Estonian Artists Take Part in the International Illustration Project Pop Up

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

Pop Up is an international exchange programme for outstanding and emerging illustrators and comic artists from the UK, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Estonian project manager Eva Laantee Reintamm: „Pop Up is a huge project, that Estonia has the privilege to participate in. The main mission is to develop a network to increase collaboration between UK and Baltics children’s literature organisations, but also to promote and exchange the work of outstanding illustrators and comic artists. We see it also as an opportunity to introduce Estonian illustration at the London Book Fair.“

In the project, 18 published children’s literature illustrators and comic artists from all four countries have been commissioned to work with multilingual groups of gifted 16-24 year-old visual artists in 16 universities and colleges. Guided by their artist-mentors, 160 students will produce their own illustrated stories in a distinct ‘leporello’ format, that will be published by four partner publishing houses. The resulting collection of illustrated stories – 33,000 copies of 160 original titles – will be presented alongside an exhibition of some of the best artwork during London Book Fair 2018, coinciding with the ‘Baltic Countries Market Focus’. At the same time an exciting new digital platform introducing talented illustrators to publishers, will be launched at the fair.

„The project is very unique, because while teaching the students, I constantly have to think about my own work and what is important to me as an illustrator,“ says Kertu Sillaste from Estonia. „The participants are at the age, where they start to create their first professional works. It is an honour to guide them on their way, to offer a view from an observer and to help noticing, what is unique in all of them.“

The main organiser of the illustrations’ project is Pop Up Projects CIC from the UK. The main partners from Estonia are the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and IBBY Estonia. The participating artists are Kertu Sillaste, Ulla Saar, Joonas Sildre and Elina Sildre. Educational partners are the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University and Pelgulinna High School. The created books will be published by the publishing house Päike ja Pilv. Estonian participation is supported by the Ministry of Culture.

Further partners:

Artists: William Grill, Alexis Deacon, Emily Hughes, Katie Harnett, Jim Stoten and Hamish Steele from the UK; Anna Vaivare, Oskars Pavlovskis, Elīna Brașlina, Reinis Pētersons from Latvia; and Akvilė Misevičiūtė, Lina Dūdaitė, Ieva Babilaitė, Rasa Joni from Lithuania.

Educational partners: Victory Academy (Rochester), MidKent College, Harlow College, University of the Creative Arts (Canterbury), City of Oxford College (Oxford & Banbury), Southampton Solent University, City College Brighton & Hove, Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge), Peterborough Regional College, London College of Communications (University of the Creative Arts), Birmingham City University and Vilnius Academy of Arts (Vilnius & Kaunas).

International partners and supporters: Arts Council England, British publishing house Nobrow & Flying Eye, Latvia’s International Writers & Translators House, Latvian publishing house kuš!, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Lithuanian Council for Culture, and the publishing house of Vilnius Academy of Arts.

 

The Literary Festival HeadRead at our Centre from 25th to 27th May

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

During the HeadRead Literary Festival, meetings with children‘s literature authors, as well as a book fair, will take place in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.

Thursday, 25th May

10am – Children’s author Heli Illipe-Sootak and the illustrator of her books, Katrin Ehrlich, talk about their children’s books and cooperation. The meeting will be held in Estonian.
12pm – Kairi Look, the author of popular storybooks such as The Kooky Museum of Mr. Glass, Piia Biscuit Moves In and The Airport Bugs Fight On, will meet readers. The meeting will be held in Estonian.
5pm – Finnish fantasy author Maria Turtschaninoff’s talk with journalist Nikolai Karajev. The meeting will be held in English.

Friday, 26th May

10am – British author David Almond will give an overview about his work in the Illustration gallery.
10am – Italian writer Davide Cali will meet young readers in the fairy tale attic.
Both meetings will be held in English.
12pm – Davide Cali will meet readers in the Illustration gallery. The meeting will be held in English.

Saturday, 27th May

12pm – Book fair in the courtyard of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. Everyone can bring along children’ books for exchange! Children can meet the mascot of the Centre, Nukitsamees (Bumpy) and participate in various activities. There is also a café!

Welcome to the Literary Festival HeadRead!

See also: The Literary Festival HeadRead

Estonian Illustrators at the Literary Festival Berliner Bücherinseln in Berlin

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

On Wednesday, 10th May the children’s literature festival Berliner Bücherinseln starts. The focus of this years’ festival is children’s literature from the Baltic states. Estonia will be represented by the illustrators Ulla Saar, Kertu Sillaste and Regina Lukk-Toompere.

Kertu Sillaste and Ulla Saar both organise workshops at the festival. Kertu Sillaste’s workshops will take place on 10th and 11th May, workshops by Ulla Saar on 17th, 18th and 19th May. Their works, along with Regina Lukk-Toompere’s, will also be shown at the illustration exhibition “Baltic Children’s Books Illustrations“. The exhibition is open from 10th May until 30th June at the Humboldt Library.

The literary festival Berliner Bücherinseln will take place for the eighth time this year. In ten days, 30 events take place in Germany’s capital, all of which are dedicated to children’s books and book illustration.

See also: Berliner Bücherinseln

Ilon Wikland’s Escape Story Turned Into Children’s Opera

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

The Long, Long Journey (Den långa, långa resan) written by Swedish children’s author Rose Lagercrantz and illustrated by famous Estonian-born Swedish illustrator Ilon Wikland, was recently turned into an eponymous children’s opera at the Royal Swedish Opera.

Both the book and the opera tell the story of Wikland’s childhood in the Western Estonian coastal town of Haapsalu and her escape to Sweden in 1944, reported the Financial Times.

The opera, produced by Ellen Lamm, features music by film composer Johan Ramström and text by librettist Sigrid Herrault and will star young opera singer Sanna Gibbs in the leading role. The work is aimed at children 7-9 years of age.

While a play based on the book has been previouly written and staged at Uppsala City Theatre, according to Anna Karinsdotter, director of the Royal Swedish Opera’s children’s and youth department Young at the Opera, the opera was not based on the play. It was the idea of Young at the Opera dramaturg Sigrid Herrault, herself an Estonian, to bring an opera based on the book to the stage, reported regional paper Lääne Elu (link in Estonian).

For more English-language information about the opera and its schedule of performances, click here.

Wikland, born Maire-Ilon Pääbo in Tartu in 1930, is one of Sweden’s best known illustrators, known in particular for her illustrations of children’s author Astrid Lindgren’s books.

Spring Exhibition by Estonian Illustrators

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

From 2nd May until 30th June the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre presents its spring exhibition by Estonian illustrators.

It is the fifth spring exhibition by Estonian artists since 2008. In this year’s exhibition, published illustrations will be shown alongside illustrations from soon-to-be published books.

Nineteen illustrators participate with more than 60 works. The illustrations have been made by Regina Lukk-Toompere, Viive Noor, Catherine Zarip, Katrin Ehrlich, Urmas Viik, Kadi Kurema, Anne Linnamägi, Maarja Vannas, Ülle Meister, Gerda Märtens, Kristi Kangilaski, Kertu Sillaste, Ulla Saar, Mare Hunt, Kadri Ilves, Sveta Aleksejeva, Elina Sildre, Mirjam Siim and Eve Mahhov.

Premiere of the Theatre Play The Fishes’ Tea-Parties in Genf

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

Today, 31st March 2017, at 7pm, the play The Fishes’ Tea-Parties will be shown in Genf. The theatre play is inspired by Piret Raud’s book Slightly Silly Stories.

The music has been composed by Samuel Sighicelli and Benjamin De La Fuente, the choreography by Ambre Senatore.

The characters of Piret Raud’s Slightly Silly Stories are, as the title suggests, “slightly silly”: take for example the egg who likes to do yoga, or the mobile phone who is shy. Other characters include Uncle Vello, who has a passion of collecting buttons, and fishes who love to drink tasty tea.

The Fishes’ Tea-Parties is part of the programme of the theatre festival Archipel Genève.

See more: Est-ce que les poissons boivent du thé?

Piret Raud at the London Book Fair on Wednesday, 15th March

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

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Story and Illustration: How To Create Unique Children’s Books

Time: Wednesday, 15th March, 11:30am
Location:
Children’s Hub in London Book Fair

Although children’s books usually take shape through a collaboration between a writer and an illustrator, there are also books written and illustrated by the same person: a ‘writer-illustrator’. What are the challenges for this kind of creative process? What does the book gain from it? What issues arise for a foreign publisher when acquiring the rights for this kind of a book? Writer-illustrators from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the Baltic countries’ top names in the children’s literature scene – will discuss their experiences.

From Estonia, Piret Raud will join the seminar. She is the country’s most-translated children’s author, who began her writing career as an illustrator. Lithuania’s famous illustrator and writer Kęstutis Kasparavičius, whose work has been translated into 26 languages worldwide, will share his insights as well. They will be joined by Latvian illustrator and Art Academy of Latvia lecturer Rūta Briede, who is also the creator of the Bikibuks children’s book series.

The discussion will be moderated by Pam Dix, chair of IBBY UK.

The Exhibition “Baltic Tale”

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

Baltic-Tale-poster-r“Once upon a time…” Wait, doesn’t almost every tale you’ve heard begin like that? This one almost did as well. Only, it doesn’t. There are three independent artists that would like to tell you their version of the story, they want to share their Baltic Tale! It is a tale told in pictures which invites everyone on a journey through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Ulla Saar (EE), Elīna Brasliņa (LV) and Lina Itagaki (LT) are children’s book illustrators, who have a similar style of illustrating. They represent modern illustration art from the Baltic states, where besides humorous pictures, it’s the message that counts.

Ulla Saar: “Pencils and I have a long history together that may contain blood, sweat, and tears, but we’ve come a long way and we know each other through and through. By now, we get along swimmingly. When I work on a book, I try to proceed from the text and catch the tone of it in my drawings; to support and elevate it rather than compete with it.”

Elīna Brasliņa: “I try to find out something new about myself in every project, no matter how big or small. It’s easy to stick to just one style you feel comfortable with, but it’s more rewarding to challenge yourself and enter into unknown territory. Once it stops being fun, there’s no more point in doing it.”

Lina Itagaki: “When I draw, usually I never make sketches. I try to finish every drawing, adjust it till I like it. And when I start, usually I have a very vague idea or no idea what I will draw, so when I finish it is always a surprise for myself. I really like colouring with simple felt tip pens, pencils, ProMarkers, mixing them, putting many layers of them and, in the end, I do not know myself how I made it. I do not like to plan, I love to improvise!”

The exhibition is open until Friday, 28th April.