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FEB 2022
Hello creative friends!

Thank you so much for joining my new e-letter adventure!

Today on the menu:
  • What's YOUR art voice?
  • New picture book coming up!
  • Online courses which kickstarted my illustrator adventure.
You might have seen some of this already when you clicked on the link in the welcome mail. Or when you had a peek at my blog earlier today. (I was so handy to add these things already.)

In any case, I hope you'll enjoy these Nutty Worms :) And more to come in the next episodes!

 




(This is the blog post I linked in the welcome message when you signed up, in case you already read it.)
In an interview with the lovely children's book illustrator Nina Rycroft  in 2019, we talked about developing your own art style / voice. Since then, I learned a ton and I would like to share these things with you. So I updated the things I shared back then and started a series of blogposts. Here's part 1.
 

 

WHERE TO BEGIN?

Let me start with a simple question: What do you usually draw? Florals? Bears? Foxes? Birds? It is great to have them in your portfolio. There will always be a demand for them. But the thing is, everyone else has them in their portfolio too. So to make your portfolio stand out more and be more YOU, it’s good to go more in depth in topics that interest you. (And boy, need I be doing that as well!)

Read post >>>

A bonus Witty Worm :)

Cause you might have read the blog post above already, I thought I'd give you a little extra to wrack your brain.

Do you feel like the human characters you draw seem all so similar? I certainly find that I tend to draw them in a particular way. So I searched for tips to fix that.

One way to change things up is to vary in shapes for the faces. You can use all kinds of basic shapes like square, triangle, egg, and diamond. Here are some examples.
Another time I would like to go more in depth about this topic. But if you really can't wait that long, here are two courses that helped me, to keep you busy: (Disclaimer: I do not get paid for these kind of links. These are my recommendation from personal experience.)
 

Exciting news!

I'm working on two children's books for Clavis Publishing, woohoo! The deadlines are verrrrry soon, so I better keep going. But here is cover reveal number 1!

Meet Emma. Through the seasons, she explores nature with her grandma and dog in a series of three books. This time, Emma learns about flowers who whistle, run and don't neigh. The text is full of word play. A sweet and magical story, written in Dutch by Margreet Schouwenaar.
 

You can pre-order a copy at Amazon (the Dutch department), Bol.comBruna, and Bookspot, among others. I wrote a little introduction blogpost about it, which you can find HERE.

And here are two sneak peeks (zoomed in parts of two page spreads):
 

Another time I will share with you some of my work process and things learned when illustrating this book. And I will also introduce the other book I'm illustrating for Clavis.

 

Learn how to illustrate children's books

When I started my illustrator journey, these are some of the wonderful teachers I had and their online courses:

Nina Rycroft has some brilliant Skillshare classes. She also offers an in depth Picturebook course and other related courses.

Jake, Will and Lee, the guys at SVS Learn, offer a great step by step curriculum for picturebook illustration.

I'm also loving a super exciting character design class by Vanessa Brantley-Newton at StoryTeller Academy. And definitely check out the other classes there too.

And last but not least, I'm a big fan of art director Zoë Tucker's Illustrating Children's Books course that she runs with art agent Lilla Rogers at Make Art That Sells. This class was what kickstarted everything for me. It pushes me far beyond what I perceive to be my limits and to do my best work.
 
There are many more I can recommend, but this will do for now.

 


That's all for today! Thank you for sticking to the end! I didn't want to make it too long, especially not for a first e-letter.

My wish is to send these Nutty Worms out once in a while (monthly-ish at most). But I'm not promising anything like a schedule yet! I know myself too well for that :)


I will only send you things whenever I think it's worth while sharing. Otherwise I'll stay quiet, okay?

Nutty Worms I'd like to share in the future:
  • What's Your Art Voice - more episodes
  • Behind-the-scenes of a children's book illustrator
  • Work processes
  • Things I learned as a freelance illustrator
  • Things to cheer you on on your own art journey
  • Work sheets
  • Drawing and writing prompts and exercises
  • More tips
  • News about my books
  • And let me know if you have some things you'd like to hear more about!
I'd love to get your feedback. You can email me, find me on Instagram or use the contact form on my website.

For now, sending you sunny smiles and happy day wishes.

Till next time!
Wen


 
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