The UAE Board on Books for Young people (UAEBBY) and Waraq collective organised a training workshop for aspiring children’s book illustrators during the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which is taking place from the 23rd of April to the 4th of May at Sharjah Expo Centre. The workshop is being held at the Maraya Art Centre in Al Qasba.
With the support of Knowledge Without Borders and the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, the four-day workshop, which started on the first day of the Festival and ran until the 26th of April, included illustration tutorials in character design, the use of different techniques, personal style development, and how to create a suitable atmosphere for children’s stories, with the aim of stimulating the exchange among the participating illustrators
Thirteen talented illustrators took part in the course including Nasir Nasrallah, Jawaher Safar, Imane Raesi, and Shamma Mohamed Ben Masoud – all from the United Arab Emirates. Also participating in the workshop is Iraqi award-winning artist and illustrator Intilaq Mohamed Ali and Lebanese illustrator and animation artist Joan Baz.
The workshop was conducted by the well-known Iranian illustrator, Alireza Goldouzian, who has illustrated numerous books for children and teenagers, and has taken part in a number of art fairs in Asia and Europe, including Japan, Serbia and Italy. He is the recipient of many awards, most notably the Grand Prix at the Biennial of Illustrations of Bratislava in 2005. He was also the third place winner at the first edition of the Sharjah Exhibition for Children Books’ Illustrations 2012, and the Golden Pen winner at the 2003 Belgrade Exhibition of Illustration.
“I am absolutely delighted to be giving this workshop. Sharing my knowledge and experience for the sake of developing children’s literature and passing them on the next generation of artists is an honour and an extreme privilege. Learning is a lifelong process and skills are only honed through continued practice. I hope that this will be an extremely enriching experience for all involved and I look forward to seeing the results of these four days in the future,” says Goldouzian.
David Habchy, one of the creators of the ‘WARAQ’ collective, is the acting workshop consultant. He belongs to a new generation of Arab artists working in the fields of illustration, graphics and animation.
The UAEBBY is the National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), which was established in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953 and is present in 77 countries around the world. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that represents an international network of individuals and institutions that are dedicated to promoting children’s literature and the children’s book industry, fostering a love of and respect for culture among children and young people in the world.