September 12, 2016

Picturecamp 2016

Some time ago and I have no idea how, I found this illustration camp in Atapuerca, a very small village in the province of Burgos (Spain) called Picturecamp organised by illustrator Jorge Martín. Coincidentally, it was happening a couple of days right after my birthday, so I decided to have it as a present from my own self (because I’m worth it).

According to their website, Picturecamp is a 4-day intensive masterclass covering the fundamentals of picture book making. It will offer new and aspiring authors the opportunity to expand their skills in a friendly and relaxed setting, with award winning author/illustrators, which, in this case were Marta Altés, Benji Davies and Alexis Deacon.

I had been wanting to meet Marta Altés somewhere at some point for quite a while, because I absolutely love her work (she had me at “No!“), plus talking to a Catalan author (I’m kind of Catalan myself – I’m Valencian) who is working in the UK would be really nice. What can I say about Benji Davies and his super cute stranded whale? I confess I didn’t know who Alexis Deacon was before meeting him in this camp, but now I’m very happy I did, too, because of, not only his great story-telling and artistic abilities, but also his superb lindy hop dancing skills!

We were a small group of 14 illustrators and, as usual, I was terrified of meeting them at first because I was on my own and had no one to hide behind of. But everyone turned out to be super charming and I soon left my fear of interacting with strangers aside (in a small cage). We were split in two groups for accommodation and each group shared a gorgeous, comfy rural house. Ours was on a hill, by the village church, overlooking the vast fields of Castilla y León.

Letting go and connecting with nature🍂 #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de @viewwow el

Beautiful Atapuerca. #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Andrew Gardner (@iamagardner) el

During the day and after a yummy breakfast at the bakery/café/shop of Atapuerca, we had workshops and lectures by the illustrators with a lunch break in between at, I believe, the only restaurant in the village, Como Sapiens. The food was amazing every day (I got used to having a two-course meal too quickly only to go back to the miserable reality of a quick whatever-is-in-the-fridge a few days later).

Breakfast of champions for #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Tuesdays don’t get any better than spending it with your idols and lots of new friends making dragons in the sun after drinking wine #PictureCamp

Una publicación compartida de HogtunStephen (@hogtunstephen) el

Working hard at #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Was it salmorejo? The most delicious lunches with delicious company @pegandawl and @martaltes I want to go back! #picturecamp #aterperca #comosapiens

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

In the evenings, Jorge organised different activities, such as visiting the Atapuerca archaeological site, a blind wine tasting/wine label design competition at Como Sapiens, a visit to the local wetlands and mill and even a basic lindy hop lesson by none other than Alexis Deacon (which I confess was my favourite).

Concentrating on cavemen whilst wearing silly hats #picturecamp #aterperca #archeology #inspiration #childrensbooks #kidlitart

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Picture Cave. #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Andrew Gardner (@iamagardner) el

Blind Wine tasting, label making with my fellow fish wives. #picturecamp #wine #funny #badstones

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Beautiful Aterperca and a global tasting menu for the local mosquitos #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Doing the itch! #lindyhop #mosquitos #picturecamp #alexisdeacon

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

In the evenings we just hung around the village bar and basically finished their beer stock.

Missing this lovely bunch #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

The day before leaving, we went all the way to Burgos to have dinner and celebrate how much fun we’d had (and how much we’d learned as well, I guess). I quite enjoyed being the main translator for the barmen at the pintxos places and my fellow illustrators!

Long shadows of perfect Picturcampers in #borgas is that a P for #picturecamp that you are making there @alexis_deacon ? Xx

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Las chicas con Marta #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Caro Celis (@carocelis) el

A celebratory ice cream in Burgos. #picturecamp

Una publicación compartida de Andrew Gardner (@iamagardner) el

I must say Picturecamp was probably the most broadening and fun illustration workshop/camp I’ve ever had. I’m still not sure whether I’ll be able to go back in 2017 but I wish I can! Fingers crossed!

#picturecamp just a little bit brilliant.

Una publicación compartida de Annabel Tempest (@annabel.tempest) el

Lovely to meet all of you guys! Thanks for everything (including all the pictures I used on the post, ha – #Picturecamp) 🙂

(This cat is not dead, he’s just sinking in the pavement. His name was Calcetines (Socks), I believe. We all loved him.)


  1. Aaah I loved this little trip down memory lane thank you xxx sending big love and hope to meet you again soon!

    • sandraortuno

      Thanks, Annabel! 😀 Yeah, I hope we can meet again in the near future!

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