The Illustrators Survival Corner

The Illustrators Survival Corner was created in 2017, as a dedicated area for the illustrator community, providing a home for the many artists who come in search of creative insight, new collaborations, examples of good design and opportunities to show publishers their portfolios

It caters to both beginners and professionals, offering a daily schedule of appointments that include:

  • Portfolio Review: an opportunity for emerging illustrators to present their portfolios to leading publishers, author illustrators, agents and art directors in order to receive opinions and valuable suggestions.
  • Workshops: hands-on drawing and design workshops for illustrators taught by international artists
  • Masterclasses: offer illustrators concrete information and practical tools: from self-promotion to handling interviews with the publishers, from contracts to using social media, from creative processes to professional experiences

The Illustrators Survival Corner is the base camp for the international illustration community. A place to learn, discuss and share professional experiences, a compass in the great sea of illustration.


2024 guest illustrators include: Oliver Jeffers, Benjamin Lacombe; Luo Ling; Lorenzo Mattotti, Olivier Tallec; Yuval Zommar, and Paloma Valdivia, author of the cover of Illustrators Annual 2024, and winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2023. Also attending are the jurors of the Exhibition 2024: Marco Ghidelli; Lee Ho-baek; Xiaoyan Huang, and Øyvind Torseter - the latter with a masterclass dedicated to his creative process in conceiving a picture. There will be appointments dedicated to comics and illustrator training, in-depth discussions on creative, and professional paths dedicated to the craft, plus a series of initiatives dedicated to AI, usage, legal regulations and repercussions on the profession . The Survival Corner will also host the Society of Illustrators' "Original Art" exhibition, with a series of dedicated activities such as masterclasses (with Steven Guarnaccia, Felicita Sala, Cecilia Ruiz, Victoria Tentler-Krylo) and guided tours, as well as a special focus on the great Chinese authors selected for the first edition of the "Chinese Excellence in Children's Illustration" competition. There will be no shortage of portfolio reviews, always one of the most popular events for illustrators seeking advice for their professional careers,with professionals such as Davide Calì, Leonard Marcus, Alice Nussbaum, Sergio Ruzzier, and publishers such as Harper Collins, Mondadori, and Penguin Random House. New this year is a series of portfolios devoted to licensing, organized by BLTF/Kids.

The spots for portfolio reviews and workshops are fully booked. You can approach the desk at The Illustrators Survival Corner - hall 30 every morning from April 8th to 10th starting at 9:00 AM for waiting lists in case of no-shows from those who made reservations.
We remind you that the masterclasses are open access, without reservation, until spots are no longer available.


There is a new special initiative planned this year. On Thursday, April 11, the Survival Corner will host the first ever Portfolio Marathon at the fair. 
The marathon is an opportunity for publishers and illustrators to meet. The initiative is mainly addressed to  the 344 finalists of the Illustrators Exhibition 2024.
The aim is to reward the talent and achievement of those who passed the first jury selection, and to facilitate contact between established publishing companies and new voices in international illustration.
There has previously been two online editions of the Portfolio Marathon, 2020 and 2021, arising from the pandemic, to bring together, virtually, the global community of illustrators, in a 24-hour consecutive portfolio review marathon. Twenty-four international reviewers - illustrators, art directors, editors, and agents - connected via video conference from every corner of the world, from New Zealand to Mexico, from Italy to China, from the United States to Brazil, to evaluate the portfolios of 240 illustrators, and suggest new professional opportunities. Each reviewer was connected for one hour, during which time they reviewed the portfolios of 10 illustrators, a total of 240 portfolios viewed in 24 hours!

This year the Portfolio Marathon comprises more than 40 international publishers willing to view the portfolios of 344 illustrators. The publishers are: A buen paso, A Walk Through History, Acoma Book/Vassena Milano Consulting, Alboroto ediciones, Astra Publishing House, Bonito Editorial, Books Everywhere, Boxer Books, Chronicle Books, Cicada Books, Cocai Books, Coccole books, Drawn & Quarterly, EL Editions, Ekaré, Enchanted Lion Books, Epigram Books-Singapore, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Harper Collins, The lion green, Instituto Emilia, Kalandraka Editora, Kite Edizioni, La Coccinella, LiBeR, Magic Cat Publishing, Minibombo, Mladinska Knjiga, Nomos edizioni, Pallas, Pehuen Editores, Petra Ediciones, Pickle Yolk Books, Poplar Publishing, Prakash Books (Fingerprint & Wonder House), Quinto Quarto Edizioni, RAUM Italic, Rotopol, Salani editore, Sassi, Terre di mezzo Editore, Union Square Kids, Uovonero, White Star ltd.
External Link
Mimaster Illustrazione

Go to the photogallery


The Illustrators Survival Corner returns to Bologna having toured many international book fairs en route.

Since 2021 the Survival Corner has been accompanying BCBF on the Grand Tour, a journey around the world, connecting with new communities of illustrators and professionals in the book supply chain, through activities to spread the culture of illustration. A series of events (masterclasses, workshops, portfolio reviews), dedicated to illustrators and beyond, were held at the following fairs: Frankfurt Book Fair (2021), Sharjah International Book Fair (2021), Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara (2021, 2022, 2023), Salon du livre de Montréal (2022), Illustration Forum, London (2024) and New Delhi World Book Fair (2024).

The Survival Corner took part in the Children's Literature and Publishing Industry Days program in Lithuania (2021), and was hosted at the Moscow International Book Fair (2019), the Irudika Festival in the Basque Country (2022 and 2023), and the China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair (2018, 2019, and 2023).