The Illustrators Survival Corner

Established for illustrators by popular demand in 2017, the Illustrators Survival Corner is a BCBF space dedicated to the profession of illustrating, conceived for the many artists who come to the Fair every year looking for new jobs or to show publishers their portfolios.

Among the many events scheduled for 2022 are masterclasses from Serge Bloch, Otto Gabos, Lucie Felix, Beatrice Alemagna, Sarah Mazzetti, Joanna Concejo, Fatinha Ramos, Gusti, and Nelson Cruz; meetings in partnership with the Taipei Book Fair, Sharja Book Authority (UAE), UaeBby (UAE), Imaquinario (Peru) and the Lithuanian Vaikų žemė festival; and conferences and workshops dedicated to the world of comics in collaboration with Hamelin. Guests scheduled to attend include Lucie Luddington of Bright Agency, the Ts'ai Lun  105 association, illustrator Neil Packer, as well as David Carter, Anna Castagnoli, Martin Salisbury, Marianna Coppo, Maria Russo (former Children’s Books Editor at the New York Times), and Valentina Colombo (Phileas Fogg Agency). 

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Mimaster Illustrazione

The Illustrators Survival Corner is the place for illustrators to share experiences, hone their skills and find practical solutions to industry issues by talking with international experts. The Illustrators Survival Corner hosts internationally-renowned artists, leading publishers, agents, editors and art directors from all over the world, who share their expertise through master classes, workshops and portfolio reviews. A dedicated daily calendar of events covers different areas of the profession, from designing children’s books to self-promotion, managing interviews with publishers, contracts, using social media, and game design.

Since its inception, the Survival Corner has welcomed thousands of participants each year. It has become one of the most popular venues at the Fair, and is a fixture in the BCBF’s extensive online programme of the last few years.

The Illustrators Survival Corner is curated by Mimaster Illustrazione, a leading educational institution on the international illustration scene, in partnership with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The venue showcases a series of online meetings and has a daily calendar of free appointments at the Fair (reservations required).

At the 2021 online Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Illustrators Survival Corner opened with the return of the 24H MARATHON – Worldwide Illustrators Portfolio Review: twenty-four hours of non-stop portfolio reviews with twenty-four international publishers, after which illustrators were able to sign up for The Publishers Annual Review.

As part of the Bologna Grand Tour, after calling at international fairs such as the Frankfurt Book Fair (20-24 October 2021), the Sharjah International Book Fair (3-13 November 2021), the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara (29 November - 1 December 2021), and running the “Children’s Literature and Publishing Industry Days” programme in Lithuania (4-6 November 2021), the Illustrators Survival Corner will be back in Bologna with more than eighty events.

THE ILLUSTRATORS SURVIVAL CORNER, THE STORY SO FAR...

The Illustrators Survival Corner’s daily schedule of events features activities for both young first-timers and seasoned professionals: 

  • Portfolio Review: a chance for emerging illustrators to present their portfolios to major publishers, illustrator authors, agents and art directors, and hear opinions and valuable suggestions.
  • Workshops: international artists offer illustrators practical drawing tips and design workshops.
  • Masterclasses: illustrators can access tangible information and practical tools, from self-promotion to managing interviews with publishers, contracts, using social media, creative processes, and professional experiences.

Among the many events scheduled for 2022 are masterclasses from Serge Bloch, Otto Gabos, Lucie Felix, Beatrice Alemagna, Sarah Mazzetti, and Joanna Concejo; meetings in partnership with the Taipei Book Fair, the Sharja Book Authority (UAE), UaeBby (UAE), Imaquinario (Peru) and the Lithuanian Vaikų žemė festival; and conferences and workshops dedicated to the world of comics in collaboration with Hamelin.

Scheduled guests include Lucie Luddington of Bright Agency, the Tsat Mon 105 association, illustrator Neil Packer, as well as David Carter, Anna Castagnoli, Martin Salisbury, Marianna Coppo, Maria Russo (former Children’s Books Editor at the New York Times), and Valentina Colombo (Phileas Fogg Agency). For this edition of the Fair, the Illustrators Survival Corner is enriched with a new meeting space to foster professional connections between foreign publishers and Italian illustrators, featuring daily “Meet the publisher” conferences, portfolio reviews and meetings (in partnership with the MEFU) dedicated to comics-related professions.

Mimaster Illustration is curating the “Villains” exhibition at Survival Corner for BCBF22. Conceived to celebrate Mimaster’s tenth anniversary, this group exhibition brings together images of “bad guys” created by more than 140 illustrators, including former alumni and major international names Noma Bar, Brad Holland, Katsumi Komagata, Libero Gozzini, William Grill, Federico Maggioni, Lorenzo Mattotti, Emiliano Ponzi, Peter Sìs and Olimpia Zagnoli – just some of the many illustrators who answered the call.

As part of this snapshot of the impact villains have on illustrators’ careers, each character is accompanied by a short text, a quote or an anecdote in which the character expresses itself through music, theatre, popular culture or poetry. Published by Edizioni della Galleria l’Affiche, with texts by Mimaster Illustrazione founders Ivan Canu and Giacomo Benelli and graphic design by Daniele Morganti, the Cattivi catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Like the exhibition, the catalogue is divided into sections: “Beasts’”, “He devils”, “She devils”, “Men or monsters?”, and “Nasty relatives”.

During the last edition of the Fair when people could physically attend (2019), the Illustrators Survival Corner achieved outstanding results: 105 guests including artists, authors, publishers and illustration professionals; thirty-six master classes and eight workshops by internationally-renowned illustrators; and fifty portfolio reviews. A total of approx. 6300 people visited the Illustrators Survival Corner, of whom more than 5300 participated directly in an event.