Friday, November 20, 2009
Women illustrators dominate the short-list for the inaugural Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration
The judging for the inaugural Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration has just concluded and the judges were impressed by the high standard of entries received. The judges for the award are Gavin Bishop,(pic right), Crissi Blair and Alan Gilderdale from Storylines, and Jenny Hellen, Deputy Publishing Director at Random House New Zealand.
The judges were delighted by the quality of the entries and by the broad range of media and creative approaches that illustrators took; it was heartening to see so much excellent work and a huge pleasure to judge them. They acknowledge the amount of time and effort contestants took in putting their entries together; creating the storyboard, roughs and pieces of final art is a demanding process.
The quality and standard of entries made judging a very difficult task and took a full working day to complete. However, in the end six entries stood out for their quality and diversity.
The list of finalists comprises five women and one man, with an equal geographical spread between the North and South Islands; three of the finalists hail from Christchurch. The finalists are: Sara Acton from Christchurch; Heather Arnold from Auckland; Harriet Bailey from Wellington; Stephnie Junovich from Christchurch; Gary Venn from Hamilton; and Neroli Williams from Christchurch.
Libby Limbrick from Storylines said ‘Storylines is delighted with the exceptional response to the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Children’s Book Illustration and the quality of the submissions. Children’s literature in New Zealand will be the richer through the inauguration of this award. Storylines is grateful to Random House for the sponsorship of this award.’
In addition to a $1,500 monetary prize, the winner of this award will receive mentoring and support from celebrated children’s author and illustrator, Gavin Bishop, and may also receive an offer of publication by Random House New Zealand. The winner will be announced at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day in March 2010.
We were delighted by the quality of the entries and by the broad range of media and creative approaches that illustrators took – it was heartening to see so much excellent work and a huge pleasure to judge them. The judges acknowledge the amount of time and effort contestants took in putting their entries together; creating the storyboard, roughs and pieces of final art is a demanding process.
The shortlist of six are all of a very high standard and all very diverse. There were a number of other entries that were excellent in many ways but some aspects of their production let them down. In general these were:
· Frequently the drawing of people was not as strong as the drawing of the bears.
· There was a tendency among some illustrators to draw very realistic bears and a cartoon-like Goldilocks. There needs to be a consistency
· In some entries there was only minimal illustration of people. We suggest that illustrators include more roughs including people to show their ability in one of the most difficult aspects of illustration.
· It’s important to pitch illustration to the right age group for the story. Some of the entries were pitched at teens or adults.
· Some entries displayed excellent design skills but the drawing ability did not match this.
· Sometimes the storyboards were full of promise but the final art was not strong enough.
· Some artists tried almost too hard to find a novel approach and in doing so produced work that looked over-worked and lacking in freshness.