World Illustration Awards: Interview with Carole Bouvier, Society of Artists Agents (SAA) Award New Talent Winner 2022

Carole Bouvier won the SAA Award for New Talent in 2022.  Her project ‘On A Spring Day’ was also highly commended in the Children’s Publishing Category for WIA2022.

She has been mentored by an SAA Agent for more than 6 months.  We asked her how she is getting on…

Image Credit: ‘On A Spring Day’ by Carole Bouvier. Highly Commended in the Children’s Publishing Category WIA2022.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your practice as an illustrator?
I am a French artist based in Cambridge, UK. I studied Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University here in Cambridge, where our tutors encouraged us to participate in the World Illustration Awards.
I enjoy experimenting with materials and I love learning new approaches and techniques.

Can you explain a bit about the work you entered to the World Illustration Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
This project was part of my final degree project for my Children’s Book Illustration MA. The book project, called On a Spring Day, was a collection of Japanese haikus that I chose to put together to create a narrative for my images. The book follows a young hotel employee as she goes through her day, from dawn to dusk. It is inspired by Japanese art and landscapes, from the time I spent there on several holidays.
I chose to enter this project because it resonates with me. It is a celebration of the mundane and a reminder to be in the present.

Image Credit: ‘On A Spring Day’ by Carole Bouvier.

How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning the Society of Artists Agents Award was a game changer for me, as I has just finished my MA and needed a bit of guidance to start my career. As much as I love children’s book illustration, I wanted to test myself on other types of illustration.
Although all the agencies involved in the Award were very appealing, I decided to work with The Artworks for the variety of people they represent and the variety of work they do, and because I look up to every single artist they represent.

Being mentored by The Artworks has allowed me to experiment with types of illustration I was not used to, like editorial illustration and book covers. It has allowed me to figure out what kind of process and time frame I enjoyed for my work. My mentors have challenged me where I needed to be challenged, which led me to gain self-confidence and develop a body of work that looks like me.

Image Credit: ‘On A Spring Day’ by Carole Bouvier.

What would your advice be for illustrators who might be thinking about entering this year’s Awards?
I would say not to hesitate for one second. There is so much to gain from winning an award: the visibility it offers, the recognition that all artists need to comfort them on their path, the experience of being part of a community, and getting to work with the lovely WIA team.

Can you tell us about any forthcoming projects or your future plans?
I have decided to focus fully on the mentorship and to see where it would take me, as I was not entirely sure when I started what it was that I really wanted to do in illustration. The mentorship is now soon coming to an end, and I will use this experience to approach professionals to work on commissions for editorial work and book covers. I actually got my first book cover while during the mentorship!
I also intend to go back to Children’s Book illustration, and to work on a book project to send to publishers.

14th July 2023

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