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EXPIRED: Commission for an LGBTQ+ Artist of Colour Working in the Comics Medium

By Jay Hulme

Pop Up are seeking an exceptionally talented, ambitious and highly motivated artist of colour, who identifies within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and who works (or wants to work) within the comics medium, to take part in their Rainbow Library Project.

The Rainbow Library is a UK and Ireland-wide children’s literature and publishing project, being developed to address the near-invisibility of – and demand for – LGBTQ+ inclusive stories in children’s books.

Over two years, 10 LGBTQ+ authors (writers, illustrators; some working in pairs, some alone) will produce eight new book titles for a wide age range of readers. Each book will be conceived and the story developed during creative workshops, run by the authors, with groups of LGBTQ+ young people in eight cities: Nottingham, Manchester, Basildon, Dumfries, Inverness, Belfast, Derry and Cork.

During the workshop programme, each LGBTQ+ youth group will also develop their own writing and illustration, producing their own anthologies of work; the very best work will be selected for an overall anthology.

After the workshop programme, the 10 authors will then work on their books, with the young people engaged as critical readers at key
points, feeding back as the authors produce strong drafts and dummy books. Editors and art directors will support during this process.

The Rainbow Library collection is expected to be published in summer 2023.

Who Can Apply?

  • LGBTQ+ illustrators of Colour, based near, or able to travel to, the City of Nottingham
  • With a strong portfolio of comics or illustration work to share, and examples of work that has been published or self-published
  • Who have an interest in making and publishing comics for young readers
  • And have experience of working with children and young people

How does it work?

  • Plan and deliver eight whole days of engaging comics workshops with LGBTQ+ 14-26 year-olds, who will have talent or ambitions within the field
  • Support the young people in developing their work
  • Work with Pop Up to select the best work by the young people for inclusion in an anthology
  • Conceive of a comics book for young readers and produce a strong draft or dummy book
  • Work with an editor and art director to develop that book

What do you get?

  • The commission fee is £5,500 plus expenses.
  • The commission and contract does not cover the publishing phase of the project. A new contract will be provided, with a new fee, at that stage of the project.

When do applications close?

Applications close at 5pm on the 5th of July 2021

If you would like to be considered for this commission, please send the following to lauren@pop-up.org.uk:

  • A letter about you, your work, and your experience (no more than two pages long, including your contact details and links to any relevant websites or social media)
  • 3-5 examples of your work as JPGs or PDFs
  • A recent photograph of you


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