Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

JambaLAya Illustrator MasterClass

Illustrator Master Class with Simon & Shuster Art Director LAURENT LINN

2:00 – 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 22 at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 5256 Magazine Street, New Orleans

Bringing Your Characters to Life

Whether in picture books or illustrated middle-grade novels, fiction or non-fiction, characters carry the story. The way your characters are designed and drawn make them unique, bring them to life, and invite the reader inside the story. In this illustration intensive, we’ll go into detail about how to design successful characters that are unique and just right for the books they inhabit.


– Choosing a character of your own creation (this character could be invented for this assignment or from a story you are currently creating), draw five different character design variations. Who is this character? What makes them unique? What other ways could they be designed? Experiment and have fun trying different ways to approach how they could look.

– The character can be human, animal, object, fantasy creature . . . up to you.

– Try different costume designs, hair styles, color palettes, etc.

– The character designs should be in color (unless being created for middle-grade, which is usually printed in grayscale) and in the medium and style of how you would render the final art. They should not be preliminary sketches but should be rendered as final art.

Place all five character designs in one image and email as a JPEG or PDF to by March 10, 2019

– During the Intensive, Laurent Linn will give feedback and thoughts on designs submitted. NOTE: Only the first 20 attendees to register will be assured their pre-assignment piece will be discussed.


An intimate intensive with limited enrollment. You must register for the conference to enroll. Deadline to enroll in this class is February 28.


Please note that enrollment is nonrefundable. You must register for the Conference to enroll in this class.

Register for the Conference Here