Shared folder for a critique

Guest Group Critiques

With special thanks to Honore Daumier, Giusepper Castiglione, Alexandre Brun, Camille Leopold Cabaillot, Ars Hoya Wolfe, Fernando Yanez de la Almeda, Edouard Dantan, Rembrandt, Adriaen Van Ostade, Alexander CalderJulie Lake, Scott Mitchell, Donna Warwick, Eric Niells, Phillip Wade and Clay Leben.

How this works

Welcome! We're glad you've joined us for Guest Group Critiques. On this site you'll find new information about each upcoming session, such as who the critiquer will be, your assignment, if any for that session, date-and-time details and two important page links.

One link will be to the Google Drive shared folder to upload your work to for the critique.

The second link will be to the unlisted YouTube 'Watch Page' for the live event. In addition to publishing these details here as soon as everything is set we'll send them out to you in an e-mail. I'll include the words, "guest critique" or "critique" in the subject line to make these messages easier for you to spot.


Send your work 'to the cloud'

You'll need a Google Account (or a gmail address) to access your Google Drive.

Before you upload your file(s) into a critique session's folder, you'll want to open your Google Drive in your browser. (See the video.)

Scans or digital photos you've made of your work should work fine for this, but just make sure these do justice to your original images. (You might need to experiment a little to find how to achieve best results.) Handle and organize your illustration image files pretty much the way you would your digital photos.

For our sessions we suggest that you resize your images to about 500-600 pixels wide and save them as . jpg files.

When you save, before  you upload include your first name and last name initial in the file name so we know the piece belongs to you.


Learn by watching

Yes, you can always submit work to be looked at even if you can't attend a live session and catch the critiquer's comments in the replay.

Yes, you can actively participate in a live session without having uploaded anything in a session. Submitting work is not a prerequisite to attending.

You'll benefit as much by watching someone else's work being critiqued. The pressure will be off you then. You might even find yourself listening more attentively.

(We ascribe to the "fly on the wall" theory of education. 🙂  )

In fact we suggest, for your own peace of mind that you think of these critiques more like interactive shows than as guaranteed one-on-one consultations you'll receive every month.

Whether or not we get to every piece that's been uploaded for a session will depend on the volume of work submitted in that session. For everyone's comfort we try to limit sessions to 90 minutes.

On occasion our guest instructors might provide their contact information, inviting you to get in touch with promotional samples. They might make themselves available for paid one-on-one follow up consultations.

Such arrangements are between you and the critiquer and lie outside the purview of Marks & Splashes Learning.

In this way Guest Group Critiques can function as informal meet and greets. Publishing is a people business, after all.


Talk back to us

Communication is vital for a good critique. Feel free during the live sessions to post comments and ask questions of our guest critiquer, via the comments section on each session's unlisted YouTube watch page. The critiquer might have questions for you, as well.

If you find the comments functionality not working for you on the page, you can text your comments or questions to me (Mark@ 512-656-9217) and I'll relay the information to the critiquer in real time during the live session. (Please just don't go crazy. 🙂  )

If a broadcast seems to freeze on you during a live critique, try refreshing the page in your browser. That often fixes things. If we experience a true technology fail in a session, we'll schedule a re-do.


On assembling your portfolio

For your files, here's a great post by another Giuseppe – Penguin Random House children's book division art director Giuseppe Castellano – on how to plan your illustrator's portfolio. (Thank you, Virginia!)

Watch the replay of December's critique and all of the 2015 Guest Group Critiques by subscribing

Here's where to go to do that!

Denise Fleming received the Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond (Henry Holt and Company) and has received numerous other awards for her illustration and writing. Her gorgeous, colorful picture books are a staple in children's libraries and elementary school libraries across the country today.

Jodell Sadler is the founder and owner of Jodell Sadler Children's Literary and the KidLit College. She is renown for her classes and presentations on picture book pacing, comic timing and tuning in to the musicality of language in your writing.

Together they shared their insight, encouragement, fiery enthusiasm and professional expertise as they examined your submitted work in December's Guest Group Critique.

Subscribe to Guest Group Critiques to not miss any of the fun and learning.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts.

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