About the Illustration Biennial

The Illustration Biennial

The Illustration Biennial is the ultimate Dutch festival for illustrators, fellow professionals, clients, publishers and lovers of graphic art. Since 2010 it has taken place at the Toneelschuur theater in Haarlem, The Netherlands and is organized by Stichting Illustratie Biënnale Nederland.

Inspiration and diversity

The Illustration Biennial offers a versatile program on the role of illustration in contemporary visual culture. Trends are visualized by examples from traditional or digital media. All fields of illustration – newspapers, magazines, fashion, spatial, technical, book covers, illustrative, theater sets, 3D in games, public spaces, and entertainment – are featured.

Presentations and Interviews

The Illustration Biennial invites various leading illustrators to talk about their inspiration and working process in a live show. Over the years the festival presented international illustrators like Chris Silas Neal, Julie Verhoeven, Kate Bingaman Burt, Tara Dougans, Henning Wagenbreth en Noma Bar. And from the Netherlands: Cyprian Koscielniak, Thé Tjong Khing, Han Hoogerbrugge, Paul Faassen, Siegfried Woldhek, Joost Swarte, Merijn Hos, Floris Kaayk, Tim Enthoven, Floor Rieder, en Jordy van den Nieuwendijk. The program is hosted by radio presenter Jellie Brouwer. See all featured illustrators in 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012 and 2010.

Digital exhibition

The unique digital exhibition shows work by over one hundred illustrators, both national and international. The Illustration Biennial selects the participants and their work. The Blue Noise Department, an organization active in the field of theater and visual arts, assembles the images into a sequence, shown on one big and twelve smaller screens. Check videos of the digital exhibition 2010 and 2012 here.

Pop-up museum shop

In the Toneelschuur a pop-up museum shop is installed. You can buy works on paper, textiles and other materials from the participating illustrators.

Assignment for students

The Illustration Biennial teams up with a Dutch art academy in the Netherlands every edition. Students from this academy get a special assignment, and are supervised by one or more teachers. A selection of the submitted work will be shown at the Illustration Biennial. In addition, the work of three students is included in the digital exhibition.

Mural in town

Requested by the Illustration Biennial Tim Enthoven (2012) and Merijn Hos (2010) created a mural on a wall in Haarlem. Check videos of the work in progress here.