May 2, 2018


We’re very pleased to provide a short ‘spotlight’ on a few of the young artists that took part in the Pop Up Creators project from across the four countries. These haven’t been selected based on merit but rather to show a snapshot of the vast array of styles and stories that unfolded during this challenging but rewarding process.

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Ilze Ance Kazaka is an illustration and animation student at the Art Academy of Latvia. She enjoys creating unique characters and refuses to drag seriousness into her work. Most of her illustrations are based on daily situations and the goal is to make the viewer giggle. She was mentored by UK artists Alexis Deacon and Hamish Steele and her leporello has been published by kuš! comics.

Where did you find inspiration for your story? 

My story is about an ordinary lunch lady called Norma who becomes annoyed and loses her temper causing her dark side to be revealed. It was inspired by a grumpy lady that I saw smoking on the rooftop of a building and events that took place during lunch time on the first day of the Comic summer school. The story grew from there.


What style did you use for your artwork and why?

I do most of my work in black and white but had never done such a big project using only graphite. I worked in a style that I felt comfortable with but also made sure that I was still challenging myself.


What were some of the challenges you faced?

It was difficult to put my ideas into order and make sense of it all at first. I didn’t want to rush it but was conscious of the clock ticking!


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“Ilze’s artwork was made all by hand with very fine and detailed pencil drawings. The originals look flawless, just in the end she photoshopped the hand drawn texts over the artwork. We hope the experience of the summer school motivated them to keep on drawing and to experiment with the medium of the comics. The opportunity to present their work during the London Book Fair will hopefully help them connect with international artists and publishers and motivate them to create  more comics and children’s books in future.”

kuš! comics, publisher

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