ILLUSTRATOR IN RESIDENCE – KAMILA SLOCINSKA

ILLUSTRATOR IN RESIDENCE – KAMILA SLOCINSKA

 

I am a Danish-Polish illustrator and children’s book writer and was happy to be invited by the British council as the illustrator in residence at this year’s festival. It was my first time at Hay and my first time as an illustrator in residence, so I really didn’t now what to expect and arrived with a curious and open mind!

 It was an eye opening experience on quite many levels.
Hearing all the talks, by so many talented people, illustrators, artist and writers was of course the most obvious part of the experience, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a quite varied programme and just listening to all the different personalities and thoughts felt like a wave of inspiration.
I also got to engage with the audience myself at the Illustration Hot Desk, where I had the chance to meet eager and curious young, future artists and their parents. Even though the children weren’t able to read my books, as none of them have been translated to English, they were eager and curious and it was quite touching to see the power of pictures working its magic!
And of course the surroundings! The quirky, beautiful and wonderlandish town of Hay on Wye is the perfect setting for a festival about books and imagination, isn’t it?
Finally, while I scribbled in my notebook all along, I realised that what caught my eye and pen the most, was the audience, the booklovers! And it dawned on me that they are just as important a part of the festival as the artists. Or maybe even more, since without them and their passion for books and their interest for the art and different aspects of life in general there wouldn’t be a Hay  Festival!
I went back to Denmark filled with impressions, ideas and a lot to think about, and I am already looking forward to October, when the international children’s literature Hay Festival, Aarhus39, comes to my hometown of Aarhus. I can’t wait to see how this amount of creative energy and enthusiasm for literature will translate to Danish!