The 2014 Showcase, Tea and Talent, can be declared a success! Over 50 portfolios were on display, and an equal number of industry professionals turned up to view them. Publishers, agents, editors, art directors, representatives of the Copyright Agency, Books in Homes, Australian Council of the Arts, the Australian Society of Authors... oh my! Those attending gave tremendous feedback, praising the high quality of work on display. All the attendees we spoke to were very enthusiastic and claimed it was an extremely useful industry event, and we had many requests to make it an annual happening - wouldn't that be fun?
For a while everyone was so engrossed in viewing the artwork that it sounded like an very well-behaved HSC exam - the silence was broken only by the occasional heavy breather and the sounds of pages being turned. After a few cupcakes were consumed and the sugar kicked in it got rowdier, and everyone seemed to enjoy the opportunity to catch up with colleagues and discuss the work.
The Illustrator Committee is not too proud to resort to shameless bribery, so there were prizes for the publishers who left the most written feedback for illustrators. First prize (the Moet!) went to the indefatigable Maryann Ballantyne of Black Dog Books, and second prize (mmmm..... chocolaaaaate!) went to Anna McFarlane of Allen and Unwin.
If you couldn't make it, no need to miss out - you can view the online Showcase Gallery and visit the websites of participating illustrators.
Huge thanks must go to the fabulous illustrator committee!
Marjorie Crosby-Fairall (know as "The Cros" to her friends and enemies alike) for creating the showcase gallery page, managing showcase bookings, handling logistics, and anticipating and troubleshooting all potential problems before anyone else had even got out of their pyjamas.
Andrea "Unflappable" Edmonds for collecting and collating information about our exhibiting illustrators, and creating such beautiful bio cards to accompany each portfolio.
James Foley, A.k.a The Voice, for uploading images and bio to the gallery website.