I’ve Written a Children’s Story… Now What?

Children reading children books

I often get requests from people who have a collection of stories, or spent months writing a tale and are now unsure of what the next step is.

The first thing you need to do is, give your story to a child. Even if you do stick figures for the illustrations, or whatever, if the child doesn’t get it, then you know you need to go back to the drawing board. The second thing you need to decide is: do I want to publish through a publishing house, or do you want to self-publish?

Publishing Houses

If you want to publish through a publishing house then I suggest doing a bit of research on the internet as well as checking other children books that you think are similar to your own story and  see who they published with. Go to those publishing houses websites and see what their submission guidelines are (it’s usually somewhere on the website). Check if they take manuscripts from authors, or if they only accept through agents. If you want to be published in the UK and USA – most of these publishing houses only take from agents. Here in South Africa, however, they are usually open to accepting straight from the author. If you are interested in getting an agent, then I suggest doing a bit of research in this area. Check who other authors are using, compile a list and then submit to them. Continue Reading

Creative Workshop & Doodle Book

Interview Paddy

On the 28th of August I will be holding my Creative Workshop, where we will be playing with doodles, before getting lost in the world of clay.
In unrelated news, Marleen visser (AKA Paddy), has recently launched her doodle books for adults. She has so far created two of these amazing books with her publisher and is in the process of designing her third. Continue Reading

Kirstenbosch Winter Wonderland – An awesome day!

Kirstenbosch Winter Wonderland

Birds can’t fly in Winter. I have never seen one fly.

I arrived at Kirstenbosch at about 9:30 in the morning. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I arrived at about 8:30 and drank a hot chocolate in the car, while writing for an hour before grabbing my kit and heading inside the bookshop at 9:30. I was greet by the Kirstenbosch Bookstore team – Mark and Greg. They offered me a coffee while I wait and I headed into the kiddies area.

I was so impressed with Kirstenbosch. There were mini chairs and a lovely table display of Katya Cat books, along with the Kirstenbosch trade mark – a gorgeous vase with proteas. Julia Richman, the author, arrived with her book as well as Belinda, from Penguin Random House. Belinda was carrying under her arm a flip-chart for me to use while I illustrate. With a wink, she informed me she ‘borrowed’ it from the CEO’s office. I couldn’t have been more pleased. I was going to use the CEO of one of the best publishing companies in South Africa (and the world!) to illustrate Katya’s characters. What a treat! Continue Reading

Book for Illustrators: The Art of the Croods

book reviews for illustrators and writers

Author: Dreamworks
ISBN: 9781781164112

As most illustrators, I am always on the look out for books that will show me something new and thought it would be a good idea to share my findings and my top books. Please feel free to make your own suggestions and share in the comments.

The Croods Book Cover
The Croods Book Cover

I have just discovered this world of movie books. Why aren’t more people talking about this in the illustrating industry? After stumbling a blog post on a review of another “art of <insert any amazing animation movie>” I quickly started searching to see what was out there. You know what I found? A lot. My wishlist on Readers Warehouse just skyrocket back up to 22 (only because they don’t stock the others books… and there are a lot).

Out of the top movies I really enjoyed the style, The Croods were listed as one of the best Art Books to invest in. There is art on every page of this book – and it is colourful, detailed and the compositions are amazing. I really learnt a lot from this book in terms of style and inspiration. There are also several pages that ‘flap out’ to reveal 4 page spreads of beauty.

As some of you know, I really enjoy the animal/creature side of things, and this book had some great mash-ups and styles. The movie had a few amount as well, but this book has everything that they couldn’t fit in the movie, including a zebra elephant, a Dodo rat, Quail frog and ostrich turtle. Who comes up with this stuff? Continue Reading