Write your very own unique children’s picture book!

My Kid Book Pitch starts Monday, 24th October – sign up now!

Course dates: May 23 - Jun 27, 2022

Illustrating Children’s Books 2022

£399 / $454 (approximate)

In five weeks, you’ll create a brilliant children’s book pitch to help you land your dream children’s book gig. You’ll get videos, weekly assignments, live weekly video reviews, interviews with publishers and illustrators and more. Co-taught by top art agent Lilla Rogers and highly-respected children’s book art director Zoë Tucker, you’ll get insider knowledge and hints and tips  from the experts.

Serious about a career in children’s book illustration? Want to start landing illustration jobs? Sign up for our popular Illustrating Children’s Book course and boost your portfolio!

Want more info? Just scroll down to find out more about this bestselling course!

*USD values are approximate

Overview

 

Top art agent Lilla Rogers and highly regarded children’s book art director Zoë Tucker provide everything you need to launch your children’s book illustration career or bring it to the next level. Through this step-by-step, supportive and engaging five-week online course, they will help you create a brilliant pitch and also give you all the tools, insight, and advice you need to succeed.

 

Illustration by MATS student Ana Berger

Image by MATS student Ana Berger

You’ll get:

  • Zoom Live broadcasts from class!
  • Your choice of one of three carefully-chosen texts for you to illustrate. This will give you a structure for the course, and allow you to dive in instantly.
  • Fifteen in-depth videos with Lilla and Zoë on every aspect of the creating and pitching of your children’s book, growing your creative business, and Lilla’s art technique demonstrations
  • Interviews with top art directors and successful illustrators. We ask them everything you want to know.
  • Lilla’s inimitable style of teaching which will motivate you to create your best work in your own unique style
  • Access to Zoë’s many years of experience working with artists on some of the most successful children’s books on the market
  • Carefully structured weekly assignments that build your pitch in a highly effective step-by-step approach
  • Fun downloadables to hone your skills, style, and commercial potential
  • A ton of bonus content on pacing, trends, what Art Directors look for in a character and more

By the end of the course, you will have your own distinctive pitch presentation ready to send to clients (which includes character sheets, a gorgeous double-page spread and a show-stopping front cover, based on a text provided in class).

You will also have all the insider knowledge you need to identify and approach clients and then work with them in a professional way once you have secured the gig. And you will do all of this in the company of other like-minded artists from around the world in our supportive class community.

Double spread page by student Fay Ford

Double spread page by student Fay Ford

Why have we created this course?

Because sales of children’s books are booming! Revenue from children’s books sales  is booming , consistently hitting over $2 billion according to the Association of American Publishers. Even in this digital age, consumers want the high-touch experience of an actual book. Art directors are on the lookout for artists!

We know that artists love illustrating children’s books. It’s magical to sink into a project for months, creating their own signature characters and world.

Zoë and Lilla have each had great success in this area and were excited to develop a course together. Both of them regularly work with artists and so they understand how to get the best out of creative people. Together they will give you everything you need to get work in this lucrative and creatively rich area, branding yourself in your own style.

Double spread page by student Katy Halford

Double spread page by student Katy Halford

Lilla says, “We wanted to teach a children’s book course because picture books texts are so rich emotionally and visually, plus they offer opportunities for a multitude of artists’ styles, from witty to painterly to graphic.”

As an agent and art director, they know what art directors want! Lilla has assigned tons of children’s book commissions with top international publishers to the artists she represents, and Zoë has worked with some of the top illustrators in the business today. So they know exactly what art directors look for. They have created a course that will you everything that art directors seek from a children’s book illustrator, including:

  • Drawing compelling (and consistent!) characters in your style
  • Showing characters in action
  • Using accessories, colors, and props to help tell the story
  • Designing a world that enhances the reader’s experience
  • Illustrate character emotions in fresh ways
  • Understanding the role of pacing to engage the reader to turn the page
  • Using hand-lettering as a key part of the visual appeal of the book
  • Using color to enrich the emotional experience

Double spread page by student Petra Hämmerleinova

Double spread page by student Petra Hämmerleinova

MATS: Illustrating Children’s Books will give you ALL of these tools and skills, as well as showing you how to pitch your work to art directors to land that dream illustration gig. It’s all here for you, ready to help you launch or supercharge your career as a children’s book illustrator.

Not only will you learn how to create a fantastic children’s book pitch, but you’ll have learned a ton about the process itself so when you land your children’s book gig, you will have the tools to actually do a great job!

Front cover by student Marusha Belle - Illustrating Children's Books

Front cover by student Marusha Belle

You’ll create a complete pitch presentation ready to send to publishers and art directors, including a front cover and more!

Contents

Do you dream of illustrating a children’s book? Would you love to create a magical world with characters that you’ve designed? Do you love the magic of children’s books and feel that you have something to offer? Then this course is for you.

Lilla says: “We’ve created a course that breaks down the process into totally manageable chunks so that you can focus on having fun creating your very best work. I know you’ll be surprised at how much progress you make over the course of the 5 weeks. I’ve seen it over and over in my courses”.

Illustration by MATS student Allistair Burt  - Make Art That Sells

Illustration by MATS student Allistair Burt 

To get you started, right off the bat, you’ll select one of the three texts provided in class, to illustrate over the five weeks. This way, you don’t need to waste time hunting around for some text to illustrate!

To make it really easy for you, we’ll provide a guide to selecting which text is right for you. It’s based on your personality and art style. Next, you’ll get guidance on how to analyze your text, so that you have a deeper understanding of it—its characters, the world, the motivations, secondary characters, the visuals that you could draw, and more. You’ll get to know and love your main character and its world. And this is even before day one of the course!

Then, we’re ready to begin. We’ve broken the course down into five themes, one per week. Even though we cram the course full, we make it unintimidating and as easy as possible for you to learn and succeed.

Illustrations by MATS student Katie Mazeika - Ada Lovelace

Illustrations by MATS student Katie Mazeika (above and below)

Your assignments are based upon what you learn each week, which is:

Week 1: Character

Including:

  • How to develop your own fabulous character in your own style
  • The secret tool of using accessories to illustrate your character’s personality
  • What art directors look for in a character. How to draw a character in any style

Week 2: Emotions

  • How to illustrate emotions through facial expressions
  • Tricks to show expressions using the eyes and eyebrows
  • How to make the reader connect

Week 3: Poses

  • Tricks and techniques to illustrate your character in a variety of poses, for those who can draw the figure well to those that have a less literal style
  • How to keep your character consistent throughout the book
  • Supporting characters
  • Pacing your story so that the reader is eager to turn the page

Week 4: Environment

  • How to design a special world for your character
  • How to use color and props in the scene to enhance the mood of the page
  • Use of different media to enhance the environment

Week 5: The Cover

  • How to use lettering to rock your cover
  • What must go on your cover
  • Top tips for designing a cover that sells

Double page spread by MATS student Kirsti Davidson

Double page spread by MATS student Kirsti Davidson

How will you learn all of this awesomeness?

  • We’ll teach you through videos, written posts, hundreds of images and a host of gorgeous worksheets
  • Interviews with top artists and art directors will offer even more insights
  • Your private Facebook group will be a source of support from like-minded students
  • The weekly art review video with Zoë and Lilla will be a chance to learn in real time from work chosen that week
  • You’ll be able to submit your own questions to Lilla and Zoë each week

The course has been designed to give you everything you need to launch (or supercharge) your career as a children’s book illustrator with more than 20 videos including:

  • ILLUSTRATION covering each aspect of illustrating for children’s books, with supporting tips, advice and a ton of visual reference sure to inspire you (x5 in-depth video lessons with Zoë and Lilla)
  • PITCHING covering an overview of the industry, how to present and pitch your work, and how to work with clients once you have landed the gig (x5 in-depth video lessons with Zoë and Lilla)
  • ADVICE FROM LILLA covering hot topics for artists looking to grow their creative business (x5 pep talks from Lilla)
  • FUN ART TECHNIQUE VIDEOS covering a variety of techniques to freshen up your work (x5 videos with Lilla)

 

Artwork by MATS student Katherine Quinn

You will also get:

  • Three different texts to work from (you will choose one for the class but can use the additional two for future development work)
  • Five mini assignments and main assignments per week
  • Weekly video reviews by Lilla and Zoë featuring a selection of classwork—many students say that this is the highlight of each week—loaded with even more tips and pointers
  • A set of technical notes about how books are created, to give you savvy when working with an art director
  • A series of ‘Art Director’s Cheat Sheets’ giving you vital info on how to impress an art director
  • Access to interviews with leading industry professionals—we ask them everything you want to know
  • Brand building and marketing top tips
  • The opportunity to ask Zoë Tucker and Lilla Rogers anything you like during the five weeks of class
  • Access to a private community of like-minded artists who are on the same journey as you are
  • Daily sketchbook prompts to encourage you to strengthen your drawing ability and range of subjects matter
  • A host of bonus content, from drawing games to tips, worksheets and checklists to help you progress

By the end of the course, you will have a full pitch presentation ready to send to clients, including a character page, a double-page spread, and a front cover, based on a text provided in class.

Full page spread by MATS student David Partington

The highlight of each week is the big assignment. First, Lilla and Zoë ease you in with a mini assignment each Monday, which is simply a fun and unintimidating warm-up, and then you build on that when you get the main assignment each Wednesday. Your deadline for the art is Sunday. Deadlines are a powerful thing! They are your friends! They get you to make art in the allotted time. The weekly reviews are the added incentive to submit your work by Sunday—you might be selected for the review which airs a few days later!

Some of the topics we cover:

  • How to woo an art director
  • Whose door to knock on and what to put in your email
  • Having the guts to send your pitch
  • What art directors look for in characters
  • Trends in children’s book publishing
  • Industry lingo
  • A reading list of inspiring children’s books
  • What to do if you don’t connect with the manuscript
  • Do you need an agent?
  • A brief analysis of hand lettering
  • How to build your profile as a children’s book illustrator
  • Illustrating your own children’s book
  • All about your website
  • Social media for children’s book illustrators
  • Contracts and finance

Set over 5 weeks this portfolio-boosting class is filled with assignments, tips and hints to get you to produce your best work.  The classroom remains open for 6 months after the class ends to give you plenty of time  to work through all three exclusive texts.

FAQs

Full page spread by student Cass Urquhart

Full page spread by student Cass Urquhart

If you have a question about Make Art That Sells please check these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) first. If you do not find an answer to your question here please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Q. I’ve never taken an online class before. How does it work? Do I need to be at my computer at a certain time?

A: The e-course takes place in a gorgeously designed password-protected private classroom right here on this site. There is a separate classroom for each course, divided into lessons. Over the course of the five weeks, while the class is live, lessons will be made available throughout the live period of the course. You can tick off each class as you complete it to keep track of your progress.

The main creative assignment will be set each Wednesday, with a submission deadline of Sunday if you want your work to be seen by Lilla and Zoë. A critique/feedback session will then be shared in the classroom the following week, highlighting work from several members of class. (Don’t be scared! This is an awesome opportunity to get your work in front of one of the world’s top art agents AND a renowned children’s book art director – and we are talking about real world how-to-get-your-work-sold valuable and confidence-building critique, not soul-destroying art school critique! We are all about positive feedback.)

The beauty of an online course is that you can check in whenever you like and do not need to be online at a specific time as the content will be available 24/7, so it does not matter what time zone you are in. You can log on every day if you choose, or set aside some time once or twice a week to work through it. There will also be a private Facebook group where you can connect with others and share images of your work.

The written content in the class will be downloadable and you will have access to the classroom for six months after the end of class so you have plenty of time to go back through everything at your own pace. The Facebook group will remain open indefinitely.

Q. What format is the class taught in?

A: The class is taught using video, written posts and a huge amount of imagery. Everything is made available in a bespoke, password-protected private classroom. There are weekly assignments as well as a handful of additional creative exercises in the course. The big event is the weekly LIVE review, where teachers Lilla and Zoë will review a number of the artwork submitted – maybe yours! – as well as sharing their tips and insight, and when you’ll also be able to add comments and ask questions.

Q: Do I need to have a drawing tablet or be able to create digital illustrations for this course? 

A: You don’t need any special software or equipment for this course. Our students use all kinds of different methods: some are strictly digital, others are traditional artists, and lots are in between. Any method you want to use to create your illustrations is fine!

Q: It says the class is live, but can I still do it at my own pace?

A: Yes! There are lots of live elements in our live courses (live reviews, Facebook lives, etc),  but all of it is saved and made available in the classroom. You have access to all live course materials for six months after the end of the course. You do not have to be online at a particular time, unless you want to see the Facebook Lives or other live events while they are being broadcast. All live content will be saved and posted in the classrooms shortly after each live session, so you can watch each replay if you missed it, or even watch the video/live content multiple times if you’d like. Once the lessons are published in the live classes, you can revisit and complete the course content at your own pace.

Q: Does this course teach me how to illustrate my own children’s book (i.e. one that I have written)?

A: Yes. The course is primarily focused on illustrating manuscripts by other authors, but we do cover the illustration of your own manuscript, and compare traditional publishing vs self-publishing routes. If you have still to write your children’s book, be sure to check out our course, My Kid Book Pitch: Create a Children’s Book Pitch Only You Can Write, which will help you come up with a memorable character and unique concept that an art director will love.

Q: Do I need to draw realistically?

A: You can draw in any style! This course embraces a multitude of styles including:

  • Traditional, realistic styles
  • Graphic, vector art styles
  • Kooky styles
  • Sophisticated, moody, painterly styles
  • Those that can draw realistically
  • Those that can draw quirky characters non-realistically

Remember, art directors are looking for a huge variety of styles to match with their author’s manuscripts, so come as you are! There’s room for everyone. Plus, your drawing skills will improve over the five weeks, and beyond.

Q: What if I can’t draw people?

A: No problem! Some of the most amazing children’s books don’t even include illustrations of human characters – some books feature animals, made up creatures, and even anthropomorphized objects! Here’s the key to a great character, whether it’s a girl, a bird or a stick: it’s about capturing personality.

We offer three different texts to work from, featuring different kinds of main characters, bearing in mind that some folks don’t like to draw people. (That said, you’ll learn some easy and effective techniques for drawing people – you may just surprise yourself.)

And by the way, Lilla has written a piece in the course that breaks down how easy it is to draw a character, with an easy trick to make your character look young.

If you’d like to increase your confidence around drawing faces, have a look at Lilla’s mini self-paced course, Lilla’s Art Recipes: Drawing Faces.

Q: What if I can draw people and have actually illustrated children’s books? Will I learn anything new?

A: We promise that between Zoë and Lilla and all your new classmates, you’ll be exposed to many different perspectives and have lots of light bulb moments. Plus, the reviews are real-time videos that discuss the work being done for class, so that’s another opportunity to learn what both an agent and art director think about the work being done for the course. And of course, it’s an amazing opportunity to get your work noticed by art agent Lilla, who is always looking to scoop up new talent from class (did you know that all 20 artists taken on by Lilla Rogers Studio since Make Art That Sells was founded in 2013 have been Make Art That Sells students?).

Q: Can I access Make Art That Sells courses from any device?  

A: Yes, you can access Make Art That Sells courses from any device once registered, but we strongly recommend viewing our courses on a desktop or laptop for the best user experience. We pack lots of information and visuals into our courses and they are best viewed on larger screens.

Q. Can I ask questions to Lilla and Zoë during the course?

A. Yes, you will be able to ask Lilla and Zoë anything you like during the five weeks of class. Don’t forget to tune in for their Zoom Lives!

Q. Can I get feedback from Lilla and Zoë on my work?

A: Lilla and Zoë will view every single piece of work submitted to the private community area in response to the main weekly assignments. Each week they will pick several submissions to review, based on which offer the best learning opportunities for everyone in class. These reviews will be videoed and shared in class. Please note that we do not guarantee that your work will appear in the weekly review, and you will still learn a huge amount even if your art isn’t featured.

Q. How hard is the course?

A: Lilla and Zoë are both gifted teachers and have broken down the assignments into clear steps to help you create great art without getting overwhelmed. However, please know that this course is aimed at working artists or those who are comfortable drawing.  It is not a beginner’s art course.

Q. How much time will the class take?

A: The more time and energy you invest, the faster you will see results. The content varies from day to day but you will probably need around 20-30 minutes per day for the lessons, then an additional hour or two for the mini exercise and anything from 3-6 hours for the main weekly assignment, depending on how much effort you choose to put into it. It really is up to you. We encourage you to plan to spend at least six hours a week on the course (and hopefully more!), at whatever time suits you. There is a huge amount of information and inspiration packed into this course, and you should be prepared for an intensive learning experience!

Q. Does it matter what order I take the courses in?

Make Art That Sells courses can be taken in any order. You can take each course individually – or take them all to put a rocket under your creative career.

Q. How do I choose which course is right for me?

A: It really depends on what you are looking to learn.

  • If you want to know what art directors look for in the top ten art markets and how to go about creating work they might buy… you want Hot Markets for Your Art Part A and Part B.
  • If you want to know how to pitch ideas for entire product collections for the lucrative home décor market, to sell MORE of your work to each client, you want Creating Collections for Home Décor.
  • If you want to create a stunning children’s book illustration pitch that includes everything an agent or art director will want to see, you want this course.
  • If you just want to have assignments to stretch you creatively and build your portfolio, you want Assignment Bootcamp: Portfolio.
  • If you want to create your own unique children’s book pitch, you need My Kid Book Pitch.
  • Please note, if you want the opportunity to put questions to Lilla and have the possibility of having your work reviewed, you want to sign up for one of our live courses – in 2022. If you are happy just to have the chance to get your work featured in an online gallery and get support from your creative peers and have a smaller budget available, you want Assignment Bootcamp: Portfolio or Bootcamp Special: Character Play.

Q. How intense are the courses?

Live Make Art That Sells courses are intensive and the length of each course varies. Our self-paced courses offer a huge amount of learning and growth, but can be taken at a pace to suit you and your schedule.

Q. I will be away for some of the time the class is running. Does this matter?

A: Illustrating Children’s Books is an intensive class, so ideally you would want to check in at least weekly. However, you should be able to catch up if you are away for a week or less at a time. If you want to make the most of the opportunity to have Lilla and Zoë view and possibly critique your work, we would encourage you to schedule in time to complete the weekly assignments within the week they are assigned. (Assignments are given on Wednesdays for submission by Sunday of the same week.)

Q. Do I need any special materials?

A: The course looks at art using a variety of media. We really encourage you to try new things, so it is up to you. Just get out your favorite art supplies! You will need a computer to view the course and a scanner or phone to take a photo of your art so you can upload it to the class gallery (optional).

Q. Do I need any special software?

A: As with the other MATS courses, it is possible to complete the entire  course using traditional techniques (painting, drawing, etc.) but if you wish to complete and submit the assignments digitally you will need at least a basic knowledge of Photoshop and/or Illustrator. You will need to be able to scan in or photograph your assignments if you want to upload them to the gallery or share in the Facebook group.

Please note this is not a Photoshop/Illustrator instruction class. If you want to get more familiar with these programmes before starting the class we would recommend Skillshare or The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.

Q. I am not a digital artist. Is this course for me?

A: All of the assignments given in the course are suitable for both traditional and digital artists to interpret in their own way.

Q. Will I be able to communicate with others in the class?

Yes, you will be able to communicate via the private Facebook group provided (where you can also share images of your work). This will be a great chance to connect with other artists and designers, get different perspectives and share your work.

Q. Will the class material be available after the class has ended?

A: Yes, you will have access to the classroom for six months after the class has ended. The written class content can be downloaded from class. The Facebook group will remain available to you indefinitely.

Q. Is this an art class or a business class?

A: It is both, but it is not a basic technique class. The course focuses on giving you the insider view on what you need to do when creating your art to make it more commercially viable while still being uniquely YOU. It includes a weekly assignment and additional mini creative exercises, so there is a strong creative element to it, but it also looks at the industry in-depth and gives business insight there. The goal is to create a portfolio piece every week.

Q. When is the class?

A: May 23 – June 27, 2022.

Q. How much is it and how do I register?

A: Illustrating Children’s Books is £399, which is approximately USD $521. Please note this approximate $ equivalent is given for reference only. When paying by Paypal, you will be charged in your local currency at the prevailing Paypal exchange rate.

Depending on your country of residence you may also be charged sales tax on checkout. This will automatically be calculated when you register.

Click “Add to cart” to register. If a course is not yet on sale, join the waiting list and we will be in touch to let you know when the course is on sale. Please note that joining the waiting list does not guarantee or oblige you to take a place on the course.

Q. I see the prices are given in GBP (British pounds). Can I pay in another currency?

A: Yes, Paypal accepts most currencies. All class fees are charged in GBP (British pounds), and this will be the amount which shows up in your Paypal transaction, but you will automatically be charged in your local currency at the prevailing Paypal exchange rate valid at the point you sign up – so if you have a USD$ bank account the funds will be removed in USD$.

Q. What payment methods do you accept?

We process all our payments with Paypal, a safe and secure way of sending money online. If you do not have a Paypal account you can sign in as a Paypal guest and pay via credit or debit card. All class fees are in GBP (British pounds) but you will automatically be charged in your local currency at the prevailing Paypal exchange rate valid at the point you sign up.

Q. I don’t live in the USA. Is this course relevant for me?

A: Lilla Rogers represents artists internationally and has clients worldwide. Although the main buyers for art in the markets covered are in the US, much of the content is relevant for you wherever in the world you are, especially if you are interested in selling your work internationally. And because everything is made available to you online, it does not matter what time zone you are in.

Q. How is this course different from Lilla’s book?

A: Lilla’s book ‘I Just Like To Make Things’ is a fantastic resource and is highly recommended as a companion to the e-course. Being spiral bound you can draw and journal in it. Full of annotated visuals, it provides insights into a variety of art and craft markets. However, this course goes into much more depth about exactly what art directors are looking for when looking for children’s book illustrators and takes you step-by-step through building a strong pitch to showcase your work. It also provides new and exclusive interviews with key market experts and gives you the opportunity to get your art in front of Lilla as well as become part of a community. Perhaps most importantly you have the chance to put your questions to Lilla and Zoë when the course is live.

Q. How is this course different to a college course?

A: As an art agent and art director respectively, Lilla and Zoë see exactly what art sells and what doesn’t sell, and know what clients are looking for and how to present work to them. The course is based on many years of experience in the industry, and a clear understanding of where the gaps are.

As an online course, you can ‘attend’ from the comfort of your own home or studio, anywhere in the world, and the private classroom is open 24/7 so you can make it work around your life.

Your Teachers

Lilla Rogers & Zoe Tucker - make Art That Sells

LILLA ROGERS, Founder, LILLA ROGERS STUDIO

Lilla is one of the most successful illustration agents in the in the world, managing the careers of over 35 high-caliber artists whose works you’ve undoubtedly seen in children’s books, magazines, greeting cards, and on scads of deliciously designed goods from bed linens and tote bags to journals and wall art. Lilla has sold art for products and ad campaigns worth over $200 million, and has clients all over the globe. Find out more about Lilla here.

ZOË TUCKER, children’s book ART DIRECTOR and author

Zoë Tucker has worked in children’s book publishing for nearly two decades, starting with Random House, and working across the list from baby books right up to Young Adult. Her books have won numerous awards and she has worked with Penguin UK (Puffin Imprint), and Scholastic UK (Alison Green imprint). She has also recently published two children’s picture books, both of which she wrote as texts for this course.

In the last decade, Zoë has worked closely with award-winning publisher Alison Green to deliver some of the best-loved children’s books on the market, from some of the most talented illustrators working today.

Zoë is now a freelance art director and consultant for production and animation companies including Magic Light (who made the Gruffalo and Stick Man animations) and Dog Ears Ltd. She also designs and art directs for Hodder and Quarto, and consults for the highly original ‘Lost My Name’ which was featured on Dragon’s Den and hails a new type of personalised book publishing.

Zoë says, It’s hard to pinpoint one book in particular that I’m most proud of working on, because I’ve worked on so many! It’s a huge privilege to work with Axel Scheffler, and to be the art director on his books with Julia Donaldson. Their award-winning books are loved the world over and it’s nice to know that I’m part of that creative process, and inspiring young children (including Prince George and Princess Charlotte!). 

I’m also really inspired when I work with brand new artists, people like Lizzy Stewart and Nick Frith. Watching them grow and develop through the process of making a picture book is always a pleasure – plus they’re both super hip and contemporary!

Helen Stephens is my hero! Her work is beautiful, straddling a modern world with a nostalgic style. She has a good sense of humour and an amazing work ethic and most of all she challenges me all the time. She responds to my comments but always pulls a blinder with something better!

During my time with Puffin books I worked on many of Roald Dahl picture books and treasuries. This gave me the chance to commission Quentin Blake –  a treat! I also worked very closely with Jan Pienkowski too, who is most known for his Meg and Mog series. I grew up with these books, so having the opportunity to hang out with the man himself was fun. I used to go to his house every Tuesday afternoon for lunch and a bit of time working on new projects. He’s had an amazing career and taught me a lot. Plus he had fabulous chickens in the garden, big bantam hens with fluffy trousers.”

Ada Lovelace & Grete and the Giants Book Covers

Co-teacher Zoë Tucker is the author of two picture books, both published in 2019 and both of which were originally written as class texts.  Ada and the Number-Crunching Machine was illustrated by a MATS student after she showed work done in class to a publisher.
In September 2019, Zoë’s first book, Ada and the Number Crunching Machine was published by  NorthSouth Books.  Zoë wrote the text for Illustrating Children’s Books, and one of our students, Rachel Katstaller, took the work that she did in class to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, where it was picked up by the publisher: read more here.
Zoë’s second book, Greta and the Giants,  also based on a text she wrote for class, was published in November 2019.

Is This Course For Me?

Full page spread by student Sheila Keegan

Full page spread by student Sheila Keegan.

This course is a complete game changer. It will set you apart from other artists, teaching you how to pitch sophisticated and professional presentations that will capture the attention of children’s book art directors. Here’s why you should take the course.

MATS: Illustrating Children’s Books is for you if…

  • You love the children’s book illustration market and would love to illustrate your own children’s book
  • You are serious about building your art career and ready to make professional presentations to top clients
  • You really, really want an intensive course that is going to teach you a massive amount, inspire you, and help you grow to your fullest
  • You have never illustrated children’s books before and want to learn everything you can.
  • You are an established children’s book illustrator and want to push your style to the next level with motivating art assignments
  • You are already a working artist and are looking to expand your income potential in a new market
  • You would describe yourself as an artist, illustrator, painter, mixed media artist, graphic designer, surface pattern designer, fabric designer or just someone who loves to draw
  • You want to learn more about growing your art business and marketing your work
  • You want to know how to pitch your work to give it the greatest chance of selling to a book publisher
  • You are willing to listen to advice and act on it
  • You have a basic knowledge of Photoshop and/or Illustrator
  • You are ready to invest time and energy into your creative career
  • You are prepared to push yourself outside of your creative comfort zone
  • You struggle with procrastination and want the structure and deadlines of a live course
  • You like the fun and energy of live e-courses and the motivation it gives you
  • You want to be part of a supportive creative community of fellow artists and designers

*Please note this course is a fantastic follow-up from MATS A/B/Bootcamp/Creating Collections for Home Décor, but they are not pre-requisites. The MATS courses can be taken in any order.

This is not for you if…

  • You are a complete beginner or are looking for strictly an art technique class. There are hundreds of fabulous creative courses out there – please have fun exploring and then come back to us when you are ready!
  • You are looking for technical tutorials in Photoshop and/or Illustrator
  • You are fixated on one medium/way of doing things and are not willing to grow
  • You are not interested in learning from others or receiving supportive feedback

Success Stories

We are so proud of our amazing alumni. These are just a few recent success stories from those who have taken our Illustrating Children’s Books class – read more here.

Maruga Koops

Maruga has taken plenty of Make Art That Sells courses, including Illustrating Children’s Books twice. She’s recently landed her first children’s book illustration deal AND gotten representation with art agent Lilla Rogers after Lilla saw her art in class!

Maruga with book
Maruga with a copy of the book she illustrated. She landed the deal shortly after finishing Illustrating Children’s Books, and shortly after that she was offered representation by Lilla Rogers after Lilla discovered her in class!

Shortly after finishing Illustrating Children’s Books for the second time, Maruga was contacted by a Belgian publisher, Clavis, who asked if she wanted to do a book project with them.

Maruga says: “They were looking for an illustrator with a lot of diversity in the illustrations and they really liked my kid book work.” The importance of including diverse characters in children’s books is something that we focus on in Illustrating Children’s Books.

Maruga spread

Full page spread from Hiep Hiep Hoeree, illustrated by Maruga. 

Maruga adds: “This would not have been possible without the amazing advice, reviews and valuable information I got from both the Illustrating Children’s Books courses I did. I really want to thank Lilla and Zoë for all their valuable lessons and guidance.”

And that’s not all! Shortly after landing her first children’s book illustration gig, Maruga was contacted by art agent Lilla Rogers, who offered her representation: read more here. Maruga is one of EIGHT Make Art That Sells students that Lilla took on in 2021, and she’s still looking for more artists to represent: maybe you’ll be next!

See more of Maruga’s art on her website and Instagram.

Sirjana Kaur

Sirjana got invited to pitch for a children’s book illustration gig and landed work with Cartoon Network, all based on art she created for Make Art That Sells!

sirjana kaur student success

Sirjana’s character sheet for Illustrating Children’s Books, which the publisher mentioned when they contacted her (left), and one of the sample illustrations she created for the brief (right).

Sirjana says: “A publisher got in touch with me in November to illustrate a sample pitch for a story they were developing about a girl who saw herself as a princess. They sent me the character sheet that I created for my first ever Make Art That Sells class as they really loved that character. Before starting the work, I went back to my Illustrating Children’s Books class and searched for the video where Zoë shared two sample pitches with us. That really helped me understand the structure and the amount of work needed.”

sirjana kaur icb

Sirjana’s full page spread for her second Illustrating Children’s Books course.

And that’s not all! Sirjana adds: “Shortly afterwards, I was contacted by Cartoon Network to do some character design freelance for a show currently in development. During the briefing, they mentioned the art which I created for a #MATSprep assignment for My Toy Pitch. This is definitely my dream job and I’m so thankful to you folks and your cracker assignments!”

Sirjana Kaur MTP prep

Sirjana created this art for a FREE #MATSprep assignment for My Toy Pitch. She shared it on Instagram, where it was spotted by Cartoon Network, who then asked her to do some freelance character design.

See more of Sirjana’s work on her Instagram and website.

Kayt Bochenski

Kayt was approached by England footballer Jamie Vardy and his wife Rebekah to illustrate their book, Cedric the Little Sloth with a Big Dream, after they spotted art she’d created for Illustrating Children’s Books on Instagram.

Kayt Bochenski

Art by Make Art That Sells student Kayt Bochenski for Cedric the Little Sloth by Rebekah and Jamie Vardy.

Kayt says: “It’s a really lovely story about a sloth who wants to play football. I used all the wonderful character development skills that l learnt in Illustrating Children’s Books last year to create Cedric the Sloth, and loved every moment of it. I have worked as a designer for a long time now, developing and art directing books with lots of wonderful illustrators, and have always wished that one day I could be on the side, illustrating the books myself. It’s finally happened and I really hope that I get to do it again, and again, and again. THANK YOU Lilla and Zoë!”

Bochenski

Rebekah and Jamie Vardy’s children enjoying Cedric. No one is crying or fighting, and their pajamas have no food stains on them, so it is possible that these children aren’t real.

Kayt adds: “It was all down to someone seeing my Mr Tibbles characters on my Instagram, so get your stuff out there and keep believing in yourselves!”

Kayt Bochenski Mr T

Kayt was approached to illustrate the book after showing some of the art she created for Illustrating Children’s Books on Instagram.

See more of Kayt’s art on her website and Instagram.

Cornelia Pompsch

CORNELIA POMPSCH CHARACTER 1

Make Art That Sells student Cornelia created this character for Illustrating Children’s Books and shared it on Instagram, where it was spotted by German publisher Jupitermond Publishing.

Cornelia took Illustrating Children’s Books in 2021, when she chose to illustrate The Night Lights, written exclusively for the course by Make Art That Sells teacher, children’s book art director and picture book author, Zoë Tucker.

It turned out to be an excellent choice! Cornelia explains: “A publisher noticed my Lampy character on instagram and I’m now illustrating a whole children’s book with a cute little firefly! It’s a wonderful story that shows that no one should let gender stereotypes hold them back from their dreams.”

pompsch

The front cover and main character Rosalie from Make Art That Sells student Cornelia’s first book.

Cornelia adds: “I’m so excited, it’s my first children‘s book and I’m so grateful. I’ve learned so much in this class and met so many great people. Thank you for your help and support and thanks to Lilla Rogers and Zoe Tucker for this amazing class!

See more of Cornelia’s art on her website and Instagram.

Natallia Bushuyeva

Natallia Bushuyeva

Natallia with her first chilren’s book, Bang voor de grote wolf.

We’re delighted that Natallia’s first children’s book, Bang voor de grote wolf, was published by Clavis Publishing in autumn 2021.

Natallia told us: “I took My Year of Art School in 2018 and 2019. The most important part for me was Illustrating Children’s Books, which I took four times. This course helped me to realize my dream to become a children’s book illustrator. This incredible experience opened doors for me in the children’s book industry. My first book was published last year and the other one is coming soon. The knowledge I got in these classes was very deep, contemporary, and intensive. Illustrating Children’s Books became an essential manual in my new profession. Plus, there was a very friendly supportive environment among students. Here I made new friends and we still communicate after my studies are finished.”

See more of Natallia’s art on her website and Instagram.

Terms and Conditions

By registering for any of the Make Art That Sells classes, please be aware you are agreeing to the following Terms & Conditions:

  • You acknowledge that your work will only get viewed by Lilla in Illustrating Children’s Books if you submit it as directed by the Sunday of each week when the class is live. You also acknowledge that although Lilla will view every piece of work submitted and provide general feedback to class, only a handful of pieces will be chosen each week for specific critique (which will be shared with the class), and there is no guarantee that you will receive personal critique from Lilla during the course.
  • If you submit any work in class and it is selected for review, you give permission for that critique (including your images) to be shared with the rest of the class in any format.
  • You agree that Make Art That Sells may give permission to select art directors to view the finished works submitted for critique in any MATS class. Should they be interested in working with you, Make Art That Sells will put you in contact and you can continue your discussions directly.
  • You give permission for Make Art That Sells to use any images you submit for critique in any class or share in the class community area, to be included in any future class-related marketing or promotional strategies, online or offline. You will always be credited and will retain the rights to your work.
  • You agree to the class Ground Rules which are as follows: (i) Stay open (ii) Be positive (iii) No negative critique of others (iv) No excuses are necessary. If you miss a deadline for submitting your assignment that is fine, but the entire class does not need to know the reasons for that.
  • You acknowledge that Make Art That Sells reserves the right to delete any inappropriate comments in the classroom or any of the class-related community spaces, in order to provide and maintain a supportive classroom environment.
  • You confirm that you are purchasing a single license for this course for your individual use only. To enquire about educational/corporate rates (for official groups of 10 or more) please send an email to [email protected]
  • You acknowledge that Lilla Rogers Studio reserves the right to replace any advertised content with alternative content of an equivalent value without notice
  • You acknowledge that all sales are final and no refunds will be given before, during or after class.
  • You acknowledge that, if paying in installments, no part-payments will be refunded should you cancel your place before class begins.
  • All courses are priced in GBP £. Any approximate $ equivalents given are for reference only. When paying by Paypal, you will be charged in your local currency at the prevailing Paypal exchange rate.
  • You give permission for your email address to be added to the mailing lists of Lilla Rogers Studio and Do What You Love. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Privacy Policy

We do not store credit card details nor do we share customer details with any 3rd parties.

Delivery Policy

All our courses are delivered online in password-protected classrooms. We do not deliver physical products in the post, but rather send you an email with the URL of the classroom and the password you need to log in. This email is sent to the email address you used to register for the class, and will be sent at least two days prior to the start of class (except where you register with less than 48 hours to go, in which case it will be sent within 48 hours of registering, which may be after the class has begun). If you do not receive your classroom login information within this time frame please contact us via email to [email protected] so our team can assist you.

You can view our full detailed terms & conditions here: https://makeartthatsells.com/terms-conditions/

Make Art That Sells, 2021

More Bootcamp art, this time from August’s beautiful art-led book assignment. Art agent Lilla loved this art by Robin Potter Nolasco 😍

@potter_nolasco_robin #MakeArtThatSells #AssignmentBootcamp #IllustrationAssignments #RobinPotterNolasco #JeanneBaret #HistoryIllustration #BotanicalIllustration #Bougainvillea #FloralArt
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Some Bootcamp prettiness for your weekend 😍 Art agent Lilla loved this piece by Make Art That Sells student Samantha Franklin.

This month, students were asked to imagine a world where the arts were valued and creative people properly recompensed.

@_sophiesheart #MakeArtThatSells #MATSBootcamp #ArtIsWork #ArtIsEssential #ArtMatters
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There’s still time to enter our brilliant video testimonial competition to win My Year of Art School Live – every single one of art agent Lilla’s live courses in 2023 – AND a 1:1 career consultation with Lilla!

Head over to our blog for all the details – copy and paste or find the link in our Stories 👉 https://bit.ly/3C3tWUa

HURRY! Last date for entries is Thursday, October 13th.

Lilla loved this entry from Make Art That Sells student Natalia Gonzalez❤️

@nat_gonzalezh #MakeArtThatSells #Competition #VideoCompetition #Testimonial #VideoTestimonial #WeekendProject #NataliaGonzalez #MATS
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How does an artist create a story board for a picture book?

Find out in this week’s blog – follow the link in our Stories or copy and paste 👉 https://bit.ly/3y3MjHc

Pictured: Lilla's dreamy Magic Cards that will help you unlock your unique story idea 😍

(Make sure you never miss a blog post - sign up for our mailing list here 👉 https://makeartthatsells.com/newsletter/)

#MakeArtThatSells #StoryBoard #StoryBoarding #StoryArt #ArtProcess #StoryProcess #KidLitArt #PictureBook
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✨ FREE COURSE ✨

Have you signed up for our brilliant FREE art history course, Redrawing Black History, led by the fantastic Tamisha Anthony, yet?

It’s self-paced, which means you get instant access as soon as you sign up!

Grab your place now (and why not tag a friend you’d love to take it with in the comments?) – copy and paste or follow the link in our Stories 👉 https://bit.ly/3SlihXH

@tamisha.anthony #MakeArtThatSells #RedrawingBlackHistory #BlackArtHistory #BlackHistory #BlackArtists #PortraitIllustration #PortraitArt #EditorialIllustration
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Just a little boast 🤭 (or as Muhammad Ali says, it’s not bragging if you can back it up!)

There’s still time to sign up for Lilla’s last LIVE course of 2023, My Kid Book Pitch, which starts Monday, October 24th. Get ready to unleash the fabulous unique picture book story you’ve always wanted to write!

Find out more and sign up now – copy and paste or follow the link in our Stories 👉 https://bit.ly/3BHvaUA

#MakeArtThatSells #Testimonial #MATSReview #StudentReview #CustomerReview
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Did you catch the recent FREE WebinART event featuring Lilla Rogers Studio’s new artist, Paloma O’Toole? Lilla and Paloma talked about how the story Paloma has written and illustrated is near and dear to her heart, her process, her day-to-day, and more!

If you missed it, catch up on our YouTube channel now – it’s perfect to listen to while you sketch! Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more fab free content to support your creative career.

Find the link in our Stories or copy and paste 👉 https://bit.ly/3BHncuO

@palomaotoole #PalomaOToole #LillaRogers #ArtAgent #ArtAgency #PictureBookArt #ChildrensBookIllustration #KidLitArt #YouTube
...

More gorgeous art from Bootcamp! This was another of art agent Lilla’s top picks, by Make Art That Sells student Rocio Mariposa ❤️

@rociomariposa #MATSBootcamp #PortfolioBootcamp #PortfolioArt #ArtAssignments #IllustrationAssignments
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Beautiful Bootcamp artwork! Art agent Lilla loved this piece by Make Art That Sells student Kate E Burke 😍

@kate_e_burke #MakeArtThatSells #LillaRogers #ArtAgent #AssignmentBootcamp #IllustrationPortfolio
...

What are you doing this weekend? 👀

Enter our incredible video testimonial competition and you could win My Year of Art School Live – every single one of art agent Lilla’s live courses in 2023 – AND a 1:1 career consultation with Lilla!

Head over to our blog for all the details – copy and paste or find the link in our Stories 👉 https://bit.ly/3LvUOAg

HURRY! Last date for entries is Thursday, October 13th.

Lilla loved this entry from Make Art That Sells student Galia Luz ❤️

@galialuz #MakeArtThatSells #Competition #VideoCompetition #Testimonial #VideoTestimonial #WeekendProject #GaliaLuz #MATS
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🚨 FAB FREEBIE ALERT!

In today’s newsletter and blog, we’re giving away a juicy 8-page career download, complete with worksheets, that will help you to get more illustration customers and thus increase how much money you can make from your art – completely FREE!

Go get it now – and make sure you’re on our mailing list so you never miss another freebie!

Clickable links in our stories or copy and paste:

✨ Get your FREE download 👉 https://bit.ly/3Sg4b9i
✨ Get on our mailing list 👉 https://makeartthatsells.com/newsletter/

#MakeArtThatSells #FreeDownload #MATSMBA #CreativeCareer #ArtCareer #IllustrationCareer #IllustratorsOfInstagram #IllustrationArtists #IllustrationGram
...

Have you signed up for our Freebie Library yet? 👀

It’s packed with tons of great FREE resources to support your creative career, like mini video series on home décor design and tips for children’s book illustration, gorgeous worksheets from art agent Lilla, and free downloads on subjects like submitting your art to clients and how to get an agent.

Sign up now for FREE – link in Stories or copy and paste 👉 https://bit.ly/3f7SzXE

P.S. Tomorrow we’ll be giving away a fantastic FREE resource all about how you can find more customers for your art, taken from our MATS MBA (Money BadAss) course. Don’t miss it – make sure you’re on our mailing list here 👉 https://makeartthatsells.com/newsletter/

#MakeArtThatSells #FreeResources #FreeDownload #FreeWorksheet #FreeVideo #FreeVideoSeries #Illustragram #IllustratorsOfInstagram #FreeArtResources
...

Did you catch the recent FREE WebinART event featuring Lilla Rogers Studio’s new artist, Kim Fleming? Kim and art agent Lilla discussed Kim’s gorgeous picture book art, her work process, and more.

If you missed it, catch up on our YouTube channel now – it’s perfect to listen to while you sketch! Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more fab free content to support your creative career.

Find the link in our Stories or copy and paste 👉 https://bit.ly/3qLRKGT

@kimflemingillustration #KimFleming #LillaRogers #ArtAgent #ArtAgency #PictureBookArt #ChildrensBookIllustration #KidLitArt #YouTube
...

More gorgeous art coming out of Assignment Bootcamp! Art agent Lilla loved this by Make Art That Sells student Jean Ruth 😍 ...

Make Art That Sells student Sam Rudd won My Year of Art School Live – every single one of our LIVE courses for a full year – for this fab video testimonial 😍

You could win My Year of Art School Live 2023 PLUS a 1:1 career consultation with top art agent Lilla Rogers in our new competition!

Head over to our blog for all the details – copy and paste or find the link in our Stories 👉 https://bit.ly/3LhT9y4

@samrudddesign #MakeArtThatSells #Competition #VideoCompetition #Testimonial #VideoTestimonial #AssignmentBootcamp #MATSBootcamp
...

More fab art coming out of Assignment Bootcamp! Art agent Lilla loved this by Make Art That Sells student Brooke O’Neill 😍

@brookeoneill.illustration #MakeArtThatSells #AssignmentBootcamp #PortfolioBootcamp #PortfolioArt #ArtAssignments #IllustrationAssignments #FloralArt #BotanicalArt
...

More gorgeous art coming out of Assignment Bootcamp! Art agent Lilla loved this by Make Art That Sells student Heather Manning 😍

@printwarestudio #MakeArtThatSells #LillaRogers #AssignmentBootcamp #IllustrationPortfolio #MATSBootcamp #PortfolioBootcamp #FloralArt #BotanicalArt
...

Enter our incredible video testimonial competition and you could win My Year of Art School Live – every single one of art agent Lilla’s LIVE courses in 2023 (including her brand new yet to be announced one 👀) – AND a 1:1 career consultation with Lilla!

Head over to our blog for all the details – copy and paste or find the link in our Stories 👉 https://makeartthatsells.com/win-all-of-our-live-courses-in-2023/

Lilla loved this entry from Make Art That Sells student Liz Munro 🐨

@lizmunroart#MakeArtThatSells #Competition #VideoCompetition #Testimonial #VideoTestimonial #Koala #KoalaArt #LizMunro
...

Gorgeous art coming out of this year’s Assignment Bootcamp – art agent Lilla loved this piece by Make Art That Sells student Beatrice Tinarelli 😍

Want to take part next year for free? 👀 Tomorrow we’ll be announcing a huge competition where you could win My Year of Art School Live – every single one of the live courses we’re running in 2023 – and a 1:1 with Lilla!

Don’t miss it – make sure you’re on our mailing list now! Link in Stories or copy and paste 👉 https://bit.ly/3RYftyW

@hellobea #MakeArtThatSells #Bootcamp #AssignmentBootcamp #IllustrationBootcamp #HelloBea #BeatriceTinelli #PlantCare #PlantLover #Aztekium #PlantArt
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Discover your artistic style with the FREE Magic Style Decoder from art agent Lilla Rogers!

What is your artistic style and what does it say about you? What is your aesthetic DNA?

Join our mailing list now for your FREE download, plus tons of tips and advice, free assignments, news of special offers and more every week!

Get the link in our Stories or copy and paste 👉 https://bit.ly/3L8Uffw

#MakeArtThatSells #LillaRogers #ArtisticStyle #ArtStyle #FreeDownload #CreativeCareer
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