Tomi Honoured with a Prize from the Illustrators of Catalonia

This weekend Tomi was honoured by The Professional Association of Illustrators of Catalonia (APIC), with their L’Il·lustrad’Or (Golden Illustrator) prize. The prize is awarded on an international level “to an illustrator whose professional career, we consider, has made an important contribution to graphic creativity”.  Moltes gràcies, APIC!

The ceremony took place in Barcelona, and samples of Tomi’s illustrative and graphic work were shown. As Tomi could not attend the event himself, he wrote this touching thank you speech, about what it means to him for his work to be acknowledged. Here is the transcript of the handwritten speech which you can see below:

“At the age of 86, I realize that even with 70 years of apprenticeship, I still find no satisfaction in my work. I just finished a new book for children and adults, it has been greeted with enthusiasm by my publisher, yet, doubt already sets in. Once printed, I shall discard it like all the other ones; flawed, misbegotten children, all.

I shouldn’t complain. Showered with prizes, with a museum sheltering my work, over 140 books on record – I still struggle with my nagging insecurity. Success has never reassured me.

For many I am known as a children’s book author. I conceived these books for the child in me, a little rascal indeed. Haunted with a restless imagination, I need the challenge of new styles and techniques.

This frustrating attitude of downgrading myself is fuel for my searching drive. Oh yes, I am enthusiastic once immersed in a project, possessed with sparkling despair, giggling at my own ideas. Then, once done, my vanity deflates and I start another book as if it was the first one.

I am happy and honoured to accept this prize. With my eternal insecurity it is reassuring, comforting to be acknowledged. To know that others appreciated my work is a stimulant for me, to keep on going, trying out new directions in swallowing labyrinths.”

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