The winners of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s Beatrix Potter Reimagined competition have been announced.
A creative project by the organisation, supported by the University of Cumbria, the competition attracted entries from across the UK.
The overall winner is artist Beatriz Lostalé Seijo, for her entry “Fooled” and the runners up are Ian F, for “Tod & Brock” and Katie Watkins, for “Beatrix Potter: A Colouring Adventure”.
The winners were announced by Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, to a packed room of Festival supporters and funding partners during the Festival’s successful weekend of events in Kendal.
Mr Henley spoke enthusiastically about the Festival and the arts in Cumbria during his speech, the creators involved and also praised the Brewery Arts Centre, lead venue for the Festival, for their work.
All the entries to the competition feature in an exhibition at Kendal Library until 28th October 2016, which includes Beatrix Potter-inspired artworks by a number of highly acclaimed comic artists: ‘The Lake District – For Comics and Quiet Imaginings’ by Comic Laureate Charlie Adlard; “Oh Peter, What Have You Done” by Dan Berry; a crime noir take on Peter Rabbit by Hannah Berry; ‘Captain Peter Rabbit of The Lakes International Rescue’ by Duncan Fegredo, and “Beatrixpotting” by Luke McGarry.
This year is the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter – a literary and artistic icon who is synonymous with the English Lake District. Her books have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 35 languages. Beatrix Potter is without doubt one of the most beloved and influential storytellers and artists of all time.
To mark the anniversary, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival called on students of the arts to reinterpret and reimagine Beatrix Potter’s tales or characters, giving them a modern or unusual twist in a comic art style. The project, an educational, artistic project organised on a not-for-profit basis as a tribute to the talents of Beatrix Potter for students of the arts, aged 16 and over, was supported by the University of Cumbria.
The winners, who all won prizes supplied by Wacom, the world’s leading manufacturer of interactive pen tablets and displays, were chosen by comic artists Bryan Talbot, Sean Phillips, Emma Vieceli and Mary Talbot. They worked alongside LICAF patron Stephen L. Holland, owner of the award-winning Page 45 comic shop in Nottingham, to make the decision from a selection of stunning images, main highly commended by the judges.
“Our festival is not only a celebration of the world of comic art, it’s also about encouraging the next generation of artists to explore their creative talents,” says Julie Tait, Festival Director. “Beatrix Potter Reimagined was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this amazing Lake District artist and storyteller and reach out to a new generation of artists.”
Plans are already in the works for the fifth Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which will run from 13th-15th October 2017, celebrating great comic art from across the world. The first announced guest for 2017 is MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragonés and the Festival’s plans for 2017 include special tributes to Will Eisner, creator of “The Spirit” and Tove Jansson, creator of “The Moomins”.
• For more information about the Festival visit www.comicartfestival.com
About the Winners
• Beatriz Lostalé Seijo is currently a student at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
“’Fooled’ has instant impact,” says judge Stephen L. Holland, “both emotionally and on the eye through cool water and livid fire colours representing innocence and tranquillity then action and danger, respectively. That is a narrative in and of itself, but there’s the additional element of power and seduction in the composition.
“I also adore the updated fashion which is chic – and possibly Spanish? – the weight, the elegance, but the emphasis on narrative in all its elements is what totally wins this for me.”
• Hailing from Brighton, Ian F is a freelance designer and illustration student at Leeds College of Art. Using a mixture of computer generated and illustrative techniques, he produces a range of work including flyer, poster and CD artwork, vector based logos and portraits, and a bit of good old fashioned illustration.
• Katie Watkins, from Chelmsford, Essex, is a graduate of Graphic Communication and Illustration at Loughborough University. She enjoys using traditional mediums such as watercolour, pen and ink. Her work is inspired by architecture, travel, natural patterns and all things blue.
For the competition, Katie decided to create a colouring book, giving a contemporary twist to the classic stories most people have grown up with. “The characters have a circular border around them with plants that reflect their particular story,” she explains. “For example, ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ takes place in Mr McGregor’s garden, so the design has vegetables and garden plants to reflect this.
“Other pages show the locations or other characters from the tales, and also has links to the Lake District and Beatrix Potter’s botanical work.”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.