Girllustrator Vanessa Roeder critiques and teaches Aug. 30

Workshop #3 of a live summer series, Going from Good to Great with the Girllustrators

Please save my seat for August 30And four other workshops in the series!

Girllustrator Vanessa Roeder's new picture book Lucy and the String was published August 7 by Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin) and she'll conduct our next workshop-group critique in the Going from Good to Great with the Girllustrators series

That session is set for 7 p.m. (CST) Thursday) August 30 and we hope you can join us for this fun, live, interactive huddle #3 in the series.

"I'll be talking about the process I went through to make my book Lucy and the String, from the initial idea, through all of the revisions to the final product," she says.

"One of the aspects of the book that I really enjoyed exploring was the juxtaposition between the size of this small. ambitious and persistent little girl to this large. disgruntled, exasperated bear," Vanessa adds.

"Not only did their size difference make for dynamic visuals in the book, but just the idea that you've got this girl versus a beast helped me to explore their relationship in this story.

"So that was a lot of fun. That being said, my illustration prompt is based on the word Opposite.

"I encourage you to create an illustration depicting some sort of opposite, whether it be light vs. dark, tall vs. short, square or circle, young and old – the possibilities are endless" she says. "One thing I want you to think about when you're creating your illustration is how opposite aspects of your illustration will affect your scene, or your characters and how you can use that opposite to drive the narrative of your illustration."

Deadline for the Thursday, August 30 live session, as she explains in the video is Tuesday, August 28.

She'll pick some of the submissions to talk about after her presentation where she'll share with us how Lucy and the String, "came from a single sketch and how it led to getting an agent for the book."

She'll also talk about working with the editor and art director at Penguin through a gauntlet of revisions of the book, including a wordless version, a rhyming version and finally an image driven version with many panels of wordless or sparely worded sequences.

Launch party for "Lucy and the String" at BookPeople

On Wednesday, September 12, we'll follow up with a live sit-down with Vanessa's agent, Rebecca Sherman of the New York literary agency Writer's House.

Rebecca will talk about how she works with Vanessa and other illustrators who come to her with stories. (Her special love is illustrated middle grade novels but she also works with picture book creators.

"I have a soft spot for fresh re-tellings and inventive folklore, fairytales, etc. I’m equally excited by contemporary stories, particularly friendship stories," Rebecca states in Publisher's Marketplace. In her workshop Rebecca will pick pieces based on Vanessa's prompt Opposites to comment on.

Enrolling in the Girllustrators series lets you to participate in both sessions, as well as the October live workshop with the Girllustrators team (the series finale) and access to the replays of all workshops, including the first two from earlier this summer.


The Girllustrators

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. They're provided this instructors' panel as a way to help and encourage fellow illustrators in five online workshops.

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.

Please save my seat for August 30And the other workshops with The Girllustrators!

Art by Girllustrator Marsha Riti

Art by Girllustrator Marsha Riti

Art by Girllustrator Lalena Fisher

Art by Girllustrator Lalena Fisher

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The Girllustrators

The Girllustrators

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 Girllustrator Patrice Barton

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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