We recently posted about the ‘Something to Shout About’ conference and one of our students, Jane Sunbeam, who is currently on our Illustrating children’s books diploma course, attended the conference and summer school. Jane has very kindly written about her experiences below. We are thrilled that she had an excellent time and thank Jane officially for writing this for us!
I was lucky enough to go on both the Summer School and also the conference (if you go on the course, the fees cover the conference).
Both proved to be invaluable and full of information and inspiration. The Summer School (SS) is very different from the Children’s Illustration course at LAC, and both can work side by side, and can compliment each other. The SS is purely focussed on creating a picturebook (with your own story), from character development to a final piece, with inspirational lectures from wonderful tutors and published picturebook author/illustrators (Pam Smy, Brigitta Siff and Marta Altas), and additional lectures by Martin Salisbury, Art Director Ness Wood, and author Emily Gravett with daily tutorials and crits. All students were working towards creating their own picturebook by the end of the course.
I found my work developed so much in that week, and a project I had struggled with for years started to fall into place.
And then we had the conference, which was astounding and so useful, from how best to approach an agent, and the sort of publicity material they liked, to a panel discussion, talks from art directors at Macmillan and much, much more. I have a book full of notes, ideas and tips on how to get your work noticed, and also how best approach publishers. I felt so excited by the end of the day, having had positive feedback about my work and ideas from Sharon Chai.
Having heard negativity from so many people over the years about the publishing industry and how hard it is to get into picturebooks, it was wonderful to meet so many people in the industry and see how excited they are about the field they worked in.