Katie Davis: Anything and everything you need to know about the kid lit world, check out my post on her here. She has a free podcast once a week, a lunch and learn once a week, and a zillion blog posts about how to write, who to connect with, and how to get published, and how to market yourself and your books. If you have a question, ask it here, and she will answer it on her podcast. She also has great tutorials to help you see social media as a party, not a punishment. I can personally recommend her I hate Twitter Tutorial, Video Idiot Bootcamp, and her books How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Ticks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller, and Little Chicken’s Big Christmas.
CBI: (See my post on them here.) Run by Jon Bard and Laura Backes, a paid membership will get you access to a do it at your own pace resource that will show you how to write children’s books of any genre. They are keeping up with the times, too, by featuring e-books, books apps, and more. They have experts that know the business of writing, and publishing. These people are dear to my heart because joining CBI was the first step in seriously starting my Children’s book writing career.
Mark Crilley is more than a Manga master (my post on him is here). I discovered his how to draw videos online a few years ago, and haven’t stopped watching. Not only is he a great artist, but a great teacher. He does a great job on explaining and showing how to draw in an easy to follow step by step way, and his videos are always kid friendly, which I love. His books Mastering Manga 1 and 2 are a must have resource for any budding artist. He’s a great writer too. My kids and I have enjoyed his Miki Falls series, and look forward to reading his Brody’s Ghost series.
Drawing Tutorials Online:
Drawing Tutorials Online with Matthew Archambault is an awesome resource (see my post). Sign up for the free newsletters and you will get videos on how to draw the human body. The lessons not only improve how you draw the human body (and get more confident in your skills) but the way you draw, and the quality of the line increases through the exercises you do. There is a paid membership available, and that is on my wish list. For now, sign up for the free tutorials. (p.s. this is about drawing the human body.. so you will have to look at the human body. Only for mature audiences).
School of Visual Storytelling:
The School of Visual Storytelling is run by three dads who live in Utah (sounds a lot like the Piano Guys, right? And they are just as cool!). Will Terry, and Jake Parker head up the illustrating end of things while Ryan Haldeman takes care of the business side of things. They make and incredible team, teaching real techniques, and giving sage advice and critiques to their students. This is one I am drooling over. They have awesome online courses covering several different topics, but mostly they excel and bridging the gap between what is taught in traditional schools and creating consistently awesome, illuminated art. Check out my post on them here.
Free Resources: Random Stuff that has helped me on my way:
GIMP is described as working like photo shop, only it’s free. I first discovered GIMP a few years back, and as a photo editing software it is awesome! It also is a great illustration tool, but I have been so busy writing, and beefing up my portolio that I have not utilized it as much as I have wanted to. It’s not very user friendly to the novice like me, but there are a ton of videos on youtube that show how to use this amazing resource and it’s not hard to quickly pick things up. There are also some great books out there on how to use GIMP.
Inkscape is another great tool that is free! I am not techy enough to know the difference between GIMP (I know there is probably a major one, otherwise, why would I have both?) and Inkscape, except to say that Inkscape can do other things, and I love it as well. I use it a lot for transforming my images into different sizes, and making the images smooth so you don’t see all the pixels. It is a great illustration tool, and I have made beautiful things on it. I look forward to doing more.
Blogs to Follow:
These are in no particular order, just ones I have found helpful, and would love to share with you!
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