Monday, March 29, 2010

Wellington artist beats strong field to win inaugural Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration

Harriet Bailey (pic above) from Wellington has won the inaugural Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration. She wins a $1,500 monetary prize, mentoring and support from celebrated children’s author and illustrator, Gavin Bishop, and the opportunity to be published by Random House New Zealand.

Photo - from left: Libby Limbrick, Harriet Bailey, Gavin Bishop and Jenny Hellen.  

Harriet Bailey accepted her award at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day, held in Auckland on Saturday, seeing off a strong field of finalists from around New Zealand. On accepting the inaugural Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration, Harriet Bailey said:  “This is fantastic. This recognition is affirmation that I'm on the right track with my illustration. It's come at just the right time - the process of entering the competition confirmed that picture book illustration is what I want to do. I'm really looking forward to working with Gavin and being able to work with him on refining my style. It'll also be really helpful learning about the industry and discussing it with him.”

Each entrant was required to submit a storyboard, a page of rough drawings and two pieces of finished art to fit with text provided by Random House; on this occasion, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This is a substantial body of work which took each entrant several months to complete.

The judge’s comments on Harriet Bailey’s entry included the following remarks: “The artwork is confident and technically very good. The composition of the images is very interesting and the way she plays off areas of no tonal variation and texture with light and just the right colour shows that she is in complete control; that she knows exactly what she’s doing. This is a very well thought out entry and it contains elements that are surprising as well as being traditional. We feel that this illustrator understands children’s books and has great potential as a children’s book illustrator.”

The Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration is sponsored by Random House New Zealand and the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust, whose aim is to encourage the publication of new and exciting high-quality picture books from New Zealand illustrators. It also recognises the contribution Gavin Bishop has made to the writing and illustrating of children’s picture books and gives an emerging talent the opportunity to benefit from his expertise.

Harriet Bailey was born in Lower Hutt and grew up in Te Aroha. While at college, she studied painting and printmaking followed by two years at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, which she left to study illustration at Christchurch School of Art & Design – graduating with a Diploma in Visual Communications in 1997. Working as a graphic designer in Wellington she is now freelancing and rediscovering her passion for illustrating. Her favourite children’s books include those by Raymond Briggs, John Burningham, Ron Brooks and Maurice Sendak.
Examples of Harriet's award-winning artwork are available as PDF downloads via the following link:

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