The presence of industry professionals in the jury, like editors, writers, literary agencies, journalists and specialized bloggers, magnifies visibility occasions for all participants, and not only for the winner of the specific annual project. The contest, in fact, allows experts to screen works from hundreds of artists, to which future works could also be proposed.
Paolo d’Altan (illustrator)
Paolo d’Altan was born in Milan, where he lives and works. Since his childhood he has been an enthusiast of still and moving images; after classical studies in high school and the Castello Sforzesco art school begins to create illustrations for advertising, newspapers, websites and TV to subsequently meet books and the publishing industry where, fulfilling his childhood’s dreams, he illustrates countless books and covers. He’s been awarded many prizes, among them two Italian Art Directors Club gold prizes, two prestigious Andersen, in 2011 (best Italian illustrator) and in 2016 (best digital creation), in 2017 Silver Medal 3×3 Illustration Annual, in 2019 Annual gold for illustrators in animation. Among the first illustrators in Italy to embrace digital techniques, he loves to experiment and display the expressive possibilities available to illustrators through meetings and training courses. Teacher at IED Milano and SdF, works with ISIA of Urbino and works as Art Director for the illustration course of the International Comics School in Milan. A strenuous supporter of the social value of illustration, he has been president of the Italian Illustrators Association, and since 2019 is president of the jury of the Livio Sossi Editorial illustration Award. Over the centuries he has worked for A.I.L., Algida, Armando Testa, Bindi, Carthusia, Cideb-Black Cat, Corriere della Sera, DeA Planeta, Einaudi, FCB, Gallimard, Gallucci, Giunti, Grimm Press, Il Sole 24 Ore, Interlinea, Kingfisher, Lindt, Longanesi, Lorenzo Marini e Associati, McCann Erickson, Mondadori, Pangea Onlus, Pearson, Piemme, Rrose Selavy, Saatchi &Saatchi, Solferino, Rai, Raffaello, Rizzoli, Tapirulan, Techint, Topipittori.
Iacopo Bruno (illustrator)
Iacopo Bruno shares his life and works between Milano and Levanto. With his wife Francesca Leoneschi, he shares passion for graphics and typography, and is co-founder with her of “The World of Dot” studio. He illustrated the acclaimed books “Mesmerize: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All” and “Anything but Ordinary Addie”, both written by Mara Rockliff and published by Candlewick Press. He illustrated the whole “School for Good and Evil” series (New York Times Bestselling Series) by Soman Chainani, published by HarperCollins NYC. He illustrated covers for more than 500 titles, and has been awarded the most prestigious prizes in the industry, like the New York Society of Illustrators, the Cook Prize, the Junior Library Guild. In 2019 hw won the Texas Bluebonnet Award with his Sergeant Reckless illustrated book, written by Patricia McCormick and published by Balzer+Bray HarperCollins. In Italy, he addresses entirely graphics and illustration of the Carta Bianca and Semplicemente Eroi editorial series, by Einaudi Ragazzi. His latest publications are: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens for Rizzoli Ragazzi, “Bartali’s Bicycle” written by Megan Hoyt and published by QuilTree Books HarperCollins Publishers, “Mio Padre è un Palombaro” written by Elisa Sabatinelli and published in Italy by Solferino, in Germany by Coppenrath Verlag as “Emilio und Das Meer”, and in the United States by red Comet Press as “The Secret of the Magic Pearl”. He illustrated covers for more than 500 titles, and has been awarded the most prestigious prizes in the industry, like the New York Society of Illustrators, the Cook Prize, ther Junior Library Guild. In 2019 wins the Texas Bluebonnet Award with his Sergeant Reckless illustrated book, written by Patricia McCormick and published by Balzer+Bray HarperCollins. In Italy, he addresses entirely grapichs and illustration of the Carta Bianca and Semplicemente Eroi editorial series, by Einaudi Ragazzi. His latest publications are: “A Christmas Carol” from Charles Dickens for Rizzoli Ragazzi, “Bartali’s Bicycle” written by Megan Hoyt and published by QuilTree Books HarperCollins Publishers, “Mio Padre è un Palombaro” written by Elisa Sabatinelli and published in Italy by Solferino, in Germany by Coppenrath Verlag as “Emilio un Das Meer”, and in the United States by red Comet Press as “The Secret of the Magic Pearl”.
[Credit photo: Umberto Nicoletti]
Davide Calì (writer, illustrator e cartoonist)
Born in Switzerland, Davide Calì is a cartoonist, writer for children and art director. He says he is naturally blonde, but nobody trusts him. He hates writing down his biography (that means, what you’ll read has been added by us!) He published more than 100 picture books, comics, and novels. He has been awarded prizes in France, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the U.S.A., and his books are translated in more than 30 languages. He is the Art Director of the Book on a Tree factory, directed by Pierdomenico Baccalario, and collaborated as teacher with IED in Torino, MiMaster in Milano, and with various associations and comics schools. He regularly holds writing workshops in various Italian cites as well as in Pars, Bruxelles and Tallinn.
Valentina De Poli (journalist)
For more than a decade director of Topolino, Valentina De Poli writes for “Tuttolibri” add-on to “La Stampa” newspaper, and is Project and Creative Consultant for important Italian editorial entities, as an expert in Integrated Communication, Educational Projects, Corporate Storytelling, Brand Diversification and Tone of Voice Research. She always puts the relationship with the readers and the public on a centerspot: «I feed on this relationship based on a reciprocity which, for those in need to communicate, in any context and form, I consider fundamental…» She loves to project and to experiment, making words and images meet, and for some time she has discovered another resource: voice. Since 2018, in fact, she is author and speaker in podcasts for StorieLibere.fm, Mentre Relieving Stories, Amre and Archivissima, where she cares about the Sound Atlas for Italian Archives. Since 2020 is Organizational and Communication Consultant for the Segni New Generations Festival, dedicated to children and teenagers.
Valentina Mai (art director and publisher, Kite edizioni)
Valentina Mai left the legal profession to indulge her artistic temperament, at the dawn of the second millennium she understands that the world of illustration interests her more than others. Since then she has collaborated as an illustrator with Italian and foreign magazines and publishing houses, curates exhibitions and holds courses in illustration and copyright. Since 2011 she has been the art director of Kite Edizioni and she is happy about it.