Award-winning illustrator Larry Day shows you how to unravel (and learn lots from) any artist's composition

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Award-winning illustrator and storyboard artist Larry Day took a few minutes to share a fascinating lesson and a fun assignment for you to try for our next Guest Group Critique online meet-up that's set for Thursday, September 22.

He's the illustrator of over twenty fiction and nonfiction picture books and a storyboard artist/art director for advertising agencies. Larry and Miriam Busch collaborated on the picture book Lion, Lion, which was one NPR’s Best Books For 2014, an Illinois Reads Selection for 2015, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year.  His second picture book with Miriam Busch for Balzer + Bray is titled Raisin, The Littlest Cow.

He'll be our guest instructor for September's Guest Group Critique, set for 8 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), Thursday, September 22.

Larry Day cover

Mysteries of visual composition revealed in our live session with Larry on Thursday, September 22. 

To participate, subscribe to monthly Guest Group Critiques – or register for just the one event and video replay.

(Already a subscriber to Guest Group Critiques?  You're already in. No need to register. Keep your eye out for the details in your e-mail inbox.)

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Monthly group critiques are 'perfect practice'

They tell you...

  • What isn't working

  • When to push harder

  • When to just stop

And help you to...

  • Get a fresh perspective

    Our guest critiquers – illustrators, author-illustrators, children’s literary agents, art directors, maybe an editor or two  – examine your final in a spirit of teaching and mentoring.

  • Think more like a pro

    Watch up close and personal how full-time creatives evaluate and troubleshoot their own and others’ pieces.

  • Prepare for that thing

    That upcoming kidlit (or illustrators’) conference, important promotional mailing, post or sit-down with a client.

  • Sharpen your discernment powers

    Remind you of those bedrock principles of draftsmanship, design and communication. (Funny how they keep bringing you back to those.)

  • Meet your tribe

    Your colleagues and the expert practioners. Who share their What I Wish I Knew Then stories and become your contacts in ‘the biz.’ (It’s called networking.)

  • Get better at getting better

    Practice with critiques helps you understand the hierarchy of feedback and how to navigate it wisely – knowing what’s valid for you now, vs. what to set aside for later.

Participate in new live critique sessions with KidLit illustration professionals every month!

Group critiques – in the classroom or around a cafe table with friends – have been training artists for centuries.

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Improvement comes from consistent focus

Sometimes it will be your work being discussed. More often, someone else's.

Either way, you'll benefit by being there. You'll take away the insights to help you later — when it's just you behind the table making all those decisions, big and little required to complete a great picture.

You just need to watch and listen. And apply the ideas you like your way.

You don't have to go it alone...

With a subscription you can participate in all of our monthly live critique programs and immediately access replays of all sessions we've enjoyed and learned from so far by these top professionals:

Click on the photos to see their websites!

Mira Reisberg

Mira Reisberg, author-illustrator, teacher and founder, Children's Book Academy

Karien Naude

Karien Naude, illustrator

Karien Naude

Chris Schechner, designer, illustrator and art director for 20+ years for "Pockets" magazine

Loraine Joyner

Loraine Joyner, senior art director for 23 years with Peachtree Publishers

Author-illustrator Jeff Crosby

Jeff Crosby, author-illustrator

Marsha Riti

Marsha Riti, illustrator

Christy Stallop

Christy Stallop, illustrator

ustyme books art manager Nick Balian with the cover of his

Nick Balian, illustrator animator, art manager for digital publisher ustyme Books

http://tugeau2.com/

Nicole Tugeau, agent and artists' rep, Tugeau2 Children's Illustrators

C.S. Jennings

C.S. Jennings, author-illustrator

Annette Simon

Annette Simon, author-illustrator

Mark Mitchell, http://HowToBeAChildrensBookIllustrator.com

Mark Mitchell, author-illustrator and moderator

Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming, award-winning author-illustrator

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan, award-winning author-illustrator

Jodell Sadler and KidLit College

Jodell Sadler, founder KidLit College and agent

http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html

Kelly Sonnack, senior agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

It's a bit like art school...

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Try out the subscription and see what you think of the next Marks and Splashes Guest Group Critique session. If you find it not hugely helpful or just not your cup of tea, write me (c/o the How To Be A Children’s Book Illustrator blog) and I’ll refund you same day, no questions asked, no worries and we’re still friends. You can also easily cancel your subscription anytime.