Success Story – Jonnie Griffiths

Jonnie Griffiths recently completed the Cartooning Diploma Course with tutor John Byrne. Since completing the course Jonnie has been working hard on his drawing and cartoons, trying to promote himself and his work.

We have just received an email from Jonnie below which we are thrilled with. We thought we would share the news on our College news blog to congratulate him officially.

Jonnie said….

“It’s been a while but as ever I’ve been working hard on getting cartoons drawn and looking at publishers, etc.

I’m delighted to say I’ve had 12 of my cartoons printed on greeting cards from a local printing firm.

I’ve also set up Facebook and Twitter accounts for my work too which you can see at the links below.

Twitter : Banana Skin Cartoons (@BSCartoons) | Twitter

I’ve made a list of local gift shops, cafes, and other appropriate places I may approach to see if they are interested in selling them. As ever I will keep you up to date with how I get on!”

You can see one of Jonnie’s cartoons below.


Jonnie Griffiths
Cartooning Diploma Course

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


Heather’s Book Illustration

My name is Heather Roberton and I am studying on the Illustrating Children’s Book Diploma Course. Earlier this year I visited a local art exhibition and got talking to one of the artists about the studies we were both doing. I mentioned that i was studying children’s book illustration with the London Art college and she asked me for my contact details as her mum was about to self publish a book and was looking for an illustrator. I have learned from previous experience to always carry business cards with me (even when going to an evening function. You never know who you might meet), so I handed her my card and within a week had a meeting with the author, Brenda.

After many discussions I was asked to produce about 30 illustrations. I gave it some thought and very nearly turned down the commission, as I still had my final two assignments to complete and I had to develop a style that would suit her stories. It was very hard work, and very scary at times as I didn’t think I could complete such a large project with my limited experience, but she was in the same boat and together we worked through our ideas and decided on the final list of illustrations. I was very fortunate with this project, as Brenda let me play around with my own ideas, and offer alternative illustrations if i didn’t think another would work. It took many months, but we finally did it. At the end I was also tasked with editing the book and getting all the final files ready for print, so had to liaise with the printers too.

I’m very excited to say that the book is finally with the printers and the first print run of Nanny B’s Magic Hat should be ready before Christmas.

We decided not to register an ISBN for the first print run as we wanted to see what the response to the book would be, but within the first few days of taking pre-orders we had sold over forty copies with more orders coming in, and we have a stand booked at a conference in January.

Our next step is to contact the ISBN agency to obtain an ISBN for the book, so that we can sell the book through online book stores.

I couldn’t have done all this without the knowledge I gained through this course, and I can’t wait to enrol in the next one.

Nanny B’s Magic Hat – Written by Brenda Arkley and Illustrated by Heather Robertson.

The reading age For Nanny B’s Magic Hat is seven and upwards but a five year old would enjoy having the stories read to them too. The book has over 100 pages and six lovely illustrated stories depicting animals who talk, mermaids, dolphins, a mysterious grandfather who changes back and forth into an eagle, and other magical characters. Oh and of course a Magic hat!

The back cover reads:-

“With the aid of Nanny B’s Magic hat, travel across time in the blink of an eye to a wondrous world. Celebrate a ‘stomping’, feel the very real anxieties of hunted animals, share the delights of swimming with mermaids, glimpse the problems of man’s disregard for our precious environment and enjoy an unexpected encounter in the snow. Join Freya, Riggs the dog and Nanny B as they experience ‘another world and another adventure’ in the company of the mysterious and kindly Grandfather. Prepare to be enchanted!”

And this part of the first story-
“The huge eagle gave out a high pitched screech and beat his wings as if to take off again but instead, a strange mist began to envelop it until it could no longer be seen. It changed colour, blue, green,purple and grew taller until a shape appeared at its centre. In an instant the mist disappeared and there stood a strange and fantastic figure of a man!!!!!……”
And this is an excerpt from the book about Brenda:
Brenda Arkley is a wife, mother and grandmother living in Hampshire, England.
The idea for these stories was conceived on the flight back to England after leaving behind her daughter and six week old granddaughter in Canada. Separated from and missing physical contact with her daughter and this latest edition to the family, she wondered how she could continue to be part of their lives when she was so far away. Time travel seemed to be the only option and Nanny B’s Magic Hat was born!

If you’d like to order a copy of Nanny B’s Magic Hat, sales are direct through me and the author, as the book is self published. The book costs £10 + P&P and the first print run should be with us by the week of 15 December.

We can be contacted via our Facebook pages
Earlier this year I never would’ve believed it if someone had told me I’d be selling a book with my name on it by the end of the year.
Some of the best advice i was ever given is this:
  • Carry a sketch book with you and draw something every, even if it’s rubbish. Draw everything.
  • Invest in some good business cards, and carry them with you at all the times. You never know who you might meet and where your conversations may take you.
When anyone asks what I do now, i don’t shy away and say I just draw pretty pictures. I proudly say I’m an artist and illustrator. Art is hard work and takes countless hours of practice, trial and error.  So be confident, be brave, believe you can do it and go for it. You never know where your drawings might take you.
Heather Robertson
Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma

Keziah Herbert


I’m Keziah, and I am currently on the Children’s Book Illustration follow on course with Maggy Roberts. I finished the first part of the course with a distinction earlier this year, and it has made me much more confident with my work, and made me focus on my goal of being a freelance illustrator.

I’ve started taking small commissions, am working on my own children’s book ideas, and have now self published my very own adult colouring in book! “Colouring Birds – Vol.1” is printed with a lovely British company who helped me a lot to make sure everything was laid out correctly.

I have my books in uncoated paper for pencils, and silk finish paper for pens. Though the uncoated paper is best with pencils, it will still work with pens. The silk paper will not work with pencils.

You can find them on my ETSY shop, and until Monday I’m offer £2 off using COLOURING2 at the checkout. I’d love your support, and remember, take what you learn here and run with it. I’m certainly trying to!


Keziah Herbert
Children’s Book Illustration follow on course

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Josephine MacLeod

Josephine MacLeod was a student with the London Art College; she studied painting and drawing on the general diploma course, where she was tutored by Alan Dedman.  At the time she resided in Lagos, Nigeria. Her husband Norman MacLeod, used to download her mp3 feedback and sent it to Josephine and became acquainted with the LAC and its ways through doing so. To begin with, Josephine’s work seemed tremulous. Over time she gained confidence and has developed well since beginning her studies. She has been very active in her home country, working with African artists and painting with a group of people who meet on a weekly basis.

When she and Norman visited the UK, Josephine had some one to one tuition from Alan Dedman in Somerset. In her landscape study she coped well with the physical conditions, including a herd of bullocks. She worked with acrylics, which although quick drying, allowed her to make rapid progress in painting. The lush, green environment and cool breezes were a change from the heat of Lagos.

Back at Studio Dedman, she spent a morning making spinny paintings and thermal drawings, plus other exercises. Josephine also made a life painting in oils.

Getting a student to do such a large amount of learning in a condensed time frame was ambitious, but successful. Josephine always wanted to do art and came to it late, after having children and working in business. Correspondence courses with the LAC help adult learners in English speaking countries across the World to realise their ambitions in art and design. Norman MacLeod commented that Alan Dedman supports students with constructive criticism – but doesn’t make them feel bad about themselves. This gentle encouragement allows learners to flourish and grow.   

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Sruthi Nair

Hi Everyone,

My name is  Sruthi Nair (D11 Digital Illustration Course) and I have reached the five finalists for my work ‘Tree of life’ on the ArtStyle magazine competition.

The winner will be chosen based on the number of ‘likes’ against their work. The artwork will be presented on the front cover of the magazine in its autumn edition.

If you would like to leave a vote for me, I would be really pleased. The facebook link below will take you to my page as its judged on the number of likes against the five finalists work.

The Tree of Life – Vote for me here  >>

Thank you for your support

Sruthi Nair
D11 Digital Illustration Course

Alison Hughes

Hello, I have just been told that I can share my great news. I have been selected as one of thirty artists, that will have their pet portrait picture showcased in an Ann Kullberg book. It will be one of these two, but not sure which yet.

I finished my Coloured Pencil course a couple of months ago and since then my life has been amazing. I set up a website and started selling pet portraits on line. I went on to win a couple of local awards and was then approached to enter a couple of pieces to make up a new book. It was for showcasing and giving tips on cat and dog coloured pencil portraits, from established portrait artists and I was accepted. So very excited, can’t wait to see where I go from here.

Alison Hughes
Coloured Pencil Course

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Julie Ann Maguire

When former LAC student, Julie Ann Maguire graduated on the Coloured Pencil certificate course last year, she had a string of CP drawings appear as exhibits in Birmingham, Nottingham and Somerset. Continuing to flourish this year, she has a portrait of “Girl with a Jack Wills Bag” which has been accepted for an exhibition at the London Menier Gallery between 6-16th May 2015.
Billy Showell, Michael Angove and Paul Sacki are the entry judges who have shortlisted her work for the 14th Annual UKCPS Open International Exhibition 2015. We wish her every success for the coming year.
Kind Regards
Michael & Julie

Angie Atherton

Initially I completed the Illustrating Children’s Books diploma course with Maggy Roberts and achieved a distinction which was great and it gave me the confidence to enrol on the follow on course, which I have  now just completed.

The aim of the follow on course was to write and compile a children’s picture book concept and to have a dummy book and 3 pieces of completed artwork that would be suitable to submit to a publisher and also begin work on compiling a portfolio of work.

As cats are often a source of my inspiration, I chose them and their ‘Ladder trip to the moon’ as the theme for my book. Once Maggy had ironed out my ‘over-wordiness’! and the text was approved, we worked on character formation – I really enjoyed this part and soon decided on my three main characters, I then created a storyboard, to work out the final page layouts for the finished book and once approved I began work on the dummy book – a life-size ‘rough’ of how I imagined the final book to appear.


I spent some weeks on the dummy book, as I wanted to get it completely right and was pleased with what I had achieved. Maggy was pleased with the dummy book and gave me the go ahead to produce the artwork with no changes to the actual dummy book.


I created my favourite scenes from the book, the scenes that had action and humour in them and set to work.  After trials with every type of medium, I felt that watercolour and inks were where I was happiest and produced the artwork in that medium. Maggy approved the artwork and gave me the go ahead to find some prospective publishers to post my work to.


I did extensive research, using the children’s writers and artists yearbook and also the Internet to find publishers that most suited my work, but also I felt I might have a chance to approach as many will not see submissions unless you have an agent.

I found 3 publishers that I felt best suited my ideas and created 3 packages each containing a copy of the dummy book and copies of 3 of the completed artwork double page spreads, a cover letter and an envelope with return postage and return address label!  All of the chosen publishers stated that it usually takes 12 weeks before they respond, this was 5 weeks ago, so I still have a wait to find out if I have been successful or not!


I really enjoyed the whole process from the original spark of an idea, seeing it through to a completed dummy book ready for submission, I feel that even if it is not published, I have achieved so much in experience and the confidence to keep trying and hopefully one day I will have a published book.


The feedback from Maggy was always very constructive and honest and I really leaned from her advice and appreciated all her comments and help

I have now just signed up to do the Digital Illustration course as I still want to learn new techniques and hope that this medium will enhance and build upon what I have already leaned with Maggy.

Angie Atherton