A Bologna illustrator wins big, becoming a hometown hero

Andrea Antinori, an illustrator based in Bologna, wins the Fundacion SM International Award for Illustration and a cash award of €15,000.

As the Bologna Children’s Book Fair concludes today, another award report (March 9).
The special Fundación SM-Bologna International Award for Illustration was established by this book fair and Fundación SM in 2009 with the goal of discovering, fostering, and assisting emerging illustration talent.

The Illustrators Exhibition is open to artists under the age of 35, and the winning artist will receive a prize of €15,000 (US$15,849). This prize is meant to give the winning illustrator the peace of mind to work on an illustrated book for a year, which will then be published and promoted for international sales by the Spanish publisher SM.

The original artwork will then be displayed in a solo exhibition at the Bologna edition the following year. This week saw the announcement of the winner for this year.
And get this: a Bologna native won in his home city.
The drained Bologna organisers are informing us the following: Bologna is where Andrea Antinori resides. At the Escola Massana and ISIA (Urbino), he pursued studies in graphic design and drawing (Barcelona).

“Since 2013, he has been working as an illustrator with publishing houses in Italy and abroad. In 2021, 2020, and 2017, he was selected for Bologna’s Illustrators Exhibition. In 2017, he won the Italian Andersen Award in the category “Best book 6/9 years” and in 2019 the “Best international picture book” award at the Shanghai Book Fair with La grande battaglia.”

The following individuals make up the 2023 International Award for Illustration jury:

And they’re saying that Antinori’s drawings are compelling in regard to his output.

“We could easily relate to the funny characters with their strong personalities and humor. It all looks so light but we recognize a great mastery.

“The limited palette of shapes, colors and a few lines create a vibrating graphical expression, reminding of electric city lights. The setup is not accidental, each element has its own, well-defined weight and a clear intention.

“Eachof his illustrations expresses a clear intention for all kinds of audience. The decision was unanimous and the jury is sure that Antinori will continue his career following his own voice even more radically.”

About The Author Porter Anderson

Porter Anderson, a non-resident fellow at Trends Research & Advisory, won the International Excellence Award at the London Book Fair for International Trade Press Journalist of the Year. He serves as Publishing Perspectives’ chief editor. He formerly held the position of Assistant Editor for The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson worked as an executive producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA for more than ten years. He worked for The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, which is now the Tampa Bay Times, as an arts critic (National Critics Institute). He co-founded The Hot Sheet, an author newsletter that is currently run and owned by Jane Friedman.

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