In 1991, several young and talented artists gathered together in a workshop by German illustrator Reinhard Michl, organized by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and the Goethe-Institut Manila. During this two-week event, its participants discovered their common passion for children’s book illustration.

Inspired by the experience and support provided by mentors such as Larry Alcala, Virgilio Almario, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, and Marcy Dans-Lee, these young artists sought to create an organization that would be dedicated to illustrating for children. The desire to organize was further encouraged by an invitation (perhaps, even a challenge) from the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Manila to hold an exhibit.​​​​​​​
But, what to call the group? Bernie Solina—a founder and former president of the organization—recalled a meandering naming process which, in hindsight, also reflected the playful spirit and laid-back approach of the group. Upon raising the need for a name, Robert Alejandro expressed that he liked the word “ink”, which Beth Parrocha jokingly explained to mean “inihaw na kambing!” It was while having a meal at the famous Ilustrado restaurant in Intramuros, said Bernie, that the name came to her in a flash of insight: ilustrador ng kabataan!​​​​​​​
On June 7, 1991—the last day of the children’s book illustration workshop at Goethe-Institut Manila—the creation of the organization called Ilustrador ng Kabataan (INK) was proclaimed. Shortly after, the organization’s Constitution and By-Laws were created; its first set of officers were elected. Mel Silvestre served as the inaugural president.
Statement of Principles
We believe that our collective efforts and interaction as practitioners are vital to encouraging the creation, proliferation, and appreciation of illustrations for children.
We believe that our concerted efforts provide an effective means for uplifting the quality of illustrations for children.


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