This month Mira Reisberg challenges you to create a scene


Mira Reisberg, Ph.D. a Texas Bluebonnet Book Award  illustrator and the founder the Children's Book Academy  will serve as guest instructor in our next Guest Group Critique that's set for August 23.

Your assignment from Mira should you choose to accept it: Upload an illustration (sketch or final painting) depicting two or more characters in a story interacting. "Show some emotion and relationships in the one image," She says.

She'll pick 10 pieces from the group to talk about and teach from in our August session scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (U.S. Central Time.)

A fantastic teacher based in Sacramento, CA, Mira, aka "the picture book whisperer" knows children's publishing – from writing, art and design to how the editors and agents think. And she 'tells it like it is', with love and a healthy bit of laughter.


We won't know until the session which 10 of the illustrations she'll single out. (Guest Group Critique subscribers, we'll come back a week later to talk about the images Mira doesn't cover on August 23.)

Come join us around the August critique table for a night of learning and fun with Mira!

Save My Seat

To participate in the August 23 session with Mira, subscribe to monthly Guest Group Critiques – or register for just the one event and video replay. Click the link above for either option.

(Already a subscriber to Guest Group Critiques?  You're already in. No need to register. Keep your eye out for the details in your e-mail inbox.)

Monthly group critiques are 'perfect practice'

They tell you...

  • What isn't working

  • When to push harder

  • When to just stop

And help you to...

  • Get a fresh perspective

    Our guest critiquers – illustrators, author-illustrators, children’s literary agents, art directors, maybe an editor or two  – examine your final in a spirit of teaching and mentoring.

  • Think more like a pro

    Watch up close and personal how full-time creatives evaluate and troubleshoot their own and others’ pieces.

  • Prepare for that thing

    That upcoming kidlit (or illustrators’) conference, important promotional mailing, post or sit-down with a client.

  • Sharpen your discernment powers

    Remind you of those bedrock principles of draftsmanship, design and communication. (Funny how they keep bringing you back to those.)

  • Meet your tribe

    Your colleagues and the expert practioners. Who share their What I Wish I Knew Then stories and become your contacts in ‘the biz.’ (It’s called networking.)

  • Get better at getting better

    Practice with critiques helps you understand the hierarchy of feedback and how to navigate it wisely – knowing what’s valid for you now, vs. what to set aside for later.

Participate in new live critique sessions with KidLit illustration professionals every month!

Group critiques – in the classroom or around a cafe table with friends – have been training artists for centuries.

Be part of the conversation, starting today!

SubscribeFor monthly critique nights, including the August 23rd session with Mira Reisberg

Only $8.95 monthly.

Improvement comes from consistent focus

Sometimes it will be your work being discussed. More often, someone else's.

Either way, you'll benefit by being there. You'll take away the insights to help you later — when it's just you behind the table making all those decisions, big and little required to complete a great picture.

You just need to watch and listen. And apply the ideas you like your way.

You don't have to go it alone...

With a subscription you can participate in all of our monthly live critique programs and immediately access replays of all the critiques we've enjoyed and learned from by these top professionals:

Click on the photos to see their websites!

Mira Reisberg

Mira Reisberg, author-illustrator, teacher and founder, Children's Book Academy

Karien Naude

Karien Naude, illustrator

Karien Naude

Chris Schechner, designer, illustrator and art director for 20+ years for "Pockets" magazine

Loraine Joyner

Loraine Joyner, senior art director for 23 years with Peachtree Publishers

Author-illustrator Jeff Crosby

Jeff Crosby, author-illustrator

Marsha Riti

Marsha Riti, illustrator

Christy Stallop

Christy Stallop, illustrator

ustyme books art manager Nick Balian with the cover of his

Nick Balian, illustrator animator, art manager for digital publisher ustyme Books

Nicole Tugeau, agent and artists' rep, Tugeau2 Children's Illustrators

C.S. Jennings

C.S. Jennings, author-illustrator

Annette Simon

Annette Simon, author-illustrator

Mark Mitchell,

Mark Mitchell, author-illustrator and moderator

Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming, award-winning author-illustrator

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan, award-winning author-illustrator

Jodell Sadler and KidLit College

Jodell Sadler, founder KidLit College and agent

Kelly Sonnack, senior agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

It's a bit like art school...

But for $8.95 per month.

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Try out the subscription and see what you think of the next Marks and Splashes Guest Group Critique session. If you find it not hugely helpful or just not your cup of tea, write me (c/o the How To Be A Children’s Book Illustrator blog) and I’ll refund you same day, no questions asked, no worries and we’re still friends. You can also easily cancel your subscription anytime.