March 25, 2012

Back from the Bologna Children's Book Fair

Last Friday evening I got off the plane and got in my car to drive home, my head full of impressions of Bologna. What a week!

I arrived on Monday in this beautiful Italian city with another illustrator from the Netherlands. We arrived very late so we went to sleep as soon as we arrived in the hotel.

The next day we headed to the fair which was a 30 minute walk from our hotel. The fair was huge! So many stands of publishers and all children's books. I never realized that there were so many publishers!
I walked around carrying my portfolio folder under my arm and soon realised that the publishers weren't interested at viewing portfolios. They kept telling me they were there for business and that they were trying to sell their books. One publisher told me that they did review portfolios but only if you had made an appointment six months in advance. I had no idea! Bummer! :(

I tried again the next day and in the end I got to show my portfolio to three publishers, not many but hey: at least I got to show it :).
I did get a good idea of how the publishers present themselfs and what kind of illustrators they like. I jotted down some names of publishers for future purposes. :)

The city of Bologna is stunning. The food is magnificent and the weather was perfect! I took some pictures of the city which you can view below.
I'm not sure if I will visit the fair again soon. It was a bit disappointing but a useful learning experience nonetheless.


  1. Thanks for this story, Marloes! I guess all of us better start making portfolio review appointments now for the next Bologna ;D

    1. I would definately recommend that! :D Other than that the city and country is amazing.

  2. I have enjoyed our trip, and it was fun spending it with you.
    And I think we learned a lot too.

    By the way. I also wrote my blog about Bologna's Children's Book Fair (with pics) ;)

    Your photos turned out great! And you got one of that bloody pigeon too! hahaha!

    1. Likewise, of course! :D

      Yeah, the pigeon had no choice in the end: I had to have a picture of him. :)

  3. Hi your work is very nice! I landed on your blog by chance (as it happens most of the time while you are surfing the net). Thanks for sharing this story I always wanted to go to the Bologna Book Fair to get some inspiration. Have you applied to art reps your style is unique and lovely and they could find the clients for you. Anyway I'm sure you have considered the option already! Sorry for the long message. Just wanted to say hi your work is awesome and thanks for sharing the story! :)