Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press  is committed to partnering with Qatari, Arab and international artists to illustrate and design covers for their rapidly growing collection of books.

Their collaborations provide artists everywhere a platform to share their work and opportunities to showcase their creativity in a local and international context.

“We are always on the lookout for new artists, illustrators and designers with whom we can partner to bring to life the content of our books, many of which explore international values and themes, as well as those from local Gulf and Mena culture,” explains Zeyad Abu Irshaid, production and digital specialist.

Breaking into the publishing industry can sometimes be as simple as :

  • Establish a strong online presence: HBKU Press constantly scope out illustrator directories and social media platforms in an effort to connect with new and raw talent that have the potential to illustrate children’s books being published.
  • If you have a portfolio of your work, the easiest way to establish an online presence is through a free social media platform, like Instagram or Facebook. If you can manage to financially invest, there are several online illustrator directories that you can pay a monthly or annual fee to be listed on. Or you can create your own website that details who you are, includes highlights of your work, and has a contact page.
  • Inna Ogando’s online presence, for example, is exactly what led her to establishing a lasting relationship with HBKU Press over the past three years.The artist from Ukraine had a profile on a popular illustrator’s directory and her portfolio was considered for an upcoming publication. The book, A Recipe for Home, went on to win the 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Award in several categories in part due to her creative illustrations.
  • Illustrators and other artists should definitely make sure they have a strong online presence as it’s a great tool you can use to promote your work and make connections.
  • Be proactive: Submitting your portfolio for consideration by publishers is a great proactive way to establishing your career as an illustrator. Just as an author would submit a submission package, an illustrator would do the same.
  • Collaborate with an author: As an illustrator for books, it is also key to connect directly with authors as a way into the world of publishing. For example, illustrator Quentin Blake made his mark in the world of children’s literature through his famous sketch-style drawings that marked his collaborations with Roald Dahl.


For more information about HBKU Press, how to submit an illustration portfolio or to know more about their catalogue of works, one can email them at info@hbku.edu.qa or follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/hbkupress) and on Twitter and Instagram (@hbkupress).

Source : Gulf Times

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