Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustration Masterclass: The Art of Sequential Storytelling, Art Director’s Brief

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Date(s) - 07/10/2017
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

House of Illustration
2 Granary Square - London, N1C 4BH


The first 15 bookings have been notified! All bookings after this date, 29 May 2017, will be for the Masterclass on the day. 

If you didn't make the first 15 bookings, consider booking to hear what David McDougall has to say about the final submissions and to ask questions about what makes a great promo sample stand out from the rest!

In this assignment your goal is to design three to five sequential spreads at half size in a cleaned up rough form for initial submission for feedback. You are to choose an Aesop’s Fabel from the list below and interpret it in your own style and perspective while keeping the classical text. Experiment with different ways of breaking up the text: don’t assume that all breaks should come at the ends of paragraphs. The text must be included in your rough layouts (you may print, cut out and paste text in your layouts, or rough in with pencil). This is a two step assignment so please follow the directions carefully for each step.

Step 1: Choose your text from list below and produce 3 – 5 rough spreads including text. Include a page of character designs for your chosen text also as roughs. Scan in your spreads and character sheets at 150 ppi at 100%, then save as for no larger than 1000 pixels at the longest side for submission in a jpg file format. Please use the following naming convention:
(first initial.surname)-(title of fable 1 – 5).jpg, i.e. aperks-the-fisher-1.jpg, aperks-the-fisher-2.jpg.

Include one sample piece showing how you work. Please note: this is not a new piece, it is a representative piece that shows how you take work to finish.

Submit to by midnight,  31 July 2017. You can send via YouSendIt if your files are larger than 10 MB.

During the month of August, David McDougall will look over your submissions and write up initial feedback for you to apply to your next stage. David’s feedback will be emailed to you by the first week of September (5 September 2017).

Step 2: Incorporate the feedback given for your chosen final piece. (This would be the one that David has highlighted as a promising final piece.) What you are working towards is one final spread for feedback during the face to face class on the 7 October. It is okay to bring revamped spreads that were previously submitted for feedback for a second look. As always, we'll divide the time between crits according to how many completed briefs attend the masterclass.

Only the first 15 bookings will be eligible to send roughs for initial feedback from the art director. We will continue to take bookings after the first 15 bookings for those who would like to sit n on the critiques and ask those burning questions you'd like to ask an art director on what makes a promo art sample stand out above the rest and on submitting art samples to HarperCollins and other publishers.

Go to where you will find the text for the list below.

The Lion’s Share
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
The Fox and the Crow
The Lion and the Mouse
The Frog and the Ox
The Fisher
The Shepard’s Boy
The Two Crabs
The Wind and the Sun
The Fox Without a Tail

David-McDougallDavid McDougall, moved to HarperCollins Publishing for Children after working at Walker Books as a Senior Art Director in fiction for many years. While there, he worked with  authors and illustrators such as Michael Morpurgo, Patrick Ness, David Almond, Jim Kay and Dave McKean among others. He studied at central St. Martins and the LCC (formally the London College of printing) before beginning his career at The Body Shop, working on international campaigns, concepts stores and packaging, before venturing into the world of book publishing with Hachette Children's Books. It was there that he focused on fiction design recalling how it was the start of the children's fiction cover design becoming more iconic and less about an 'everything explained narrative cover' approach. In addition to this, David's experiences outside of publishing have seen him work with clients such as Amnesty International, The Royal Mail, Coco de Mer, Great Ormond street Hospital and ULCH and Habitat.