Monday, 3 March 2014

Children's Book Illustration MA

So a year and a half has passed and I've finished my MA in Children's Book Illustration. The course was always highly recommended by the tutors on my undergraduate course at Plymouth and I can safely say it beat all my expectations. I had the most wonderful and amazing time and I can't believe it's all over and we've now all been let loose into the world of picture books! 

Our show in London was a huge success with many of my fellow course mates gaining publishing deals and me getting a chance to catch up with my agent, have a glass of wine with my publishers AND have a long conversation with Axel Scheffler (!!!) Our Cambridge show is now up until the 13th of March and is well worth a visit! (however if you miss both Ariane Hofmann wrote a fantastic review of the London show which you can check out here)

 (Left - poster design by Sarah Lodge. Right - my display at the London show)

So what have I been up to over the last year and a half I hear you ask? Lots and lots of drawing! The course prides itself on drawing from observation, (something I hadn't done since Uni!) and uses this as a foundation for teaching. We learnt about structure, pacing, dummy books, character design and everything in-between. We had lectures from illustrators such as Helen Stephens, Beatrice Alemanga, Katherina Manolessou, Becky Palma, Jim Kay, Anthony Brown and most famously Quentin Blake. (And that is just a handful! ) And we were taught by amazing tutors - Martin Sailsbury, Pam Smy, Marta Altes, James Mayhew, Alexis Deacon, David Hughes and Paula Metcalf. All of whom I can't thank enough.

My fellow students came from a range of backgrounds and countries and I'll miss them all. I'll never forget the moment I realised that I was in a room of people who also had book shelves stuffed with picture books and it was no longer weird to bring a sketchbook to the pub. I'll miss our heated debates in the studio over topics such as suitability for children, dots vs circled eyes, neck length and finding that perfect pencil.

I'm really sad to be finishing the course, but also really excited for what this year will bring.

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