26. The Illustrator Battle - The FOLD

26. The Illustrator Battle

A School Group Event

Session Description

In this new event for middle grade and secondary students, illustrators take up their drawing tools and battle it out for viewers to judge the best illustrations. This not-to-be-missed interactive and hilarious event features live drawings by illustrators Jason Loo, Cole Pauls and Anoosha Syed.

How to Register

This is a School Group event. To register your class for this event, complete the registration form and indicate how many virtual codes you’ll need.

Featured Speaker(s)

A young Asian-Canadian man in a dark blue button-down shirt.
Jason Loo
Bio
A black-and-white photo of an Indigenous man with long hair and an orange pendant around his neck. He wears a black t-shirt with a vest overtop it.
Cole Pauls
Bio
A young Indian-Canadian woman stands against a backdrop of lush pink and purple flowers. She has long brown hair and wears a white t-shirt blouse buttoned down the front.
Anoosha Syed
Bio
A photo of a Somali woman with curly hair. She wears dark-rimmed glasses and is laughing.
Ardo Omer
Bio
A young Asian-Canadian man in a dark blue button-down shirt.

Jason Loo

Jason Loo is a Toronto-based cartoonist of the Eisner Award-winning series Afterlift. He is also the creator behind the offbeat superhero series The Pitiful Human-Lizard.

A black-and-white photo of an Indigenous man with long hair and an orange pendant around his neck. He wears a black t-shirt with a vest overtop it.

Cole Pauls

Cole Pauls is a Tahltan comic artist, illustrator and printmaker hailing from Haines Junction (Yukon Territory) with a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University. Residing in Vancouver, Pauls focuses on his two comic series, the first being Pizza Punks: a self contained comic strip about punks eating pizza, the other being Dakwäkãda Warriors. In 2017, Pauls won Broken Pencil Magazine’s Best Comic and Best Zine of the Year Award for Dakwäkãda Warriors II. In 2020, Dakwäkãda Warriors won Best Work in an Indigenous Language from the Indigenous Voices Awards and was nominated for the Doug Wright Award categories, The Egghead & The Nipper.

A young Indian-Canadian woman stands against a backdrop of lush pink and purple flowers. She has long brown hair and wears a white t-shirt blouse buttoned down the front.

Anoosha Syed

Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian illustrator and character designer for animation. She is the illustrator of APALA Honor Book Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, as well as I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown and Jason Rachel Brown, the Monster and Boy chapter book series by Hannah Barnaby, and more. Some of her past clients also include Google, Netflix, Dreamworks TV and Disney Jr. In her spare time, Anoosha hosts a Youtube channel focusing on art education. Anoosha has a passion for creating charming characters with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. She lives in Toronto with her husband.

A photo of a Somali woman with curly hair. She wears dark-rimmed glasses and is laughing.

Ardo Omer

Ardo Omer has written for online platforms as a reviewer and critic for almost a decade. She’s been a judge for a few kids comics awards and is an advisor at the Canada Comics Open Library.

Omer lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she serves as the Kids Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.

Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her

Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!

Ben Philippe, author of Field Guide to the North American Teenager

The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.

Zetta Elliott, author of Dragons in a Bag

I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.

Harold Johnson, author of the memoirs Clifford and Firewater

Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.

Kathy Page, author of Dear Evelyn, winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.

Ian Williams, Author of the Giller Prize-winning novel Reproduction

FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.

Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.

Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon Of The Crusted Snow

Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.

Ann Y.K. Choi, author of Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety

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