Art prompt by Lalena and The Girllustrators

Going from Good to Great with the Girllustrators, a summer workshop series

Please save my seat for July 26And the rest of the workshop series!

"The next lesson will be on 'critique," says Girllustrator Lalena Fisher. "We'll talk about how we work together as a group. How to find your tribe. How to make a group last.

"We'll talk about productive critique skills and how to critique yourself.

"So, appropriately we thought, the next prompt is a relationship. We hope you will create an illustration depicting a relationship."

Lalena has designed characters and backgrounds for the kids' TV shows Blues Clues and Wonder Pets as well as created graphic designs for the New York Times. The Girllustrators are a group of talented women in Austin, Texas who unite for sharing, support, and shop talk in the field of children’s illustration.

As a group, they'll talk about ten (10) of the pieces submitted this month. They'll examine them as if they were assessing their own latest work, as if we were in one of their monthly huddles in Austin. If your piece doesn't get selected for discussion on the 26th, don't despair. We'll look at it in a series 'after party' session this fall.

Art by Lalena Fisher

Art by Lalena Fisher

In the workshop they'll answer difficult questions like, How do they know when to add or take away something from a work in progress? What is their checklist for evaluating a final illustration – to decide if it's 'working' and ready to ship? How have they managed to stay friends and together as a group for so many years while remaining honest in their critiques and professional pushing of each other?

It's one you've been waiting for – taught by not one but a SWAT team of working artists, all of whom have wrestled with many of the same issues you have, and over time, have found representation and publishing success.

Come join us for the series! As a registrant you'll be invited to all of the live workshops and have 'lifetime' access to the recordings. You'll receive details on how to upload your work and participate when you register.

Patrice Barton is the illustrator of the award-winning picture books MINE! by Shutta Crum (Knopf, 2011) and The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig (Knopf, 2013). Her chapter books include the Junior Library Guild selections The Year of the Three Sisters, an Anna Wang novel by Andrea Cheng (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) and The Naming of Tishkin Silk by Glenda Millard (FSG, 2009). She's represented by Christina Tugeau of The CAT Agency.

Marsha Riti has illustrated 12 books and all of the covers for The Critter Club series of picture books for Simon and Schuster Publishing.

Lalena Fisher has designed characters and backgrounds for TV’s Blue’s Clues and The Wonder Pets, and created graphics for The New York Times. Her educational press clients have included Oxford University Press, McGraw-Hill, and Benchmark. Her first picture book, Pursuit of the Magic Piece was published in 2015. She's represented in children's books by Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Luz Marie Iturbe, fine artist, graphic designer a native of Mexico is writing and illustrating a series of apps that helps children learn Spanish as well as picture books teaching children about craft and traditions.

Vanessa Roeder, aka Nessa Dee, has illustrated six picture books, including The Angel Guardian, Varla’s Gift, and Useless and for Highlights Magazine. A muralist, too, she creates art for children's magazines, picture books, and homes. She's represented by Rebecca Sherman of Writers House Agency.

Emma J. Virján is a graphic designer the author-illustrator of the popular Pig in a Wig picture book series, published by HarperCollins. She's represented by Edite Kroll of the Edite Kroll Literary Agency.

Art by Luz Marie Iturbe

 Art by Luiz Marie Iturbe


Art by Vanessa Roeder

Art by Vanessa Roeder

Please save my seat for July 26And the other workshops with The Girllustrators!

Art by Marsha Riti

Art by Marsha Riti

Art by Lalena Fisher

Art by Lalena Fisher

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Group critiques are 'perfect practice'

They tell you...

  • What's not working

  • When to push harder

  • When to stop

Tea cookies by Patrice Barton

Art by Patrice Barton

Secure your spot at the table while you can.

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If you find your first experience of a session not helpful or just not your cup of tea, let me know. I’ll refund you same day, no questions asked, no worries, and we’re still friends. – Mark Mitchell