Brighton Illustration Fair, 21st – 22nd Oct

Brighton Illustration Fair (BIF) is back for a third year, bigger and better than ever in its new home at the Grand Parade campus of the University of Brighton. On October 21st and 22nd, over 100 illustrators from all over the world arrive to sell their work and present a range of workshops and talks. £4 day passes and £6 weekend tickets remain available – and with Christmas a steadily looming prospect, this event is a great place to start shopping early and pick up some unique handcrafted prints, zines, books, cards, pin badges and other deliciously non-high street items.

Event coordinator and self-confessed illustration nerd Andrew Garnett spoke to SOURCE last week. “Brighton now has the biggest illustration course of its kind in the country,” he reflects, “but in my working life I was seeing that loads of folk were graduating and leaving for London to get work. I wanted people to feel there was life beyond university here for an illustrator.” Illustration fairs of this kind are rare, he adds. “There’s a ton of these events around the country but they’re often specifically targeted around comics or publishing or print techniques and so forth. I wanted to try to put on something like this that covered all bases.”

BIF’s line-up certainly delivers in this regard. In addition to the main selling event, there are workshops for screenprint and risograph printing, plus zine and banner making. The organisers have lined up an exciting programme of talks as well. Dilraj Mann will be discussing ‘Dalston Monsterzz’, his new book with Nobrow press. Will Hudson will be spilling the beans on 10 years of the influential design website It’s Nice That, which he co-founded whilst in Brighton. Tuesday Bassen is also flying in specially from the US, to chat about her career in illustration.

In a BIF exclusive, David Shrigley, fresh from his recent announcement as guest director of next year’s Brighton Festival, will be making an appearance on the Saturday, doing a Q&A with Will Hudson. His event is separately ticketed and, at the time of writing, had sold out – though organiser Garnett has hinted that some extra tickets may be released this week. Keep an eye on the BIF Instagram page for further announcements.

The team behind BIF are also running a few additional satellite events in the run up to the fair. On October 12th graphic novelist Daniel Locke and illustrator Amy Brown are running a free drawing event at The Dorset pub from 8pm  – they assure us that prior drawing experience isn’t necessary. Meanwhile on October 17th there’s a special 20th anniversary screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s classic eco-tinged anime Princess Mononoke in the Sallis Benney Theatre (tickets here).

Brighton Illustraton Fair, October 21st and 22nd 2017

Images by Joan Alturo, Lloyd Stratton and Emma Black

Previews 9 months old

Peter James Field

Peter did a degree in world art history and anthropology, before spending three years in the Japanese countryside teaching English at village schools. For the past eleven years he has worked as a freelance illustrator.

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