The London Illustration Fair: A capital idea

For three days this December, a Thameside warehouse will welcome artists and art enthusiasts in a celebration of contemporary creativity


Hosted in the heart of the Southbank arts hub, the annual London Illustration Fair returns to the UK capital for the fourth time to showcase the work of the world's most sought-after creatives.

The three-day extravaganza, held at the Bargehouse on Oxo Tower Wharf, turns the spotlight on 26 emerging illustrators, designers, printmakers, publishers and craft businesses, selected from the 65-plus exhibitors by a panel of industry experts .

Among the featured artists are Icelandic-born multidisciplinarian Kristjana S Williams, who achieved international recognition this summer when she was commissioned to make a piece for Brazil's legendary Copacabana Palace hotel during the Rio Olympics. Visitors will be able to interact with a 3D immersive installation by Williams in the warehouse's entrance.

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Closer to home, British illustrator Jonny Wan has a distinct Ancient Egyptian-meets-Art Deco style and an already-impressive client list that includes the likes of Nike, American Express and the Academy Awards. Together with animation studio Dog & Rabbit, he will create a head-turning mural especially for the event.

But the London Illustration Fair is about more than passive art consumption; part of the enjoyment is to leave with a piece you printed or pressed yourself, with the help of the professionals. There's a bumper-packed programme of get-stuck-in workshops for participants of all ages and abilities, plus a plethora of talks, signings, live music and DJ sets.

Liquid refreshment – should you need it to get your creative juices flowing – is provided courtesy of a well-stocked winter-warming bar. What's more, with 10,000sq-ft of stalls purveying not only the eponymous illustrations, but everything from homewares to jewellery too, the fair offers out-of-the-ordinary Christmas-gift ideas even Santa would get excited about.

Tthe London Illustration Fair runs from 2-4 December. Tickets £6 in advance, £8 on the door; free for children aged 12 and under.

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