Tiger Blog

Calling all illustrators! Welcome to Our Town!
Monday, 30 November -0001
Posted On 2018-07-12 11:02:38 |  Last Update 2018-07-19 17:18:15 |  Read 4192 times | 0 Comments

We’re looking for an illustrator, or illustrators, to work on a new series of books set in an inclusive town with a diverse population.

From their first day at school to visiting the dentist, from making new friends to learning to deal with the loss of loved ones, the books of Our Town will explore first experiences and common dilemmas faced by pre-school age children.

We’re accepting submissions from everyone, but are keen to find illustrators from underrepresented backgrounds in particular.

We want to see how you’ll interpret Our Town on the page - full details of what we’d like to see are below.

We’re looking to present material from the series in spring 2019.

How to enter

Submissions must be made via email with OUR TOWN in the subject line. A PDF of the required artwork should be sent to ourtown@littletiger.co.uk and the email should include: entrant’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and a short biography of the illustrator.

Submissions could include a a family portrait of one of the below families (The Rashids or the Romeros), and illustrations of the same family in one of the two scenarios detailed below.

*AN UPDATE*

We believe in our submission process for Our Town, but it is important for us to take feedback on board; the only way to improve representation in our industry is to be flexible and learn with each step we take. We are passionate about the urgent need for more diversity in children's books and through the submission process for Our Town we hope to identify an illustrator or illustrators who can work on the development of this series, as well as uncover further talent for future projects.

We hope the submission process for Our Town widens the net and we find illustrators who have perhaps struggled to break into children’s books, coming from backgrounds usually under-represented. Our intention in laying out clear guidelines for the artwork we’d like to see submitted is to make the process clearer and allow the artists to be judged on a level playing field. We are particularly looking for new and emerging illustrators who have yet to find agents or develop extensive portfolios, we do not want to disadvantage them against established illustrators who may have one or both of these already.

When we began work on this project, we approached our search for an illustrator in the usual way, meeting illustration agents, attending illustration course showcases and sifting through portfolios. What we found was a dearth of artists from under-represented backgrounds and an absence of these kinds of characters from portfolios. We know that these two things go hand-in-hand. We know that until more children are able to see themselves in the books they are reading, they will struggle to imagine themselves as creators of books in the future. Of course there are exceptions to this, but we do not want them to be the exceptions, which is why we are seeking the next generation of Nadia Shireens and Yasmeen Ismails.

We are therefore extending our entry criteria to make it possible for artists to submit existing work as follows:

Two illustrations from your portfolio which demonstrate your suitability for this project. Please bear in mind Our Town is populated by a diverse cast of characters, including same sex couples, children with visible disabilities, and families from ethnic minority backgrounds.

We will be accepting submissions until 11.59pm on Friday 31st August 2018.

Resources

Our Town is a small town with a river running through it, connected by a train station on the outskirts. It’s an environmentally-friendly place, and green modes of transport such as walking, cycling or taking the bus are prominent. Our Town has a busy high street, plenty of parks and there’s even a city farm nearby!

Family biographies

The Rashids
Twins Sofia (meaning: beautiful, wisdom) and Bilal (meaning: water, moisture, freshness, river, sea) are three years old. They’re boisterous - as twins they’ve always had a companion to play with, and get into trouble with. They’re pretty independent and can be a bit bossy if around other children, although they’re never deliberately mean.

Their dad Nabil, 32, is of Nigerian descent (second generation) and is a mechanic, and their mum Aisha, 30, is of Pakistani descent (second generation) and is an infant and primary-school teacher. She is pregnant, and since having the twins works part-time.

The Rashids are a Muslim family - their parents pray and fast, and mum Aisha wears a headscarf.

Sofia and Bilal have been brought up in a household where cultures meld seamlessly, and they celebrate Eid with a huge party every year that friends and neighbours are invited to.

The Romeros
Chris is 15, he is the elder brother of Sammy, ten, and Annabel, three. Chris is in a wheelchair, but doesn’t let it hold him back. He likes to play basketball. Sammy is a curious child, and obsessed with bugs. Annabel is the baby of the family and quite spoilt. She is outgoing but prone to having big tantrums.

Their parents, Karen and George, have been divorced for a year. Karen, 45, is a General Practitioner and works in the local surgery. She is caucasian. Jorge, 48, is Brazilian and works as the park ranger.

The children live with Karen in a terraced house and see their dad at weekends. Karen is single. Jorge lives in a flat and has a new girlfriend, Gemma, who works in the park kiosk.
Gemma is Jewish and has an 11 year old daughter called Katie.

Karen and Jorge are civil to each other but have a tense relationship. The children are still getting used to having two homes.

Scenarios

As well as a family portrait, we’d like you to draw your chosen family in one of the following scenarios:

1. Having a meal in their home
2. Shopping in Our Town

Map of Our Town




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