The 4 International Artists

 The  selected illustrators are candidates for the final exhibition of the project, along with the original illustrations of four international artists, Katsumi Komagata (Japan), Manuel Marsol (Spain), Fabian Negrin (Argentina), and Klaas Verplancke (Belgium). 


Katsumi Komagata (Shizuoka, Japan, 1953). Following a stint at Nippon Design Center, Inc., he moved to the United States in 1977, where he worked as a graphic designer. He returned to Japan in 1983 and three years later founded One Stroke, which began as a graphic design studio and later expanded into publishing. The birth of a daughter prompted him to take up picture-book authoring and he is now world-renowned for his exquisitely crafted books. He has also created picture books for children with disabilities, including tactile and sign-language books. He won numerous honors, including an ADC Silver Cube (New York), the Prize for Creativity (Paris), a New Art Prize as well as a BolognaRagazzi Award Mention at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, an International Children's Book Award (Switzerland), and two Good Design Awards (Japan). His exhibitions and workshops are held at public facilities at museums and libraries in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, as well as around the world, including Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, and China. “LES LIVRES DE … KATSUMI KOMAGATA” published by Les Trois Ourses, France in 2013 and  “The books of KATSUMI KOMAGATA'' published by lazy dog, Italy in 2019 are among his works. Starting at the Itabashi Art Museum in 2019, the exhibition “Small Design Katsumi Komagata'' has been toured to the Fukuoka Artium Museum, the Iwate Art Museum, the Ashikaga City Museum of Art, the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum and at the Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris in 2022. The exhibition “Surprising  Books by KATSUMI KOMAGATA” was held at the Ueda City Museum, then at the Okazaki Children Art Museum in 2021. Since 2021, he set up an atelier in Ichinoseki, Iwate, and works here as an activity base.


Manuel Marsol Born in Madrid in 1984, Manuel Marsol became an international name on the picturebook scene in a few short years. Translated into eight languages, his work has received the prestigious International Illustration Award of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Ibero-American Catalogue Award, the Amadora Comics Award in Portugal, as well as the Pépite Livre Illustré, and the Prix Sorcières Awards in France.

After graduating in Advertising and Audio-visual Communications, Manuel worked for three years on a creative advertising team - his work acknowledged at Cannes and San Sebastian - before turning full time to illustration and obtaining a Masters in Illustration for Children from Barcelona’s EINA. His first book, Ahab and the White Whale (2014) won the Edelvives Illustrated Album Award.

In Spain, most of Manuel’s work is published by Fulgencio Pimental. Titles include El tiempo del Gigante (2016), Yôkai (2017), Duelo al Sol (2018), and Mvsevm (2019). His latest book, Un par de ojos nuevos (Wonder Ponder, 2022), written by Ellen Duthie, was illustrated together with Javier Sáez Castán. Manuel has also illustrated novels like Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (Astro Rey 2015), La Venus de las Pieles by Sacher-Masoch (Sexto Piso 2016), and Robinson Crusoe (Alma 2022), as well as covers for Anagrama, Babelia (El País), Libros del K.O, Barrett, and articles for the journal Líbero.

Manuel also holds talks, workshops and has exhibited in many shows at venues like the Caixa Forum (Madrid), Taipei Book Fair (Taiwan), Fotokino (France), BD in Bastia (France), FIL (Guadalajara, Mexico), Fundação José Saramago (Lisbon), The Croatian Biennial of Illustration, Croatia, the Almería Western Film Festival, and the Festival de Narrativas Cuéntalo (Logroño). His work is also featured in Picturebook Makers (dPICTUS 2022) together with 11 other internationally renowned picturebook authors.


Fabian Negrin (Córdoba, Argentina, 1963). At 18, he moved to Mexico City, where he graduated in graphics from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana. He published cartoons for the main local papers, including “El Sol de Mexico” and “La Jornada”. In 1989, he moved to Milan and began working with national newspapers and magazines (“Corriere della Sera”, “Il Manifesto”, “Panorama”, “Marie Claire”), as well as with international publications (“The Independent”, “Tatler”, the BBC’s “Radio Times”); he also came up with campaigns for Italian railways, the City of Rome and Wagon Lits of France before at last dedicating himself to illustration and writing children’s books. He has won many high-ranking awards, including the UNICEF Prize at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 1995; the Andersen Italia Award for best illustrator in 2000; the prestigious BIB Plaque of the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (2009); the BolognaRagazzi Award in 2010; and Korea’s CJ Picture Book in 2011. He has been nominated several times for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. His most important books include: In bocca al lupo (orecchio acerbo, 2003); Jack London's L'ombra e il bagliore (orecchio acerbo 2010); Charles Darwin's The Riverbank (Creative Editions, 2010); Chiamatemi Sandokan (Salani, 2011); Frida et Diego (Seuil, 2011); Comment? Quois? (Seuil, 2015); La casa dell'aquila (orecchio acerbo, 2017); Cough! Cough! Cough! (CCPPG China, 2018); C'era una volta un cacciatore (orecchio acerbo 2019). Fabian Negrin lives and works in Bologna.


Klaas Verplancke is a worldwide acclaimed speaker, lecturer, jury member, curator, author & illustrator of over 150 books published in more then 30 languages and 60 translations. He won a Bologna Ragazzi Award, was top five finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards and received 17 consecutive nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

His most recent picture book The King’s Golden Beard, originally published in the US and reviewed as a "new children's classic”, is a clever and biting fairy tale about self-indulgence and abuse of power. Previously, Klaas illustrated and wrote Magritte’s Apple, an art book about surrealism commissioned and published by MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Centre Pompidou, Paris. He also works for international magazines and newspapers, such as The New Yorker and The New York Times and has been selected for the annuals of American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, AOI &3x3 magazine.

His qualities as an independent visual and text creator led to exhibitions in Belgium and abroad, international invitations as jury member (Bologna Illustrator Exhibition, Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award and currently for Nami Concours 2023, Korea), as guest teacher (Itabashi Summer School Tokyo, Japan) and as guest lecturer (USBBY Congress Chicago and St Louis, USA). Klaas Verplancke is also a professor Image Design at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. 

At first glance, Klaas Verplancke’s drawings and paintings differ a great deal in appearance and execution. But they always display the qualities that characterize him as an illustrator, animator and designer: a sense of humor that can vary from mild to sardonic, a poetic imagination, a preference for illustrating abstract concepts and universal emotions – and a sideways, surrealistic view of reality.