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Award winning illustrator to provide free tutorials thanks to the National Lottery

Friday 29th May 2020 at 2pm 0 Comments

Ashling Lindsay Image: Ashling Lindsay

An artist from Belfast, who was last week named winner of the Illustration category at the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2020, is to provide free online classes and tutorials on picturebook making, thanks to funding from The National Lottery.

Ashling Lindsay is one of 88 artists to have so far received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s £500,000 Artists Emergency Programme, which is using National Lottery funds to support artists to continue their work and connect with communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since graduating from the Belfast School of Art in 2013, Ashling’s beautiful illustrations have gathered much attention thanks to their distinctive style and her stunning talent. Her picturebooks have been published in more than 10 languages and in 2019 she was presented with an ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

In April the latest in the hugely successful ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ series* was published, a biography of World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing, featuring Ashling’s eye-catching illustrations. Developing drawings for the series, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide, has been a major achievement for Ashling but unfortunately many other projects planned for this year have currently been placed on hold.

“Last year I received an ACES award from the Arts Council and I’ve been using that to develop my own picturebook texts in Irish and English. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the publication of those is now delayed but on the positive side, it has given me the time to think about how my experiences and skills may be able to help others.”

Thanks to the Arts Council and the National Lottery players Ashling is planning to develop a series of online videos showing the art process behind her work, painting, drawing, and printmaking.

She explains: “Some of the tutorials will be informative, detailing step by step how to use certain techniques. Some content would be specifically about making a picturebook and include publishing industry insights. The point of this project is to skill share, show some of the process, and engage with the community through free digital content that is easily accessible for people remotely.”

Like Ashling, other artists, charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This will support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature, Arts Council of Northern Ireland,

“The National Lottery has always supported projects that help people and communities across the UK thrive. And now, the funds available are switching focus to support communities, arts, heritage, sport, education and the environment to mitigate the unprecedented pressure they are coming under as we all rally to overcome COVID-19.

“Artists have been among the hardest hit groups, with projects delayed, venues closed and events cancelled for the foreseeable future. All of this is having a major impact on our cultural and creative lives. Over the next few months, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Ashling’s project develops, encouraging others who maybe have an idea they wish to develop or perhaps want to reconnect with their creative side to, quite literally, get back to the drawing board.”

The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes many of whom will be supporting the most vulnerable in communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. By playing The National Lottery, you are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

To find out more about the range of funding support announced by National Lottery distributors across the UK to date, visit the National Lottery Good Causes website www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/coronavirus-pandemic-response

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