Lauren Child has been revealed as the London Book Fair's (LBF) inaugural Illustrator of the Fair.
A multi-award-winning bestselling writer and artist and Waterstones Children's Laureate, Child is the creator of characters including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort, and Charlie and Lola. The latter characters have been made into a series that has won four BAFTAS and is aired in more than 34 countries.
Child will be attending LBF on Wednesday 11th April, with a schedule that will include seminars, receptions, photo calls and networking, beginning with an ‘in conversation’ event with the Association of Illustrators (AOI), when she will talk about her work and career.
Child said she hoped her appointement would be the beginning of an on-going tradition at The London Book Fair.
“The best illustrations are complimentary to the text, but they are so much more than that" said Child. "They can relay feelings and emotions and transport you, instantly, to another place and time. It is important to me, in my time as Waterstones Children's Laureate, to champion the importance of illustration as an art-form, whether for children or adults.”
LBF director Jacks Thomas added: “How lucky we are to have such illustrator royalty as our first ever Illustrator of the Fair. Lauren Child's work is universally acclaimed and loved and she is a superb ambassador for an expanded illustration and design programme at LBF18 that reflects the importance of visual excellence within the creative industries.”
In other events, an Illustrators Afternoon will see art directors from publishers including Bonnier Zaffre, Little Tiger, Scholastic, Titan Books and Usborne Publishing present their Top Tips and what they look for when commissioning illustrators. Seminar attendees will then be able to meet with the panellists for a 15 minute, pre-booked, one to one appointment to show their portfolios, receive feedback and ask questions. In addition, the AOI will be presenting a condensed version of its hugely popular masterclasses covering self-promotion, the commissioner journey, client negotiation and an overview of rights.
Other seminar topics include what makes a successful children’s picture book; the challenges faced when translating illustrated children’s books and a special LIMA Licensing themed seminar - The Wonderful World of Mr Men and Little Miss – entertaining generations from the 1970s - where Sanrio will discuss the products that have helped this brand become the icon it is today.
Tying in with this year’s Market Focus, there will be a seminar dedicated to Estonia's most successful contemporary children's writer and illustrator, Piret Raud, and another putting the Spotlight on the Pop-Up Creators Project: an international exchange of outstanding and emerging illustrators and comics artists across the Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the UK.
The Illustrators' Gallery, LBF’s special feature area, is where 18 illustrators and artists will be displaying their artwork as part of a collective gallery space. Celebrating its third year in 2018, it is one of the most eye-catching areas of the Fair, and is where attendees can see illustrations on display, network with leading and up and coming illustrators, and commission new projects.