Inspiration for budding creators of children's books

July 23, 2018

The 4th annual MAKEit MADEit creative conference, held on Saturday, was a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in the arts, making and design communities to share their experiences and passions right here in Newcastle.


We were pleased to catch up with so many of our past students and current industry colleagues, all enjoying and supporting this great local initiative.


There were so many great speakers across a broad spectrum of disciplines and we were particularly delighted by illustrator Sha'an d'Anthes presentation detailing her realisation of a long-held dream to publish her own children's book, Zoom.


Above and below: Sha'an d'Anthes' presentation at MAKEit MADEit


For those of you who have participated in our Designing a Children's Book course, or are registering for the next intake in August, this was an inspiring insight into the joys and processes of conceptualising, writing, illustrating and dealing with a publisher.




Sha'an shared her process for conceptualising planets as animals and how she sketches and refines her imagery, working initially with thumbnails and then watercolour, finally digitising into Photoshop. She walked us through her idea generation methods, finding a way to work between her visual concepts and developing the words to go with the illustrations. She also covered her experience in dealing with a publisher and taking on feedback.


Sha'an's creative career advice included some good lessons, like the one above, which has been a constant mantra in developing her personal style and skills – advice shared by many of the conference presenters.


For those of you that missed the conference (and we highly recommend that you don't miss it next year!) you can take a look at Sha'an's work on her website Furry Little Peach and follow her online.


We also checked in with Suze Freeman of Where Things Happen Studio, who was showcasing her letterpress products at the conference. Suze produced this year's conference posters and also created this fab little letterpress notebook which was a gift to attendees. If you're lover of letterpress and would like to produce some work of your own, Suze's Design & Print Letterpress evening course starts Tuesday 31 July and there's still time to register.

Above: Suze Freeman at MAKEit MADEit


Big thanks to the MAKEit MADEit team for an awesomely enjoyable and rewarding conference!


Pumphouse Co-Directors Alison Smith and Vanessa Anton



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