British publisher Nobrow has just announced the dates for the fourth East London Comic & Arts Festival (ELCAF), dedicated to showcasing the most exciting talent in illustration, design and small press publications – and has announced Jillian Tamaki as its artist-in-residence.
Founded in 2012, ELCAF’s aim is to introduce and celebrate the dynamic community of artists and publishers that are pushing the boundaries in comics, illustration and sequential art. This year the Festival will offer an extended programme of events over the course of not only one, but two jam packed days. In addition to the trademark workshops and talks which attract ELCAF go-ers each year, we will be running a new series of Masterclasses in collaboration with the House of Illustration.
ELCAF always features an internationally celebrated artist to create a unique identity and in 2015 Canadas’s Jillian Tamaki will be this year’s artist-in-residence. I am an illustrator and cartoonist. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta and graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Jillian has been illustrating professionally since 2003 in many different areas, from magazine and newspaper illustration, book covers, and writing for the TV show Adventure Time. She’s also a cartoonist and makes everything from small minicomics to graphic novels.
Working with her cousin, writer Mariko Tamaki, she is the co-creators of the graphic novel SKIM and This One Summer, the winner of this year’s Printz Honor and is also the the first graphic novel to receive the Caldecott Honor (2015).
“The Visual Communication programme at the Alberta College of Art and Design (I graduated 2003) was a very old-fashioned course with the curriculum split between illustration and design 50/50,” recalls Jillian of her decision to work as an illustrator. I had completed my Foundation year at Queens University Fine Arts and had decided that I found that while I enjoyed fine art immensely as a viewer, something never felt right when I tried to make it myself.
“I went to ACAD with the intention of being a designer, but was drawn to the illustration side immediately. It was very serendipitous, as I didn’t even know Illustration was on the menu. When I first entered ACAD, I honestly don’t think I knew that illustration was even a thing. Books and comics were always an interest to me, but it had never occurred to me that one could actually receive training to do those things.”
“We are thrilled to welcome such a talented and remarkable artist in joining us to celebrate ELCAF 2015,” say NoBrow.
Alongside Jillian Tamaki will be an exciting roster of international artists giving talks and holding workshops and of course, around 100 exhibitors including individual artists, publishers and collectives, all carefully selected by the festival curators and organisers to each bring their own unique creative element to the day.
The ELCAF web site is currently being revamped and will relaunch in mid-March when tickets for ELCAF 2015 go on sale. The full programme announcement will be made in April, followed by the opening of an exhibition of the work of Ricardo Cavolo at the Now gallery on 10th May: a satellite exhibition of at their new Urban Village Fete.
A new series of Masterclasses led by professional artists and illustrators organised by ELCAF will take place in May and June, hosted by the House of Illustration, a registered charity with its permanent home at the heart of the King’s Cross regeneration area.
Nobrow was launched in 2008 by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro with the aim to provide an independent platform for graphic art, Illustration and art comics in the UK and abroad, to become a leading proponent of quality in book design and a standard bearer for original creative content. Since then, the publisher has striven to consistently publish books of the highest calibre and quality, both for their form and their content, working with only the best artists and illustrators in the world. In 2012 ELCAF was founded, further developing the Nobrow ethos in providing a platform for the ever growing comics and graphics scene in London, the rest of the UK and internationally, through a fair with a difference.
The ELCAF Festival Curator is Ligaya Salazar, a curator, commissioner and writer specialising in contemporary design, fashion and graphics. Joana Filipe, the Festival’s Creative Producer, is an exhibition designer and curator. She co-founded Silicone Brothers in 2004, a prop-making studio to support artists and designers develop their products. Ruth Lie, the Festival Events Curator, is a freelance events curator and producer. With a background in architecture followed by an MA in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, she specialises in running creative events and supporting emerging artists and designers from a wide range of disciplines.
• NoBrow: www.nobrow.net
• House of Illustration: www.houseofillustration.org.uk