More Ways to Power Up Your Illustration Game.
Formal higher education is a great way to sharpen your illustration skills. However they are not the best option for everyone. Aside from being expensive, higher education programs require a larger time commitment. Many programs are also taught on campus, which may require students to commute long distances or move to another location just to get to school.
Fortunately, there are peer-led courses, retreats and workshops that focus on illustration. Most are short courses that are repeatable. Some are available online, 24/7. There are also numerous tutorials and videos available for free on the Internet.
Here is a selection of some of workshops and courses:
The Highlights Foundation runs workshops and retreats for children’s authors and illustrators. Their workshops are well regarded as they are led by industry professionals. The workshops all take place on their private campus in Pennsylvania.
Picture Book Summit (Online only)
Picture Book Summit is an online conference for picture book writers and illustrators. It includes workshops and presentations, all delivered first as live events. Attendees can access the saved recordings afterwards for a limited period of time.
The House of Illustration is the UK’s only public gallery dedicated to illustration and the graphic arts. It was founded by Sir Quentin Blake (legendary illustrator of many of Roald Dahl’s books). They offer a selection of Masterclasses which are one-off workshops, as well as short courses that take place over a number of weeks.
Society of Visual Storytelling courses (Online only)
The Society of Visual Storytelling offers online illustration classes by professional illustrators. They offer a selection of live classes as well as videos that can be accessed on-demand.
SILA runs its own classes for members, some of which are related to visual storytelling. Check the website for what is on offer, as the classes are not fixed.
Storyteller Academy (Online only)
Storyteller Academy offers online courses to help storytellers tell their stories. They focus on picture books, and offer courses, live workshops and coaching services.