Please enjoy this guest entry from Parsons Illustration senior Emmanuel Tavares, who accompanied our chair, Steven Guarnaccia to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair from March 23rd to Thursday 26th.
Man, do my feet hurt. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair did this to me. It also introduced me to a ton of publishers, directors, artists, and books that i had no idea even existed. The fair is one of the largest children‘s book fairs in the world. It has been held annually in Bologna, Italy for 46 years. After taking Pat Cummings’ Children’s Book class I thought I had an idea of what to expect, and I sort of did. There was just so much more of it. There were hundreds of booths, samples, framed pieces, and words I could not understand. Fortunately we deal with images and the amazing artwork more than bridged the language gap. There were publishers from everywhere including India, Jamaica, Portugal, New Zealand, Israel, Sri Lanka, Finland, and Australia ( I never understood why a continent would be listed as a country). In all there were 1,300 exhibitors from 69 countries.
Prior to my trip I was put in touch with Marcella Terrusi, the moderator for the week long forum of scheduled discussions at the fair called the “Illustrator’s Café”. Between here advice and Steven’s introducing me to some of his friends in the publishing world there I was able to meet and speak with many publishers who my personal work would pair well with. This was a great opportunity to get insight on what the decision makers in the children’s book publishing world are thinking about when looking at an artist’s work.
I was also asked to speak at the Illustrator’s Café on a panel discussion about Illustrator Blogs. It was a great honor to be on a panel with illustrators Pablo Auladell and Anna Castagnoli and to represent Parsons to such a diverse group of professionals.
The fair was an amazing opportunity to make very important contacts that I was able to take advantage of. The response to my panel discussion was also very reassuring as there were even a few of the audience members from New York who later spoke with me about later contact. I look forward to maintaining contact with the people I’ve met during my trip. And so I’m off to complete a long list of e-mails!
Thanks for the recap, E!