Jenny Drew

 My name is Jenny Drew and I completed the Cartooning Diploma Course with John Byrne. I developed enough confidence to begin cartooning stories of the young people I work with, in my job as a Youth Offending Preventions Keyworker.

At first I started drawing the story of a young man who has ADHD, as I needed to find new ways to engage him. The comic approach worked so well, I started to try using comics and cartoons in different ways with other young people I worked with.

Other professionals started to find out about what I was doing, and they encouraged me to approach a publisher. I sent the proposal and some comics to a few, and to my surprise I had more than one offer of a book contract. After the initial shock-induced writers block, I signed a contract with Jessica Kingsley Publishers and spent the rest of the year completing a book.

During this time I also signed up to the Digital Illustration Diploma with Spencer Hill. To be honest, I wish I’d done that before I wrote the book, it would have made life easier and saved a lot of screwed up paper and rubbing out! I did use digital methods for some of the stories, and now I’ve got the hang of it, I plan to write my next project completely using digital techniques. First I need to take some time out to finish the course!

My book was released in January, you can find ‘Cartooning Teen Stories’ at, and my (I’m also on Facebook and Twitter as jennydrewsomething)

I would love to hear from anyone reading this, please get in touch and let me know how you use your artwork to communicate with others 🙂



Jane Sunbeam

My name is Jane Sunbeam and I have just finished my MA in Children’s Book Illustration and I wanted to write how the Illustrating Children’s Book Diploma with Maggy Roberts was a really important part of this journey.

When I was nervously attempting to try to link my words and pictures, I found the Children’s Illustration course, and it was great, giving me the vital information I needed to get started – and reintroducing me to the basics such as pen and ink, and collage from my own painted papers.

I loved the briefs, as it was so useful doing the same as other students, learning and being inspired by those who had succeeded before me. I still use the collaged peacock image to this day. Maggie was so kind and constructive, and through this course I gained enough confidence (and images) to apply for the Ma.

We have our final show in London 9th to 13th Feb 2016 and the exhibition details are on their website.

Students can read my Blog and Facebook page and view my Website too.

Jane Sunbeam
Illustrating Children’s Book Diploma


Sarah Lister – News!

We have just received some exciting news from one of our students Sarah Lister….

“I just wanted to share my exciting news today that I’m illustrator of the week on 🙂 I’ve forwarded the email to you! Exciting!!!!!” (the fastest method of sourcing children’s illustrators online) are please to announce that Sarah Lister has been selected as Illustrator of the week. This highly coveted spot on our homepage (also featured on our Facebook and Twitter feeds and within our monthly newsletter) will ensure maximum exposure for Sarah’s work for an entire week commencing 25th January 2016, courtesy of the Children’s Illustrators team. Website | Twitter | Facebook


Congratulations Sarah! We have added one of Sarah’s beautiful illustration below.

Sarah Lister

Follow on course Children’s Book Illustration


Digital Illustration Diploma by Spencer Hill

The aim of our Digital Illustration diploma is to provide students with the skills they need to begin creating digital art. Across six projects students gradually increase their digital skills, and to demonstrate these skills we have created an exhibition of one of these assignments; Assignment Two.

The second assignment on the diploma provides the students with a simple line drawing. Students can then practice applying colour using the tools and techniques they have learned and are encouraged to colour outside the lines and apply their own artistic style. The exhibition displays the work of over thirty of our digital illustration students and is a superb example of creativity, technical skill and diversity. The image below was created by student Pamela Zwickert. You can see the Cottage Project Gallery on our website.


Spencer Hill
Digital Illustration Diploma

Sean Cocker

Sean Cocker has just passed the Drawing and Painting Diploma Course with flying colours. Tutor Paul Weaver Tutor said that “Sean had worked really hard and his final unit was awesome!” We have added some of Sean’s paintings, drawings and watercolours below.

Sean said of his skull watercolour – “Probably my favourite watercolour I have done. I always struggle a lot with watercolour as I don’t feel in control, but somehow this one seemed to come together. As for the cloth painting, following on from the self portrait I did, I went for a subject where I could dry to suggest shape and from with as little detail as possible.”

Congratulations Sean on passing with distinctions. We hope you have many more successful paintings in 2016!

Sean-Cocker-41814-4 Sean-Cocker-41814-3 Sean-Cocker-41814-2 Sean-Cocker-41814-1

Julia Feliz

Another student has successfully completed the new Illustration Diploma. The high standards continue as Julia Feliz has achieved the highest accreditation of Distinction. Julia has delivered a strong portfolio of illustrations in response to the challenging assignments. Examples of her work can be found in the Illustration Gallery along with many more superb examples by fellow students.

The images shown here are Julia’s submission for assignments one and three. Julia produced a thought provoking illustration to accompany the lyrics from one of her favourite songs; El Baile y El Salon and also designed a logo to represent her services as a freelance illustrator. We wish her every success in her future career.

Written by Spencer Hill
Digital Illustration / Illustration


Julia-Feliz Tutor

Paul Ward

My name is Paul Ward and I am studying the Drawing and Painting Diploma. For the final assignment of a painting of a time of day I have gone for one of my favourite places, Hunstanton beach in winter and late afternoon with the low slung sun and long shadows.

Here I introduced 3 figures because I felt the piece could be a little lacking in detail. I wanted to capture the way the sky is lit from low and the sun itself almost hurts your eyes to look at it.

Paul Ward