Golden Baobab's Illustrators' Workshop

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August 14, 2013 was a creatively awesome day at Golden Baobab. 8 budding illustrators; Sela Adjei, Nana Hene, Sena Ahadji, Andrew Adote, Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey, Elkanah Mpesum and Kasia Matyjasz gathered in our office for a workshop with Laia Esque, a publisher who works at Molino, a prestigious publishing house in Barcelona, Spain, that specializes in children and young adult books.

It was exhilarating to hear the illustrators share the dream works they would like to bring to life with colour and some strokes. From illustrating every single Ananse story, to illustrating a story about “Kwaku Tanoe goes to space,” to a walk-through book, we know our illustrators have enthralling and magical ideas that the world is yet to see!

This workshop was to provide from a publishers’ perspective, what is expected of illustrators. Some of the issues that were addressed in the workshop were how portfolios must be presented, how to experiment with layouts of typography and illustrations, the importance of consistency and diversity and the need to let your imagination run wild when it comes to illustrating for children.

The workshop is part of Golden Baobab’s focus on sustaining the work it has been doing to promote African illustrators. This is the third workshop Golden Baobab has held for illustrators. The first was with the world renowned Ghanaian children’s writer-illustrator Meshack Asare. By the end of this workshop, a Golden Baobab winning story from Zimbabwe had been collectively illustrated by the nine illustrators who attended the workshop. Subsequently, another workshop was held with the same illustrators led by two-time Caldecott award winning illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky. From the exposure given these illustrators, about 20 new job offers have been created and more can be expected as Golden Baobab prepares to launch its Illustrator Prize later this year!