Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustration Masterclass: Portfolio Review Intensive

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Date(s) - 08/06/2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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

A full Day of Self-Promotion, Branding, Publishing Contracts and Portfolio Reviews!

With Derek Brazell, Projects Manager Association of Illustrators (AOI)
Rhiannon Davies, Astound Agency, Licensing and Publishing
Paul Coomey, Art Director, Wonderbly Books
Caroline Thomson, Arena Illustration Agency and
Ken Wilson-Max, Publisher and Art Director, Alanna Max Publishing, Tiny Owl Publishing

Having fun sketching and sharing work between portfolio reviews!

Business Masterclass
Self-Promotion, Branding and Publishing Contracts

Start the day at 10:00 AM with Derek Brazell, Projects Manager Association of Illustrators.

Over a two hour session, Derek Brazell will guide you through building effective promotional campaigns for illustrators, covering digital and physical elements along with sourcing clients and commissioner-lead personal projects.

The break down for the first part of the morning on self-promotion and branding includes:

  • An introduction on Self-Promotion
  • Your online presence – how should I present my portfolio?
  • The commissioner’s journey – what are they looking for?
  • How to use Social Media for business effectively?
  • How to build a Client list.
  • Your branding across platforms.
  • How to integrate promotion as part of your business.
  • What does promoting yourself through an agent look like?

The second part of the morning will cover publishing contracts specifically looking at the main clauses in contracts that illustrators should pay attention to and what to challenge to make agreements favourable to illustrators.

Covered in this session:

  • Rights are granted to the publisher for a children’s book, and the scope of those rights,
  • Rejection & Cancellation clauses,
  • Moral rights and credits,
  • Advance payments, breaking down payments from publisher,
  • Royalties and discount royalties,
  • Subsidiary Rights, translation, USA, and merchandising,
  • Competing Works & Option clauses, and
  • Termination clauses.

At noon we will break for lunch. There are many great places to eat lunch around the House of Illustration. Coffee and Tea will be available all day with snacks available for break in the afternoon.

SCBWI’s Portfolio Intensive has been running for many years and enjoyed by illustrators who come away each time with new challenges and ideas for their artwork/portfolio presentation. The aim is to bring them closer and in many cases successfully into the world of children’s publishing.

Like last year, our Intensive will run in a speed dating format (10 – 15 minute slots) beginning with the reviewer chosen as first choice before the intensive.

Each illustrator will be able to see up to three of our reviewers who are always wonderful; a mix of art directors from well known publishing houses and commissioning agents. You will still have the opportunity to submit a priority list of who you wish to see first, second and third. Every effort will be made to assure you see your first choice, first.

Although the time with each reviewer will be less than it would in the usual format (and we will have to be strict with that or may all end up in a heap on one table) overall you will get more feedback and gain more insight into the needs of differing Publishing houses and what different agents look for. 
It will be fast and furious and a great deal of fun! Don’t forget to bring your sketchbook, postcards and business cards! We will be sketching each other between reviews or sharing art.

Photo above : Commissioning editor Emily Lamm, Hachette Childrens Books; Below left: Mark Mills, Plum Pudding Illustration, reviewers for the 2018 Portfolio Intensive.

A week before the Portfolio Reviews you will be contacted with information on portfolio content tips and on our illustrious reviewers. 

Do you need a few tips for your Portfolio? Read on!

  • Your artwork does the talking for you. It’s best and professional to keep the portfolio simple, neat, orderly and of a manageable size (9″ x 12″ or 11″ x 14″ are two great sizes.)
  • Include 10 – 15 of your strongest pieces of art.
  • Your portfolio can have more than one image on a page.
  • Be sure to include a leave-behind (such as a sample page or postcard that has all of your contact information) for the art director AND editor.
  • Showcase full color and black-and-white line/ halftone if you wish, but it’s best to separate them within the portfolio.

Within the illustrations that you are presenting, you should demonstrate some or all of the following:
    Terrific visualized ideas

    Emotions – Show the character in different moods. (i.e. laughing, hurting, etc.)
    Consistency of Character – As far as look and clothing, etc. Show your character from a variety of viewpoints.
    Action – Have your character do different activities and display them in different narrative settings.
    Storyline with Character – Develop a picture sequence in which you tell a visual story.
    Include type whenever possible as an example of your ability to interpret text and to design your images with type in mind.
  • Keep different styles separate (don’t intermix styles but they can be in the same portfolio)
    Note: you have to be GOOD at different styles, otherwise leave them out.

Some portfolio advice from Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Eric Rohmann:
“Put only your strongest work in the portfolio. If you want to illustrate books, then your samples should demonstrate your abilities to that end. Demonstrate your understanding of how narrative works in a picture book. Other things are obvious, but bear repeating – know your craft, have an interest and some knowledge of picture books, care about your audience.”