An illustration exchange across the UK and Baltic countries

An international exchange of outstanding and emerging illustrators and comics artists across the UK, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania!

18 published children’s illustrators and comics artists across four countries have been commissioned to work with multilingual groups of talented 16-24 year-old visual artists in 16 universities and colleges. Guided by their artist-mentors, the 160 students will produce their own illustrated stories in a distinct ‘leporello’ format – then four publisher partners (Nobrow in UK, Päike Ja Pilv in Estonia, kuš! In Latvia, Vilnius Academy of Arts Publishing House in Lithuania) will produce small print-runs of each story. The resulting library – 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’.

Some of the participating UK students will go on to access opportunities for children’s publishing-sector training and progression, supported by three UK Bridge organisations: Artswork, Festival Bridge, Royal Opera House Bridge.

Evaluation partner Stephen Spender Trust are embedding writer-translators into 6 of the 18 groups, to document and share learning about processes and outcomes.

As a major legacy, we are collaborating with House of Illustration to produce an exciting new digital platform – also launched during LBF 2018 – to seek out, curate and showcase diverse emerging talent direct to children’s publishers, drawn from this project and beyond.

It is also our hope that through this project we will develop a network to increase collaboration between UK and especially European children’s literature organisations, to promote and exchange outstanding illustration and comics practice and practitioners in the long-term.


ARTISTS: William Grill / Alexis Deacon / Emily Hughes / Katie Harnett / Jim Stoten / Hamish Steele / Ulla Saar / Kertu Sillaste / Elina Sildre / Joonas Sildre / Anna Vaivare / Oskars Pavlovskis / Elīna Brașlina / Reinis Pētersons / Akvilė Misevičiūtė / Lina Dūdaitė / Ieva Babilaitė / Rasa Joni

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS: Estonian Ministry of Culture / IBBY Estonia / Estonian Children’s Literature Centre / Latvia’s International Writers & Translators House / kuš! Latvia / Lithuanian Culture Institute

EDUCATION PARTNERS: Victory Academy (Rochester) / MidKent College / Harlow College / University of the Creative Arts (Canterbury) / City of Oxford College / Banbury and Bicester College / Southampton Solent University / Brighton Metropolitan College / Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge) / Peterborough Regional College / London College of Communications (University of the Creative Arts) / Birmingham City University / Estonian Academy of Arts / Tallinn University / Pelgulinna High School (Tallinn) / Vilnius Academy of Arts (Vilnius & Kaunas)

SUPPORTED BY: Arts Council England – through an Ambition for Excellence award / Lithuanian Council for Culture / Latvia’s International Writers & Translators House / Estonia’s Ministry of Culture