Join us at the table for an evening of illustration portfolio review...very possibly yours

Be part of the conversation about creating art for children's books

Here's a chance to make it real

It's not, you know, until you share your work with others.

Constructive critiques, whether they happen in a formal studio classroom or a coffeeshop booth with creative friends train artists.

If you're not ready to show your pictures, support those who are by attending.

Sign up The offer is for a limited time...

Learn from someone whose business is designing for kids

Art director Chris Schechner (Chris Schechner Graphic Design, Pockets children's magazine, The Upper Room, Roper Press, Wishbone Big Feats! Entertainment, Seligson Publishing, The Wise Agency, Singleton Productions) is this month's guest instructor for the Marks & Splashes Guest Group Critiques.

He'll share technical tips and sage advice as he looks at your work in the live interactive session starting at 8 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) Thursday, November 12.

Did you know that one good critique can make the difference for you?

Thursday's group session with Chris is $10.95. (You'll receive the details when you register.)

Or take part in monthly group critiques

Including this week's huddle with Chris, for just $8.95 per month.

Regular critiques are great for you

They provide a consistent channel for the reactions you need to improve your pieces. Especially when critique is from the right people. We bring them to you every month.

They sharpen your powers of discernment.

They remind you of the bedrock principles of good draftsmanship, alive design and clear communication. It's funny how they always do that.

They help you to see your work with fresh eyes.

They show you when to stop.

Or start over. Or push harder.

They make you good and ready ... for conferences, that next promotional mailing or sit-down with a prospective client.

They're fun. At least ours are. Or that's what we shoot for, anyway.

And you can participate from wherever you are. No geographic barriers to uploading your pictures or tuning in to a broadcast or replay.

And they can

  • Get an outside perspective

    Our guest instructors — illustrators, author-illustrators, agents, art directors, maybe an editor or two next year — will offer their reactions in a teaching, mentoring spirit.

  • Learn to think like a pro

    See up close and personal how full-time creatives evaluate their own and others’ work — and troubleshoot issues they see.

  • Gain wisdom

    Whether it’s your piece or someone else’s being discussed, you’ll take away invaluable knowledge — to help you later, when it’s just you behind that computer screen or drawing table, making all those woolly decisions…



Regular group critiques help you get better at getting better

Consistent critiques from a variety of experts in the field are perfect practice. You don't always have to upload work to benefit. You just have to listen.

But every bit as important as taking in correction is knowing how to receive it and navigate through it all. Understanding the hierarchy of feedback -- what's valid for you now vs. what to set aside for another time. It's how you learn to find your way and be productive.

Regular critiques will help with this, too.

Don't feel alone.

Meet your tribe. Get to know some of the expert practioners in the field. Hear their What I Wish I Knew Then stories - just like you would at a weekend retreat or a kidlit, comics or illustrators' conference.

They are your contacts 'in the biz.' It's called networking.


The Monthly Guest Critiques are informal and very short. (75 minutes is not a lot of time to go through a folder of artists' 'best pieces.') We may not always have to time to get to every submission. In that case we'll push the 'leftouts' to the top of the queue for next time.) So think of these as less personal, one-on-one consultations than 'educational'shows.' But you'll benefit by being there.


With your monthly subscription you'll be invited to all of our live programs, plus gain access to replays of critiques we've already enjoyed this year by these top illustrators:

Mira Reisberg

Mira Reisberg

Karien Naude

Karien Naude

Author-illustrator Jeff Crosby

Jeff Crosby

Marsha Riti

Marsha Riti

Christy Stallop

Christy Stallop

C.S. Jennings

C.S. Jennings

Annette Simon

Annette Simon

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell, moderator

Wendy Martin

Wendy Martin

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan

This is real. We'll strive to keep it that way by keeping the enrollment contained. 

Secure your spot while it's open.

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