Lynns Inspiring story….

What a wonderful and inspiring story, written by Lynn, who has just passed the Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma Course with Distinctions. We hope Lynn enjoys the extension course with Maggy and we wish her the very best of luck with her future illustrations!


My name is Lynn Steed and I currently live in South Africa with my husband and two children. I have always loved art but never considered myself good enough to do it as a career, so back in my home country of the UK I worked as a primary school teacher. However 7 years ago my husband’s work took us to Amsterdam. Two gorgeous children later, I found myself with time on my hands and a genuine desire to paint again, so I signed up for oil painting classes, gave it a go, and really enjoyed it.

After another move, to South Africa, I decided to try my hand at children’s illustration, as I love picture books and have many ideas for my own stories buzzing around in my head. When I found this course online I was elated and joined up immediately. I have loved every second!!

The harshest critics of my illustrations are my kids, but I love them for it! They tell me exactly what they think with no consideration for my feelings…so I know that if they think something is good then I must be on the right track.

“The Cow Who Found A Friend” illustration was inspired by a game drive I went on here, in South Africa. I saw a buffalo with lots of tiny bright red birds all over his back picking off the bugs.  They looked very content in each other’s company, and there was a brilliant contrast in scale between the two animals. I wanted to try watercolour with collage so used a range of complementing patterns and colours to build up the buffalo’s features, using many layers. I hope that they look like the good friends I saw out in the bush!

So what next, now that I have completed this illustration course?……..We are moving abroad again, but when we are settled I am determined to continue my own journey in art. I have recently sold some of my oil paintings, and I have finally put pen to paper with my own stories, which I would like to illustrate. I am signing up for the extension illustration course at London Art College as soon as I have unpacked in my new home! Who knows where this will all lead but thanks to The London Art College I am finally finding the confidence to give it a go and have been enjoying the process every step of the way.

Victoria’s Graphic Design blog post…

Victoria Edwards has just completed the Graphic Design Art Diploma Course  receiving a distinction. We would like to congratulate Victoria on working so well though her course and we are sure that she will go far in her creative endeavours. Vanessa Weaver, the Graphic Design Course tutor, asked me if I would contact Victoria to see if she would write about her final piece ‘Join The Dream Team’ for the college news blog. Victoria has written a wonderful and inspiring piece below which I know that you will all enjoy. I have also added Victoria’s ‘Join The Dream Team’ artwork below too.


I’ve been doing office work for almost 20 years in some variation or other, thanks to my mother telling me to take typing and office skills in school, as at that time she believed I was going to be a journalist and typing was a skill she thought I needed.  Unfortunately the journalism thing never panned out and the office skills became my fall-back career, and so my creativity fell by the wayside over time.

Five years ago I began working in a graphic design company as an administrator, and when we moved into doing more creative design oriented work, it piqued my creative streak again, and I began tentatively to draw here and there.  Then my partner bought me a drawing tablet and I taught myself to use computer software to draw.  After a while I decided that I would like to possibly change career and do something more creative, but I had no formal training to speak of and I began looking around for courses with a design theme.  Then I came across the London Art College, and each of the courses appealed to me in their own way, but the Art in Graphic Design course seemed to have everything I needed to get me started with my training.  So I signed up for that course at the beginning of 2012.
The course is very in-depth and explains everything in an easy to follow format.  My colleagues (qualified designers) commented that it even covered aspects of design that had been lacking in their own degree courses.
The brief for this particular task was to come up with my own poster for the product outlined in the previous tasks.  In the previous tasks we were introduced to the product – a bar of chocolate entitled ‘Dream’ which consisted of three cylindrical pieces of chocolate,each cylinder being one of dark, milk and white chocolate. This product was being marketed towards adolescents aged between 13 and 20. In the first instance we were provided with a drawing of a rocket and asked to create four different slogans for the product to go with the image.  One of my slogans was ‘Join the Dream Team’.
This particular task asked us to come up with the artwork for our own poster design including one of the slogans from the previous task.  I struggled initially as the age group it was meant to be aimed at was quite broad – as what will appeal to a 13 year may not necessarily appeal to a 20 year old.  Taking my slogan ‘Join The Dream Team’ I envisaged a design utilising the rocket from the original artwork, and possibly some characters who may have just arrived from another planet, bringing with them this new form of chocolate.  I also began to think that join the dream team would be a whole marketing campaign whereby customers could go to a website, Facebook page etc, and be involved in the world of these characters. Of course I still had to make it appeal to everyone in the set age range.  I like Jamie Hewlett’s art style, and realised that Tank Girl, and Gorillaz both appeal to teenagers and adults alike, so from this I decided to draw my characters in a similar style.
I sketched out the initial characters in pencil, using stock photos from the web as a guide to body positions and then scanned them into Adobe Illustrator, and outlined them using my tablet.  Once I had the characters outlined to a point where I was happy, I then copied them into a new document in Adobe Photoshop. I had previously scanned and outlined the rocket and moon drawing, so I copied this onto a new layer, and moved it around until I was happy with the position of it in relation to the characters.
Then I had to choose colours for the characters and their outfits.  I decided to use muted versions of red green and yellow, with each character wearing all of the colours, but each one different from the other. I chose that each of the characters would represent one of the pieces of chocolate, and made their hair colour represent that chocolate choice.
The original outline for the product said that the packaging was a rainbow coloured tube, so I chose to use the rocket to represent this, and made it bright and multi-coloured.  I found a free font similar to the Gorillaz typeface and added a black stroke and filled it with the same red as the rest of the piece to give a comic book effect.  I added a gradient background going from a dark blue-grey to a light blue-grey to indicate the sky, and used the star shape tool to add some stars to the background.
Then I put a rounded rectangle shape next to each of the characters and filled them with dark brown, a very pale yellow, and a medium brown, then I added a slight texture to make each one look like a piece of chocolate.  I used comic sans font to write a description on each piece, as it was easier to read than the main font, but again added a black stroke and filled with red, to maintain continuity.
Finally I added a drop shadow blend to everything just to make it all pop from the page.
Now that I have competed this course I will continue drawing and designing in order to keep improving, and hopefully change career in the future.

Mackintosh the coloured pencil cat!

Norma submitted her work to Julie Douglas who tutors the coloured pencil extension course which Norma is currently studying on. I emailed Norma to ask if she would write a little something about her cat portrait for our college news blog. We would like to thank Norma officially for writing this for us. We love your cat portrait here in the office and I’m sure Julie will have the answer about the whiskers! : )
Glad that you liked my cat portrait of Mackintosh, he’s our family cat with attitude who loves to be the centre of attention. I used black card for the first time with Polychromos, Derwent Coloursoft and white drawing pencil. Building up the white was quite a challenge and there were many subtle colours in the fur.
I have not quite finished the cat portrait as Mack has magnificent white whiskers which baffled me. Im waiting for advice from my tutor Julie Douglas. Starting with his eyes I loved seeing my cat come to life in a portrait on the card.
Norma (coloured pencil extension course)

Row, Row, Row your boat…..

Caroline is a new student on the Illustrating Children’s book course and she posted her painting of ‘Row Row Row your boat’ on our student forum. I was so taken with it I asked if Caroline would write a little about it for our blog. I hope you love it as much as I do and enjoy reading Caroline’s thoughts and ideas behind it.


I am glad I took this course. I hadn’t have the chance to study before the things I love the most, that is Children’s book Illustration, to have been choose to post my art in here encourage me and motivate me to keep creating and of course dreaming.

My favourite Mediums are watercolours but I like to try a little bit of everything and being an indecisive person as I am I end loving Mix media, why to use one when you can use all of them in one painting? I enjoy all mediums from oil to wax everything that have colours is so welcome in my art.

The idea behind my art work about the poem ‘Row Row Row your boat’ is based on my pets, my cat Hugo and my little dog called Abbey rowing to a dreaming place.
I have been in UK for few months and I have fallen in love with the amazing country side specially the moors hills, so I tried to recreated them in my painting. The stitching in the hills are because every time I see the fields in different colours remind me of a patch work. It always make me smile, I think the landscape here is
so beautiful and inspiring. And the castle is the dream of every kid, to be a princess or a knight are the best specially is the castle looks like an old friend.

The water was created in little pieces because I love bright colours and sometimes is difficult to choose just one so I gave a try and I am glad with the results of my idea. The transition between day an night was base again in the wonderful sunsets I have seen in this country that always leave me amazed

The beauty of Art is It can be understood for everybody without any word and even so I struggle with English I know that my art will speak out all the things I need to say.

Student Opportunities….

We have received an email from Paul O’Brain and are posting it on our blog in case any of our students are interested in working with Paul  We are in no way affiliated with Paul, we have no knowledge about the project and are only passing information on. We wish any student the best of luck if they are successful in working with Paul.


My name is Paul O’Brien. I’m a film maker, animator and model maker from Dublin, Ireland but currently working in London.

Are there any students who might be interested in working on the proposal for my next film. I am currently putting together a production pack to submit to the Irish Film Board with the hope of getting funding early next year.

I am looking for someone to illustrate coloured storyboards for the film and also work on some character turnarounds, expression sheets and environment designs. I need to bring the script and it’s characters to life. The film itself will be a stop-motion animated short, approx 6 minutes long. At. The moment I have a very small budget but would add to this should the funding be successful. The student will of course be credited for their work in the film.

Applicants should have a talent in showing subtle expression between characters and also have a good eye for colour. As I am in the early stages of design there is alot of scope for someone to get fully involved in the look and feel of the eventual film.

Interested students should forward examples of work (storyboards/character designs etc…) to

My previous films can be found here and

Looking forward to hearing from you guys!


Graphic Design Students artwork

16 year old Sunita Hodgson is currently taking the Graphic Design Diploma course with Vanessa Weaver and Vanessa asked if Sunita could write a little about one of her cartoons for the college news blog. I’m sure you will find it inspiring and I hope you enjoy reading it!


My name is Sunita Hodgson. I’ve always loved art since I was a small child and always dreamed of becoming an artist or a designer one day, however in reality I could never imagine it being a big part of my life until about a year ago. A close friend, who is a former art instructor basically agreed to teach me art, and after that I was hooked, so it was then that I realised and decided that I wanted to make it a big part of my life. I enrolled for the London Art Colleges Graphic Design Diploma course in March, and it hasn’t disappointed me at all. Being a 16 year old, I was searching around for a course that tried to incorporate every aspect of art, and the graphic design course at the London Art College was the one that caught my eye, as it has a bit of everything in, drawing, painting, designing etc. My dream is to become a designer, or to have my own business that has facilities for graphic design as well as art, art supplies and lots of hand made crafty goods, as I just adore anything like that!

The cartoon I did has been the most rewarding, I find pen and ink very enjoyable to work with and often find that you see good results quicker and easier. My tool for making this piece and all the others I have done is to do lots of research, particularly if you are doing something that has been assigned to you on a particular subject. I don’t think you can ever do enough research. Cartoons were very new to me, but I’m definitely in love with them now, as they are easy, fun and very funny, you can definitely let your imagination go wild and have a good laugh whilst you are drawing them.  That’s what I was doing whilst I was drawing this cartoon, I tried to exaggerate the features, e.g. the nose and her body. But then also tried to keep it as a lady who is sort of working in an office! This idea of the enthusiastic office lady singing and throwing her papers about came to me by surprise, through research and inspiration, but I was not expecting it to be the final work that I would send in. As you can see I just wrote equal opportunities all over the papers, to sort of incorporate that in! I had lots of different types of ideas for the equal opportunities but this one of the lady just seemed to be the funniest and the best. I was very honoured and surprised that the college wanted to put it on the website as I was not planning on this piece being the final, it was quite a coincidence but that’s what I love so much about art…no two creations are the same and you seriously don’t know the end result…it’s always different and you always get surprises!!