Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Nuts and Bolts of Illustration Half-Day Intensive

Date(s) - 10/02/2021
8:00 am - 2:45 pm


Oct 2. (8am – 2:45pm Central Time)

4-Part Virtual webinar featuring:


8:00am – 9:15am Central


Carolyn Dee Flores (Picture Book Dummies) Storyboard, Organization, Book Dummy, Size, Scale, Structure, InDesign, Reproduction.

Carolyn is the author/illustrator of over 14 books for children, including the picture book The Amazing Watercolor Fish, and she wrote the short story “How to Exist in a City of Ghosts” which is featured in the book Living Beyond Borders: Growing Up Mexican in America which has received starred reviews from Booklist and the School Library Journal (Philomel).



9:30am – 10:45 am


Sheli Petersen (Portfolio and WebSheli is doing an encore presentation of her fantastic Portfolio and Illustration Website Presentation w live Q&A.

Sheli Petersen will also be the judge of our SCBWI Southwest Texas 2021 Portfolio Contest where three winners will receive a free portfolio review with Caldecott Winning Illustrator E.B. Lewis.

Sheli Petersen is the illustrator of five published books.

She teaches illustration and graphic design at Texas Women’s University.

Award-winning illustrator Sheli Petersen will cover the basics of putting together a professional portfolio and website in this encore presentation. Select and organize your best work for the children’s publishing market. The webinar will focus on best practices for illustrators, but also touch on advice for author-illustrators.



11:00am  – 12:15pm


Laura Susan-Thomas (Photoshop, Procreate)

Bringing your doodles to the digital realm!


As Artists we all have those energetic loose doodles, drawings, character studies and ideas spilling onto our sketchbook pages. I love bringing the energy of the sketch into the digital realm and even mashing up traditional work that is even partially finished into a final piece. 


For this demo I will share my process on how I take both loose sketch ideas and also some more completed traditional drawing ideas into photoshop to create a finished piece. I will share some tricks and tips I found along my journey into digital as a medium, how to keep the energy of sketch, your own mark making and gestural feel in your digital work, and talk about the pros and cons of digital versus traditional depending on your project and how it serves to push your narrative.


Back when I was working at Imagineering, I saw this incredible new medium and went back to school to earn a certificate in Digital art and have been using this medium alongside my traditional art ever since. I love sharing my excitement for digital and what I have learned along the journey. Hope you will join me!


 Laura-Susan Thomas Bio


I live on the Central Coast in California with my husband and a sweet studio dog Roo. Working as a Freelance Illustrator / Storyteller, I also work as a Fine Arts Instructor at Allan Hancock College, where I teach digital fine arts classes. My love is to tell a story, and get the quirky lovable characters that reside in my head on the page and out into the world.

As a Children’s illustrator I have created work for Baby Bug Magazine, Los Angeles Times and several interactive ebooks. Prior to my freelancing, I was a Disney Imagineer for many years. Creating themed art works and graphics for Euro Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Seas and Animal Kingdom.




12:15 – 1:30




1:30pm – 2:45pm


Rachelle Meyer (Sketching and Drawing)

My Top Tips for Sketchbook Studies A sketchbook practice is essential for honing your style as an illustrator and artist. But what should you draw, and how do you make it a part of your daily life? Rachelle Meyer guides you with some drawing tips and ideas for finding your voice through your sketchbook. Related links: (Faces on the Ferry Sketchbook film & Top 3 Tips for Sketchbook Studies)

Rachelle is an American illustrator living in Amsterdam. She’s worked for over 15 years as a freelancer specializing in narrative art, particularly in children’s and literary markets. Her latest works display a vivid style inspired by silkscreen printing. She works both digitally and free-hand. Her talents have been used to interpret the work of contemporary best-selling authors such as Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife), and Nick Ortner (The Tapping Solution). Her illustrative art project, Faces on the Ferry, grabbed the attention of The Guardian, Het Parool, and FLOW Magazine, among others. “Texas Tracts: A collection of autobio mini-comics” is her second crowdfunding campaign.



$40 SCBWI Members. $55 Non-SCBWI Members For 4-Part Virtual Intensive