FRANKFURT: The debut of artists and writers from the Kuala Lumpur Arts School (SSeMKL) had not only attracted visitors to the Malaysian Pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Festival but also wooed publishers from Spain, Netherlands as well as the United Arab Emirates.

Five books and portrait paintings of the students, aged between 13 and 16, caught the eyes of publishing companies, Editorial Portavoz from Spain, Netherland’s Uitgeverij Wilde Haren and Dubai based PanWorld Education.

Uitgeverij Wilde Haren publishing director Lou Lou said she had never thought of hiring school students for publisher illustration projects.

“As a small company, we are always very selective when choosing book projects to be published that it needs to be special.

“These students are talented and special. We want to show them the ropes and guide them to produce works that would of international illustration standards,” she said, here, today.

Editorial Portavoz director Deborah L. Vila praised the portrait illustrations had impressed her, especially the works of Sufi Sufea Md Fadhil and Haniesa Mohd Asri, both aged 15.

“We would like to seek their services for the company’s books publishing projects,” she said.

Meanwhile, SSeMKL visual arts supervisor Teh Nadira Hamdan said the students took two months to produce their respective books.

“They were chosen based on the quality of their works and time used to come up with it because the two-months timeline was very short.

“They need to have the bravery and confidence. They were also given trainings so that they can appear in book festivals like this as a tight knit arts group,” she said.

Among the Young Emerging Talent (YET) KL writer and illustration artist was Ainur Safeeya Uzma Erfieza, 13, the youngest participant, who was happy when her works were appreciated by others.

“This has lifted my spirit as I want to continue with the ‘Reminiscing the Old Days’ book with a new series, as my ambition is to be a writer and an illustration artist,” she said.

The other participants were Nur Balqis Faqihah Norlihakie whose book was titled ‘My Hero! The Time Traveler’; Sarah Hanina Nadhrah Ahmad Patria with Valentine is a Tenacious Girl; Alisha Nabeeha Azhar with My Teacher and Batresya Nortajuddin’s My Father’s Culture.

They had also produced a portrait that was drawn up throughout the biggest and oldest book festival in the world which was gifted to Frankfurt Book Festival president Juergen Boos during a meeting with the Malaysian delegates yesterday.

Apart from children’s book and portrait paintings, the SSeMKL students also showcased traditional dances such as inang, joget dan zapin to draw visitors to the Malaysian Pavilion.

The students received guidance through the YET KL programme in cooperation with the National Book Council of Malaysia (MBKM).

The delegation was headed by MBKM director Mohd Khair Ngadiron and joined by government publishing institutions as well as book publishers and self publishers.

Besides selling copyrights to foreign countries, Malaysian publishers were also able to buy the copyrights of works and books across genres produced by international writers consisting of scholars, statesmen, writers and figures from various fields.

Sumber:, 23 Oktober 2022.

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