 1960’s, with fascinating on site drawing, rough sketches which reveal the workings behind a joke, plus the richly detailed final images in line and colour. Stylishly designed, it’s a treat for all who love drawing (and being entertained – several drawings had me laughing out loud), offering an insight into Searle’s modus operandi and the effort that went into these assignments. Drawing in blizzards, anyone, to capture life in Alaska? There’s not many of us with the tenacity to deal with ink freezing in our pens!


In the Foreward, Pete Docter calls Searle’s drawing “delicious to look at”, a fantastic way to describe the pleasure of observing the varied fluid line, the capturing of ‘place’, the recognisable people (much of this work could be published today – preening bodybuilders, rich elderly retirees, elaborately kitted out skiers…). How great to have dropped him into the hipster hang outs of our major cities lampooning the dress and rituals, or puncturing the self importance of many media stars, famous for, well, what?


One of the strengths of Searle’s humour is its grounding in real life situations, so although there are universal elements, the people (or animals) who are the subject of his visual joke inhabit an exaggerated but authentic environment, with enough detail to ground and enhance the humour.


Searle is well known for the sharpness of his wit, and no one escapes in these American drawings. It’s often an individual put upon by the ordinary/extraordinary environment around them, whether that’s a man scurrying down a dark New York street proliferating with aggressive street signs, or a tourist being snatched up in the air by a sharp taloned Native American carved bird seemingly detached from a totem pole. Jones supplies informative captions on what images are and where they were published, and articles and letters by Searle himself or others are interspersed throughout the book offering interesting background.


Searle discusses situations with the same focused observation he brought to drawing, and not just on magazine work. He had strong views on visual documenting, “Reportage has to have flesh, bones, and above all life in it. One is not illustrating, but pushing one’s nose into life. On top of that one must have something to say – however crass. Reportage is not reporting: it is opinion and comment that takes it away from journalism into (minor) art.”


From a man who appears to have had no end of talent (and application), this substantial book is true visual treat. A great addition to the published work of Ronald Searle.


Ronald Searle was a supportive Patron of the Association of Illustrators up to his death in 2011. Book preview here

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Varoom 33 – the Collaborators issue

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Quilts, Trainers, Comics, Shojo manga, Pottery and an Earthquake

Bringing together individuals, networks and global brands across multimedia projects, the Collaborators issue discovers the nuts and bolts of a successful children’s book collaboration between writer and illustrator; design studio ManvsMachine’s recent ambitious collaboration with Nike; the Fabulous Year 24 Group and how they brought the female sensibility to shōjo manga, and highlights the key networks through which illustrators generate creative and emotional support.


Varoom also talks with those behind the Reflections project which highlights the effects of the 2015 Nepal earthquake through illustration and photography, and introduces Brian Stelfreeze as he tells us about working with Ta-Nehisi Coates on Marvel’s new Black Panther comic

Regulars Paul Davis and Marian Bantjes create a unique collaboration, commenting on swapped pictures as real life events influence startling interpretations of the works.

Our cover is by a group of illustration students who worked together to create a commemorative quilt as a respite from the pressures of their final degree show.

See more on Varoom 33 here. Purchase here. See sampler here