An illustration master class with award-winning illustrator Yasmeen Ismail!


It was a chilly Thursday evening, and I was running from work towards Tottenham crt rd….In heels. I really didn’t think my outfit through that morning.

I rocked up a little dishevelled but right on time to pick up a glass of wine, and mingle with some of the welcoming committee and other folk who had signed up to do this jam packed illustrative event. I was super excited because it was being hosted by lovely award- winning illustrator Yasmeen Ismail.

While being fantastically funny, and entertaining, Yasmeen really gave us a generous insight into her world. The real world of illustration, I guess. She informed us of what actually happens if your work is accepted by a publishing house/agent, and just how many people it has to come in contact with before being given the ‘go ahead’, about the timely deadlines, the rejections, the small wage packet, and keeping the goal at the forefront. It’s always good to have a reality check on this stuff, but I reckon if your head is thinking wonga AKA money and fame you should probably stop now. 

On my table I sat with two other girls, to my right was Claire Powell who had just landed herself an agent, I felt super excited for her. Please check out her stuff, it’s friggin’ fab!

And to my left was Valeria who was working in collaboration with someone else, whereby the stories and illustration was shared, I love her work too! Be sure to click on the link below and see for yourself.


So the event was about two hours, and we were allowed to ask questions at the end. We got some great hand outs, all in reference to Yasmeen’s experience, so it wasn’t just cut outs from someone who had written a book in the 18th century on illustration or something, no, it was up to date, usable, relevant stuff, which I appreciate. 

As for me I was trying to soak up as much new information as possible, I actually went in there with a few questions scribbled down about art materials, but after, as always, you think of so many other things you could have to inquired about. Of course, it’s always better to ask the people directly in the industry if you get the opportunity, and Yasmeen Ismail was right there at my disposal, I don’t want to waste such an opportunity next time, note to self: Be prepared!!!

In next weeks post I’ll be sharing some of the things I learnt on this very helpful picture book workshop!

Hope to see you there ;-]

A big thank you to Bloomsbury publishings and writers and artists, for setting up the event.


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