Hélène Magisson

Date of Success:

2015

Published

Helene Magisson is an award winning illustrator. She started her artistic career as a painting restorer in Paris, where she was also trained in the art of medieval illumination.


Helene has lived in Africa, France and India. She is now settled down in Australia with her family. She has illustrated more than 15 books and has collaborated with major Australian publishers.


Recent awards include:

  • Claudette, her first book as an author-illustrator, has been longlisted in the Australia Books Industry Awards 2021

  • Little Puggle’s Song written by Vikki Conley, CBCA 2020 Notable Picture Book of the Year

  • Slowly! Slowly! written by T.M. Clark, CBCA 2018 Notable Picture Book of the Year

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WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME

When I arrived at the CYA conference in 2013, early in the morning, with my portfolio, I first wanted to have a look at the artwork wall. I found all the illustrations beautiful, interesting and so different. I was so far to imagine that I would win the first prize in this category.


I met so many energetic people at the conference that I keep a wonderful souvenir of.

The workshops I attended were so inspiring, and I am also grateful to the judges who gave me some precious advice about my work and whose feedback was really supportive.


But the most exciting moment was the pitch I had with Sophia Whitfield from New Frontier... Two days later, she did propose me to illustrate 'The Velveteen Rabbit'.

I could not imagine a better start in my illustration journey.

 

When I first attended the CYA competition, I was completely new in the field. We had to submit 3 illustrations for a story written by T.M.Clark's 'Slowly, Slowly, Catch a Monkey'. A lovely story set up in Africa. I felt a very special connection to it as I was born in Africa and had been living there for 10 years. Having some wonderful souvenirs of this country, I felt so much inspired to complete my 3 illustrations for the competition. And at the end of 2016, Rochelle Manners from Wombat Books, with whom I had a pitch at the CYA too, proposed me to illustrate the full story. It has been renamed 'Slowly, Slowly' and together with Tina we will celebrate its release on 1st November 2017.


So once again, thank you so much to the CYA team, Tina, Ally, Deb and Sam for this fantastic experience. It opened to me the doors of this amazing industry and it seems that my journey with the CYA conference continues to surprise me.

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