The Illustration Winter School, based in Porto (Portugal), aims to investigate the expanded role of the illustrator as researcher, editor, publisher and working across media. By proposing an environment to examine and explore a variety of different approaches to illustration and the construction of visual narratives – such as printmaking, bookbinding, architecture – this school provides six immersive days that put emphasis on method and visual research. The winter school will consist of intensive workshops, seminars, lectures and visits in the city of Porto, while covering a wide variety of approaches to illustration and focusing on archive, method and visual research.

A Illustration Winter School, sediada no Porto, procura explorar o ilustrador enquanto investigador, editor, publicador e trabalhando em vários suportes. Propondo um ambiente que permite examinar e explorar uma variedade de abordagens à ilustração e construção de narrativas visuais—tais como gravura, encadernação, arquitectura—esta escola proporciona 6 dias que põem ênfase na investigação visual.

The winter school will consist of intensive workshops, seminars, lectures and visits in the city of Porto, while covering a wide variety of approaches to illustration and focusing on archive, method and visual research.

The Illustration School seeks to give its participants an introduction to practical and theoretical knowledge that allows them to use a variety of disciplines as research tools. There will not be clear divisions among these, but instead encouraged a constant overlap in the context of the expanded role of the illustrator, promoting debate and reflection. The tutors will seek to encourage the intersection of disciplines and co-researching.

A Illustration School procura dotar os participantes de um conhecimento prático e teórico introdutório que permita utilizar uma variedade de disciplinas enquanto ferramentas de investigação. Não serão feitas divisões claras entre estas, mas antes encorajada uma constante sobreposição no contexto de um campo expandido da ilustração, promovendo debate e reflexão. Os professores procurarão encorajar a intersecção de disciplinas e a co-investigação.

The Illustration School, based in Porto (Portugal), is an international research and pedagogical platform that aims to investigate the expanded role of the illustrator as researcher, editor, publisher and working across media. Since it was founded in 2016, the school has been providing an environment to examine and explore a variety of different approaches to illustration and the construction of visual narratives, such as calligraphy, architecture, bookbinding, typography, food, collage, textile design, creative writing, printmaking and self-publishing.

With visual research at the centre of its ethos, the school invites various tutors from a diverse range of disciplines and countries, in relation to its multiple objects of study. From conferences, to workshops, seminars, field trips and debate, the courses function as residencies, with tutors adapting to the participants’ needs, education level and expertise. Since 2017, the school is based in the centre of Porto but aims to provide a decentralised education, making use of the city’s many resources and infrastructure.

Illustration & The Archive
The importance of the archive in contemporary illustration practice will be at the centre of the Illustration Winter School, intersecting all workshops, seminars and visits. By introducing research in the context of the illustration discipline—particularly beyond a tradition in which drawing is dominant—participants will have the opportunity to be introduced to and debate the importance of investigating methods from different periods of history such as those from the Surrealist Group and developing their own.

Print as Research
Print as research investigates a series of printmaking methods that facilitate the illustration process, using several alternative processes based on historical techniques. During the workshop, old and new methods will be mixed with the freedom of tactile expression, as well as with the openness to experiment the potential of the use of mechanical devices such as the photocopier, transfer techniques, in the context of the research project. This workshop will be lead by Alexandra Rafael.

Visual Editor
This workshop, led by Miguel Angel Valdivia, will put emphasis on the role of the illustrator as editor. It will focus on the construction of narratives and storytelling, being the workshop in which drawing will occupy centre stage.

The workshop intersecting illustration with architecture will be led by Matilde Seabra (Talkie Walkie).

Bookbinding as Research
The bookbinding workshop will be conducted by Catarina Azevedo (Alfaiate do Livro). In a series of workshops that will see an overlap with other disciplines, one section binding, french door, piano hinge binding are some of the variety of mechanisms and approaches to bookbinding that are going to be explored in the Illustration Winter School 2016.

The 6-day course will take place at Círculo Católico dos Operários do Porto, in an historic building in the centre of the city of Porto. Having a large working area, the space in which the participants will develop their work will be complemented by visits.

O curso de 6 dias decorrerá no Círculo Católico dos Operários do Porto, num edifício histórico no centro da cidade do Porto. Dispondo de uma grande área de trabalho, o espaço onde os alunos desenvolverão a sua investigação, será complementada por visitas.

Tutors & Guest Speakers

Karen Lacroix
Coordinator, Tutor
Karen Lacroix is an illustrator, designer and publisher based in Porto, Portugal. She has taught visual narratives since 2009 at Richmond University (UK) and works for an eclectic range of clients such as Bright Ivy, English Touring Opera, Saffron Hall, Bishopsgate Institute, among others. After concluding an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, she founded Uncanny Editions, an illustration publisher and studio exploring different modes of publication practice, collaborating with institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and X Marks the Bökship . Her work is represented in collections such as MoMA (US), University College London, London College of Communication (UK), Serralves Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (PT), among others. She is the founder of the Illustration School, a nomadic pedagogical platform that investigates the expanded field of illustration and is co-director of the design research centre Shared Institute.

Matilde Seabra
Matilde Seabra is a graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Porto and co-founder of the architecture studio Poças Martins Seabra. She is part of the collective that edits the architecture fanzine Friendly Fire. Between 2009 and 2013 she was assistant tutor at the Polytechnic Institute of Porto on the MA in Visual Arts and Artistic Technologies. Matilde is experienced in working with several cultural institutions such as the Serralves Foundation, José de Guimarães International Art Center and Douro Museum. Co-founder of Talkie Walkie.

Miguel Angel Valdivia
Miguel Angel Valdivia is an Italian visual artist who graduated from a MA in Fine Arts from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. He exhibited is work in England, France and Italy and has been a Visiting Lecturer in Visual Communication at the RCA and is the editor of the drawing publication Le Petit Nèant.

Catarina Azevedo
Designer and bookbinder based in Porto, Portugal. After finishing a BA in Communication Design at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto in 2011, she established her own studio Alfaiate do Livro, focusing on handcrafted bookbinding. The studio has worked with a variety of clients such as ESAD Matosinhos, Atelier Martino & Jaña and Uncanny Editions, also embracing a teaching component in association with other institutions such as We Came From Space, CRU-CoWork or the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto.

Isabel Quaresma
Isabel Quaresma is an artist working at the intersection between drawing and textiles. She has a BA in Painting and an MA in Drawing and Printing Techniques, both from the University of Porto. She has taught fashion design and exhibits regularly her work since 2002.

Alexandra Rafael
Printmaking artist based in Porto, Portugal. She holds an MA in Drawing and Printmaking from the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, where she developed research about transfer processes to printmaking surfaces. Since then she has been participating in several exhibitions and artistic residencies around the country.

Júlio Dolbeth
Guest Speaker
Júlio is an artist, illustrator and lecturer at the School of Arts of the University of Porto. He holds a BA in Communication Design, MA in Multimedia Art and a PhD in Art and Design in the field of illustration. He is the co-founder of the illustration gallery Dama Aflita in Porto, where he is also a curator. He has shown his work regularly in solo and group exhibitions.

Rui Vitorino Santos
Guest Speaker
PhD in Art and Design, in the field of illustration. He is a professor of Communication Design and Illustration at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. Frequently develops curatorial projects and research in Illustration and also participates regularly in individual and group shows in illustration. Founding member of the association and gallery Dama Aflita, in Porto, dedicated to illustration and drawing.

Travelling to Porto
Porto is served by the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. The Airport—with excellent connections to many European and international cities—has metro, allowing a direct connection to the school. The Illustration Winter School is a 10-minute walk from the metro stations of São Bento and Campo 24 de Agosto. For journeys by train (from Lisbon), it is advised to visit the CP website for the, with São Bento being the closest station to the school.

Viajar até ao Porto
A cidade do Porto é servida pelo Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro. O Aeroporto tem metro, permitindo uma ligação directa às instalações da escola. A Illustration Winter School encontra-se a 10 minutos a pé das estações de metro de São Bento e Campo 24 de Agosto. Para viagens de comboio, é aconselhado visitar o site da CP para a estação de São Bento.

The illustration Winter School welcomes national and international participants, with distinct experiences and education, seeking to build a diverse group interested in developing its knowledge of the illustrator as researcher. After the submission of the application, the latter will be evaluated and be replied within a maximum of 5 working days with the notification of acceptance. The Illustration Winter School has only 15 places available.

A Illustration Winter School convida participantes nacionais e internacionais com experiências e formações distintas, procurando construir um grupo diversificado e interessado em desenvolver o seu conhecimento enquanto ilustradores e investigadores. Após a submissão da candidatura, esta será avaliada e respondida num prazo máximo de 5 dias úteis. A Illustration Winter School tem apenas 15 vagas disponíveis.

info [at]