Since I’ve started my Fwendly Fwuit comic project, I’ve been taking a much more active interest in children’s books and what better way to learn about them than this event in Bologna? I thought I’d write up a little round up of what it was like…
Overall, if you’re interested in working in the children’s book industry I definitely recommend going. Free talks and workshops inform you as to current trends and the behind the scenes process of how books are produced. I went to about 10 different portfolio reviews and showed my work and received some very useful feedback with regards to my work.
Most reviewers / art directors agreed that my work was too cartoony and commercial for their brand. Most wanted a more painterly and traditional style look over digital. However, it just means, I have to approach companies whose current aesthetic matches my own more closely. I haven’t any pictures, but there’s a whole hall dedicated to digital media, in particular apps, which is going to make books far more interactive. Showing my work to a few of these software companies, I received a lot of positive feedback especially in the areas of concept design and story writing.
For me, the best thing about going was being exposed to so many different styles of art, which will definitely influence whatever I draw next!
Overall, for networking both in terms of industry contacts and fellow illustrators, being exposed to new ideas and going to useful free talks made this a very enjoyable experience!