Advanced children's book illustration: professional practice

Course Dates: 10/10/23 - 18/06/24
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Interested in a career in Children’s Book Illustration, or advancing your practice to the next level? With the guidance and support of your tutors, you will have the opportunity to engage with experienced industry professionals, and develop your practice and personal visual vocabulary to a professional standard.

Confirmed visitors/speakers include:
- Rachel Petty, author/illustrator agent at the Blair Partnership, former editorial director Macmillan Children's Books,
- Margaret Hope, art director, Welbeck Publishing Group
- Arabella Stein, Managing Director, Bright Agency.
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Full fee £2,449.00 Senior fee £1,959.00 Concession £1,714.00

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Course Code: VK599

Tue, day, 10 Oct - 18 Jun '24

Duration: 30 sessions (over 37 weeks)

Before booking on this course, please register or log in to your account to complete a short online assessment. We need you to do this to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This is an advanced course designed to provide you with all the tools necessary to take the next steps in your journey as a Children’s Book Illustrator. Taught by dedicated professionals in the field, you will further build and tailor your portfolio and develop your own practice. With the support of your tutors, and within the broad guidelines of each module you’ll propose and develop a series of Children’s Book projects. You’ll share and discuss your work with other students in group critiques and participate in seminars.

What will we cover?

• Character development
• Research strategies
• Colour integration and palettes
• Layouts, design and text
• Visual narrative
• The process from manuscript to publication
• Who’s who in the industry
• Publicity and self-promotion
• Professional practice.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Develop consistent and durable characters
- Integrate narrative with palette
- Design thumbnails, spreads and dummies
- Understand the industry hierarchies and entry points
- Understand the process of children’s book publishing
- Present your work to industry professionals.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

As this is a professional practice course, entry will be by portfolio submission.
Ideally your application will contain examples of:
- Ideas - for characters, story, scenes or visual sequences
- Image making - character drawing and development, colour exploration, variety of media
- Presentation - final artwork that is arresting, well designed & consistent
- Project Development - indication of staged research, development and final artwork
- Evaluation - of own practice ie strengths, weaknesses and areas to develop

You will also need to have sufficient literacy, numeracy and ICT skills to include:
- reading: ability to use different texts to obtain and summarise information; detect opinion, meaning and respond to points made within a text.
- writing: use different styles, format and structure, formal and informal for different purposes or audiences; write confidently for your audience, with few errors.
- speaking/listening: ability to listen to information and respond appropriately; present information clearly and adapt verbal contributions to suit the audience and situation, including discussions.
- numeracy/maths: extract, interpret and create information from lists
- ICT (information and communication technology): use basic ICT systems.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Teaching methods include talks, presentations, visits from industry professionals, demonstrations, discussions, group work, Q&A. Outside of class, home study is essential to successfully complete this course.
As an additional (and optional) extra, we advise members of the group to visit the annual Bologna Children's Book Fair which takes place every spring (dates TBC). This would be at the expense of the individual student, although at least one member of the tutor team would attend. It would present an opportunity to engage with industry representatives from across the world, but non-attendance would not in any way affect assessment or the outcome of the course for any learner who was not able to travel.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Basic materials and Adobe CC software are provided onsite. Your tutors will advise you on the best choice of materials during the course. It is advisable to bring a USB drive if you don’t have cloud storage.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Suitable progression routes from this course may include other advanced City Lit courses, which your tutor will advise, as suits your individual interests and practice. As this is a professional practice course, however, the expectation is that your focus will be on professional/commercial practice in the industry.

In addition to our expanding range of advanced long courses, you will find a range of professional practice workshops in the school of Visual Arts, aimed at providing support, skills and context, and developing communities of practice. These workshops can be taken individually, according to need or interest, or as complementary components of a modular course, which you design for yourself; either way, they are there to provide you with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.

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Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.