Anglia Ruskin University students aim for picture-perfect graduation

Published: 18 January 2011 at 14:44

London exhibition could lead to book deals with major publishers

Anglia Ruskin University students are putting themselves in the shop window by taking over a central London bookstore next month.

The Gallery at Foyles’ flagship Charing Cross Road store will host the Graduation Show for Anglia Ruskin University’s MA Children’s Book Illustration students from 1-10 February.

The MA, which is marking its tenth anniversary this year, is rated as one of the most highly-regarded Children’s Book Illustration courses in the world and has recently been filmed for a Japanese TV series featuring innovative academic courses in different countries.

Professor Martin Salisbury, the Course Leader, said:

“The London graduation show is always an exciting and stressful time for the students. We are all especially excited by this year’s cohort, several of whom are already working with leading publishers.

“This is the first year that we have shown at Foyles and we are looking forward to getting the show up and giving the invited editors and art directors from the industry a visual treat.”

Last year’s graduation show caused a flurry of excitement with Nadia Shireen’s witty, postmodern picturebook, The Good Little Wolf, being particularly popular, leading to a major publishing deal with the Random House Group.

Nadia said:

“The course works closely with the publishing industry, which is invaluable for aspiring illustrators. A team from Egmont Publishing regularly visited us, and gave us insight into the ever-changing landscape of the industry, as well as personal feedback on our work.

“The graduation show in London was attended by talent-spotters from all of the major publishing houses, which I think is a testament to the reputation of the course. At the graduation show I was approached by several publishers, and have signed to Random House Picture Books for a two-book deal.

“For now at least, I've managed to quit the day job and am working full time on writing and illustrating books for children - a dream come true!”

The exhibition will feature original artworks, picturebook dummies, preparatory sketches and storyboards. Following its exhibition in London, the work will be displayed at the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge from 2-10 March.

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