Last year at the end of December I signed up for The Picturebook Masterclass (still very happy that I was quickly with signing up). Although I hoped I would learn a lot, I never expected it to be life changing.
I love picturebooks, I’ve collected them a big part of my life and always dreamed of one day making one of my own. I’ve been a professional illustrator since 2013 and although I worked on some books, I never made a real picturebook. It seemed a very large task that I couldn’t do alone. So when I saw Mark’s masterclasses I didn’t hesitate.
The Picturebook masterclass is a year long intense program with mentor (and illustrator & author) Mark Janssen. There were 5 meetings in Maastricht with Mark and other classmates, online groups with all the classmates and some mail moments with only Mark.
We would start with the concept and finish the year with a complete illustrated picturebook and present that to a few renowned publishers in the Netherlands.
In the end I got much more than (an almost finished) picturebook. The experience was awesome, I’ve met lovely people and learned so much from them (Mark and my classmates). This year my style, workethos and dreams for the future changed radically (in a good way!;)) My finished dummybook is not totally completely illustrated yet, but a big part is and I’ve got good hope a publisher will like it. I changed my style from digital to mostly analog (gouache and pencil) and a little bit of photoshop. (You can read more about that here.) I also found out I really love to write stories and not totally bad at it. I always enjoyed making up stories, but never thought that I could write because I’m dyslexic. I learned I need to take a break every now and then to have better ideas. And lastly I learned to dream bigger, I hope to make way more childrens(picture)books, some maybe totally made by me and some together with others.
Did you ever had a project like this that changed everything?