59th edition
21-24 March 2022
Bologna - Italy

The Illustrators Survival Corner

The Illustrators Survival Corner is the BCBF’s space dedicated to professional illustration, conceived for the many artists who, each year, come to the Fair looking for job opportunities or to showcase their portfolios to publishers.

Here, illustrators can compare experiences, hone their skills and find practical solutions to professional problems by talking to international experts. The Illustrators Survival Corner hosts internationally-renowned artists as well as leading publishers, agents, editors and art directors from around the world, who share their expertise through masterclasses, workshops and portfolio reviews.

In partnership with BCBF, the Illustrators Survival Corner program is curated by Mimaster illustrazione, a leading international educator on the illustration scene.

The Illustrators Survival Corner program for the online edition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2021 kicks off on 12 June with the return of the 24H MARATHON – The Worldwide Illustrators Portfolio Review, a 24-hour, non-stop portfolio review with 24 international publishers. This second edition brings a great new feature: people who sign up for a free review have the option of signing up to the new Publishers Annual Review Illustrators Program. For twelve months, until 17 June 2022, not just the publisher you met at the marathon but the 23 other international publishers will be able to assess, download and save your portfolio.

Find out more in  BCBF OPEN UP


At the Fair, The Illustrators Survival Corner is rolling out “AMA – Ask Me Anything”, a new online masterclass format that offers insights into the various different aspects of professional illustration.
In this new format, the audience generates content on the suggested topic through the questions they ask the expert connected at that session.

The six “AMA – Ask Me Anythingmasterclasses, scheduled between 14-16 June, delve into topics such as picturebook design, portfolio structure, and promoting one’s work.

Illustrators Survival Corner-curated initiatives for BCBF 2021 are already up and running through OPEN UP, a full schedule of online activities from March through May, to warm up the international illustrator community:

Four Themed Masterclasses:

  • Meet the Jury, dedicated to the work of the 2021 Illustrators Exhibition jury
  • Inside Kids Magazines, a group talk on children’s magazines
  • Inside the Picturebook, two meetings dedicated to illustrated books
  • Inside the Agency, a group talk + Q&A on the world of agents and representation

3 days of portfolio review:
14 portfolio review sessions with art directors, publishers and artists 

External Link
Mimaster Illustrazione

The Illustrators Survival Corner, the story so far...

survival cornerThe activities of the Corner are aimed at young emerging artists and professionals, offering a daily line-up of events that includes:  

  • Portfolio Reviews: an opportunity for inexperienced illustrators to present their portfolios to important publishers, illustrators, authors, agents and art directors in order to receive opinions and suggestions.
  • Workshops: tips on design and planning for illustrators held by international artists.
  • Masterclass “Survival Tools for the profession”: seminars on the basics of working in publishing: from self-promotion to managing interviews with the publisher, from the contract to social media.
  • Meet the jury: cycles of meetings, workshops and portfolio reviews with the Illustrators Exhibition jurors (in 2019: Diego Bianchi, Alessandro Sanna, Harriet van Reek, Macjek Byliniak).
  • Red Carpet: masterclasses and workshops with international artists such as - in 2019 - Lorenzo Mattotti, Klaas Verplancke, Beatrice Alemagna, Emilio Urberuaga, Roger Mello, Kestutis Kasparavicius.

During  the last edition (2019), the Illustrators Survival Corner achieved some outstanding results: 105 guests among artists, authors, publishing and visual communication professionals; 36 masterclasses and 8 workshops held by internationally renowned illustrators; 50 portfolio reviews. The Corner saw around 6,300 visitors overall, with over 5,300 participants involved in its activities, while around 1,000 attendees visited the Shanghai Impressions exhibition which was held at the Corner.

Guests who took part in the activities of the 2019 Survival Corner were: Adolfo Serra, Alessandro Sanna, Alla-Lina Mattar, Amma Mas Blasco, Ana Zavadlav, Anna Castagnoli, Anna Desnitskaya, Aretha Campbell, Arianna Squilloni, Ayami Moriizumi, Barbara Rigon, Beatrice Alemagna, Caco Bressane, Chiara Richelmi, Chiara Zarmati, Chih-Yuan Chen, Christopher Myers, Clara Jubete, Conc Corrado Rabitti, Cristina Angelucci, Cristina Portolano, Daisy Zuo, Daniela Valente, Daria Kirpach, Davide Bonazzi, Diego Bianchi, Davide Calì, Derek Brazell, Ekua Holmes, Elenia Beretta, Elisa Macellari, Emiliano Ponzi, Eva Jimenez, Evelyn Daviddi, Emilio Urberuaga, Elisabetta Bianchi, Federico Maggioni, Flavia Bomfim, Francesca Chessa, Francesco Chiacchio, Georgia Luckman, Géraldine Alibeu, Giovanni Munari, Gianluca Folì, Giovanni Scarduelli, Heimi Ilaria Tontardini, Guido Scarabottolo, Ilaria Urbinati, Martoz, Harriet van Reek, Irene Penazzi, Iris Samartzi, Isaak Friedl, Joan Negrescolor, Johanna Schaible, Maria Ballarotti, Katsumi Komagata, Miguel Pang Ly, Kestutis Kasparavicius, Lucie Luddington, Klaas Verplancke, Paola Parazzoli, Lorenzo Mattotti, Laura Re, Macjek Byliniak, Paolo Rui, Monica Monachesi, Maria Russo, Madeleine Frochaux, Maria Sole Macchia, Marina Marcolin, Masha Titova, Polina Plavinskaya, Miguel Tanco, Ramón Parir, Thomas Baas, Sergio Ruzzier, Raquel Bonita, Monika Vaicenaviciene, Sandrine Bonini, Roger Mello, Spela Frlic, Silvia Razzini, Vendi Vernic, Vania Trolese, Susanna Gentili, Yi Yang, Vicky Willden-Lebrecht, Toyohiko Kokumai, Walter Fochesato, Viviana Donella, Xavier Zabala.