The end of 2017’s mentoring scheme – what next?

School is nearly out for Picture Hooks. Our mentors and mentees from the 2016/17 cohort have been working hard for months on their illustration projects, and we are now gearing up to show off the results to the public. We wish our illustrators the very best of luck with their future after the mentoring scheme – we’re sure that they’ll go on to many great things!

What’s next for Picture Hooks? First up is our end-of-year exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art, which opens on 28th October and lasts until 18th February next year. We’ll be showcasing the final projects of our mentees Hazel Dunn, Anders Frang, Rachel Everitt, Hlín Davidstottir, and Kirsti Beautyman and original artwork by our mentors Patrick Benson, Steve Antony, Debi Gliori, Ross Collins, and Helen Stephens. We will also have sketchbooks and working drawings on display so visitors can get a feel for the full creative process.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it up to Edinburgh to see the artwork. Our exhibition is touring a few galleries and community spaces next year, which we will be announcing on social media and our blog at a later date. Keep a look out for us in venues around Scotland – and potentially in England too!

Fourteen emerging illustrators are taking part in our Speed Dating for Illustrators event this Thursday, which coincides with the private launch of our exhibition. These lucky illustrators will be matched with a number of eminent publishing experts, who will give their expert advice on getting work noticed and offer feedback on our participants’ portfolios. We are delighted to have publishers visiting us from all over the country, including Tiffany Leeson of Egmont, Paula Burgess from Orchard Books and Little, Brown Book Group, and Leah McDowell from Floris Books.

While we look at options for offering future mentoring, we have a few workshops to tide you budding illustrators over. Our mentors and mentees are delivering sessions in their pairs over the next couple of months that give insights into their individual techniques and processes for illustrating children’s books. All the workshops will take place in the Scottish National Gallery. The details for each session are listed below:

Ross Collins & Hlín Davidstottir – Saturday 18th November 10:30am-12:30pm (this event is now sold out)

Helen Stephens & Kirsti Beautyman – Saturday 2nd December 10:30am-12:30pm

Steve Antony & Anders Frang – Saturday 6th January 10:30am-12:30pm

Debi Gliori & Rachel Everitt – Saturday 20th January 10:30am-12:30pm

Patrick Benson & Hazel Dunn – Saturday 3rd February 10:30-12:30pm

Another workshop to look out for is being run by our new Project Manager, Saskia Cameron. She is teaming up with our own Vivian French and local illustrator and bookbinder Mhairi Braden to offer their expertise on the art of the page turn. They will be looking at the best ways to put a sequential narrative into a book form (a key skill for producing a children’s book). More details on when and where we will be hosting this session will be available soon.

It’s going to be a busy few months in the Picture Hooks office, and we can’t wait to get started. In the meantime, remember to stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates from us and to share the love for picture book illustration.

Image: Preparing for Adventure by Anders Frang.