This panel discussion took place during the second Limerick International Publishers’ Salon, Limerick’s annual book art exhibition at Ormston House. Illustrators, artists, small publishers and academics offered insights into their own work and the wider industry of book making and publishing. The discussion encompassed children’s picturebooks, artists’ books and the publishing industry. It began with Martin's keynote of great children’s picturebook which examined the relationship between picturebooks and artists’ books and concluded with some playful thoughts from Jacob on ‘why I draw penguins’.
The role of the artist or the illustrator and their work was insightfully explored by Peter, Jemma, Becky and Jacob in very different ways. The relationship between the artist making work and how it turns out can be complex and difficult to articulate. A description of a character looking disparaging at the shoes the illustrator had drawn for him offered a simple yet poignant example of how a character can come to life and be developed from early sketches through to finished artwork. The role of the artist was also examined in relation to a sense of autobiography in book making. A narrative about childhood and sibling rivalry, which included some wonderfully whimsical drawings, explored this quite directly. Autobiography and collaboration in book making was also described in a discussion of how Road Books has developed since its foundation in 1991.
The relationship between picturebooks and artists’ books was discussed in relation to authorial ownership of the illustrator, which raised questions regarding the role of the publisher as both an originator of content and also as a facilitator to help promote and develop new work.
Links to the websites of the panellists can be found below.