Lets get started with the overall impression. This was my third time in Bologna, so I feel I can start comparing the different years of attending the fair and also kind of get an idea of how to go about the fair best, even though this is of course my personal view and not everyone might agree with me.
What caught my eye straight away when entering the halls was the open design of the illustrators corner. The illustrators wall was at least twice as big as last year if not even more, which was fantastic, as not too many people would stick their posters and cards upon yours or even go as far as ripping them down (yes, had that last year, not so nice, if you ask me). The whole exhibition felt very welcoming and of course we will have to come back to it when speaking of inspiration.
|The wall early Monday morning after I put my stuff and my Storybook Brushes Group Calendar up with art by Katriona Chapman, Angela Matteson and Juana Martinez-Neal.|
|The wall later ... so many amazing things to discover!|
Another talk I happened to sit in on was about the rights of authors and illustrators. It was more of a very passionate talk held by Mats Lindberg (IAF), Paolo RUI (EIF President) and Anders Suneson (EIF Member). It is a topic widely discussed around the internet not only by art its within the book publishing industry, but also in other creative fields. Emphasis of the talk was on art its not working for free and in order of valuing their service to increase the respect and value on the client side too. Fees have dropped reasonably in the last few years and also a lot of other bad things for authors/illustrators have happened when it comes to their copyrights. The speakers really pointed out to be aware of ones rights and step up for them and not undervalue what we can offer to our clients. I think this is crucial to talk about and it was great to hear and see that there is an understanding of an issue throughout the industry that can lead to a change, if it gets more known and also followed by art its around the globe.
Inspiration could be found in every corner of the fair. From the illustrations exhibition to the illustrators wall and all the booths. I spotted books from fellow illustrators I know, if only through the internet but nonetheless, it is always so wonderful to see others published work, when you can connect it to a person. So here are a few pics for your inspiration taken from the fair.
|Got nice presents here for my kids!|
I met with other illustrators and had lovely food, but just one gelato, as it was freezing cold in Italy.
As far as tips go when attending the fair I can only encourage you all to make as many appointments as possible. I reached out to the people I hoped to see 6-8 weeks ahead of the fair. Some did not attend, but at least I got to talk to them and a few asked for me to leave samples at the booth to be handed to them personally. I also had my cards and portfolio prepared and got in cues, when I had the impression my art might fit the publisher. Apart from that, never hesitate to simply walk up to a booth and ask if you can either show your work or leave a card. This got me two more appointments, so it is all worthwhile.
This year my portfolio felt very good to me and responses were very positive, which only encourages me to push further and make an even better portfolio for the next year. I leave you for now with this credo I came up with when strolling the aisles with Kirsten Carlson.
"Get inspired, not intimidated!"