My Middle Grade Mentorship Recap!
At the end of June, I started a 5 weeks middle grade mentorship with Lissy Marlin (aka Lazyfishy). I was so excited to start the mentorship as Lissy is a prolific middle grade illustration, that has worked in the industry for so many years. I was really looking forward to seeing what she had to say about my portfolio and what I could improve so that my art could reach the next step on my journey!
Before we started the mentorship, Lissy and I had a one hour Zoom call where we talked about my goals for this mentorship, what to expect with assignments, and any other questions that I might have. A lot of the previous art courses that I took the past few years left me wanting for more. Having a set curriculum where everyone does the same thing with little to no feedback made me feel like I was wasting my money. I always love learning, but I needed something that was tailored for more experienced artists, not students. Talking to Lissy about my goals and aspirations was so great because it meant that she would direct her feedback and assignment requests on my specific needs. Her one-on-one approach was amazing and I really felt like she understood where I was coming from and what I was going for. Overall, it made me feel like I was working exactly what I wanted and needed to, without wasting time on things I didn’t care about.
The first part of the mentorship was to set expectations on what I wished to accomplish during the process. I was clear with Lissy that I wanted to push my middle grade portfolio further and I also wanted to work on color palettes that were less “expected”. I wanted to push my compositions for cover illustrations as well, as I find that it is much harder for me to create an interesting composition when I am bound to a physical cover that will include text, spine and other elements. With that in mind, we started working on a mock cover that I’m now super proud to include in my portfolio!
Character Sketches and Cover Studies
Rough Cover Sketches
Clean sketch and color compositions
Final Cover illustration
I found this mentorship incredibly helpful. Lissy’s experience in the publishing industry and her great insight was amazing. I liked that what I took from it wasn’t necessarily skilled-based, but rather about the way to think about cover illustrations and how to translate an entire book in one image. I’m excited to see what comes next, until then, time to draw!
It’s also important to mention that this very website has been redesigned with Lissy’s comments in mind. I have made it more interesting by adding this blog and tailoring my home page with some of my best work along with a bit of info about me!
If you read through the entire article, thank you! If you want to be updated whenever I post, please sign up for my newsletter down below. I can’t wait to share more exciting news with all of you! Feel free to comment down below and let me know what you would like to see moving forward!