Helen Kellock has been named 2019's Picture Hooks Illustrator of the Year.
Picture Hooks, an Edinburgh-based initiative supporting emerging picture-book illustrators through mentoring, conferences and masterclasses, named Kellock its Illustrator of the Year after pairing her with professional illustrator Maisie Paradise Shearring earlier this year. The award was judged by Roger Thorp, editorial director at Thames & Hudson, and Tiffany Leeson, creative director at Egmont.
Thorp said: "All the illustrators shown at the Picture Hooks exhibition display exceptional talent but Helen Kellock’s grasp of character and story combined with her skills in creating atmosphere through light and colour, and sheer drawing ability, mean that she stands out as an illustrator of enormous promise."
Lucy Juckes, co-founder of Picture Hooks and children’s literary agent at Jenny Brown Associates, added: "Helen has been part of the Picture Hooks family for several years, attending our conferences and masterclasses. It is fantastic to see her work going to the next level under Maisie’s guidance."
Picture Hooks this weekend (25th–27th October) launched a new exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, showcasing the fruits of its bi-annual mentoring scheme: the work of five emerging illustrators with five professional illustrators. This year's participants were Kellock, Anna Gordillo, Chie Hosaka, Francis Martin and Will Hughes, who respectively were paired with Shearring, Sara Ogilvi, Helen Stephens, Chris Mould and Petr Horáček. Their work will continue to tour the UK in 2020.
Over the same weekend, on 26th October, a "speed dating event" took place with 15 publishers from London and Edinburgh at the National Gallery of Scotland, giving new illustrators the opportunity to show publishers their portfolios in 10-minute sessions. Going into its eighth year, the annual Picture Hooks conference was held the same day at V&A Dundee. Over 100 illustrators were in attendance to listen to speakers including Roger Thorp, Tiffany Leeson and Lesley Barnes.