Share your version of this fascinating figure from ancient history with independent publisher Debra Winegarten

 

Almost a Minyan, a beautifully illustrated picture book written by Lori S. Kline and illustrated by Susan Simon tells of "a loving daughter and granddaughter, whose family stays connected to each other and to the past through sacred ritual."

"It's a multi-generational love story for Jewish traditions" says publisher Debra Winegarten of Austin, Texas-based Sociosights Press.

Debra is herself the author of award-winning adult and children's nonfiction titles. She'll tell us about the editorial and technical challenges she met in producing her company's first richly illustrated children's picture book.

For a pretend sketch assignment for our group, she'd love for you to show her how you'd portray "Saint Esther" from the Old Testament and Hebrew Bible. (Esther also figures into ancient Persian, as well as Roman Catholic history. It's a good idea for you to do your own editorial and visual research on this person and her times. But for a fast and helpful overview, you can start here.)

Please Save My Seat For September 13!

You can buy a ticket to participate in just this month's single event with Debra and Mark ($27) or subscribe for this and future sessions and videos of all the past sessions, too ($10 monthly.)

 

Debra will look at the work of our group and pick some pieces from the group to discuss. "There's actually a possible book on crypto-Jews I might pick up," she explains. "I have an illustrator in mind, but I'm not wedded to that person (or the book for that matter, but if something really amazing appeared, it could help sway me!)"

Developing a stunning picture book from scratch

Deb plans to talk about the sketches or pieces that suggest to her artists she might like to work with. She'll also give us an honest, insider's picture of what it's like to work with publishers of small specialty presses and religious presses, some of which are major businesses with significant budgets for illustration.

Deb is great to visit with because of her joyful, confident approach to the toughest creative problems. (So get noodling on your "St. Esther" sketches if the topic appeals to you.)

Come join us September 13!

Monthly group critiques are 'perfect practice'

They tell you...

  • What isn't working

  • When to push harder

  • When to just stop

And help you...

  • 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 or a prospect.

And nudge you to...

  • 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.

Precious moments. Practical stuff. Group critiques – in the classroom or around a cafe table with friends – have been training artists for centuries. Be part of a time-tested tradition, updated for the 21st century.

Join us around the table in new, live, online group sessions every month – and enjoy watching replays of past sessions at your leisure.

SubscribeFor monthly group sessions, including September 13 with publisher Debra Winegarten

Only $10 monthly.

Improvement comes from consistent focus

Sometimes it will be your work being discussed. More often than not, it will be someone else's. 

You'll benefit by being there. Watch and listen. Absorb the insights to help you later, when it's just you behind the drawing board making all those essential design decisions.

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

Participate in all of our monthly live programs. Access replays of all past sessions...

Like the ones we've enjoyed and learned so much from last year, taught by these wonderful children's publishing professionals:

Mira Reisberg

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

Author-illustrator Jeff Crosby

Jeff Crosby, author-illustrator

C.S. Jennings

C.S. Jennings, author-illustrator

 Giuseppe Castellano, senior art director, Penguin Random House

Giuseppe Castellano, senior art director, Penguin Random House

Jodell Sadler and KidLit College

Jodell Sadler, founder KidLit College and agent

Len Smith, animation character designer

Len Smith, animation character designer

Abigail Samoun, children's book agent, co-founder of Red Fox Literary

Abigail Samoun, children's book agent, co-founder of Red Fox Literary

Author-illustrator Kelly Light

Author-illustrator Kelly Light

Karien Naude

Karien Naude, illustrator

Marsha Riti

Marsha Riti, illustrator

http://tugeau2.com/

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

Annette Simon

Annette Simon, author-illustrator

Renowned author-illustrator Robert Quackenbush

Author-illustrator Robert Quackenbush Halloween Critique Bash (explains the scariness)

Terry Widener, illustrator

Terry Widener, illustrator

Jill Corcoran, founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Jill Corcoran, founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Just us, with Mark and Chris, illustration art by Chris Perry

Just us, with Mark and Chris, illustration art by Chris Perry

Page Street Kids publisher Kristen Nobles

Page Street Kids publisher Kristen Nobles

Karien Naude

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

Christy Stallop

Christy Stallop, illustrator

Award-winning children's illustrator Larry Day

Award-winning storyboard artist and children's illustrator Larry Day

Mark Mitchell, http://HowToBeAChildrensBookIllustrator.com

Mark Mitchell, author-illustrator and moderator

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

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

Kelly Sonnack, senior agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Picture book series author-illustrator Janee Trasler

Picture book series author-illustrator Janee Trasler

Mira Reisberg, Round 2, illustration by Lisa Goldberg

Mira Reisberg, Round 2, illustration by Lisa Goldberg

Loraine Joyner

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

ustyme books art manager Nick Balian with the cover of his

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

Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming, award-winning author-illustrator

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan, award-winning author-illustrator

Catch up critique - Illustration by Kathryn Powers

Catch up critique - Illustration by Kathryn Powers

Mira follow-up critique, illustration by John Wanczyk

Mira follow-up critique, illustration by John Wanczyk

Illustrators' Agent Melissa Turk

Illustrators' agent Melissa Turk of The Artist's Network

A bit of art school...

For $10 per month.

 

Video thumbnail illustration by Mariama Ross.

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Try out the subscription. You can easily cancel at any time. If you find your first experience of a session not 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 and no worries (and we’re still friends.)