Creating Picture Books with Margaret Hamilton and Dee Huxley - 28 February 2009

On Saturday 28th February I attended Creating Picture Books and listened to Margaret Hamilton and Dee Huxley talk and present for five wonderful hours. Did I learn something? Lots. Did I enjoy it? Heaps. Would I recommend this course? YES.

Dee is passionate about her work and all those students in her art classes are very lucky indeed. As I watched Dee display and talk about her portfolio, I desperately wished for just a smidgen of artistic talent.

Margaret is a wealth of information on every aspect of picture book publication and presentation. Listening to her stories is both informative and encouraging. Not that she said it was easy but seeing a publisher's love for a book they 'just had to publish' - well, it doesn't get more inspiring than that.

So often I attend courses - and no matter how interested I am in the subject matter - I find myself bored part way through. Not this time. This course is entertaining and Margaret and Dee make a great tag team. The hardest thing for me was letting go of the original Stephen Michael King sketches from Janeen Brian's Where Does Thursday Go? It's one of my favourite picture books and it was exciting to hold those drawings in my hands.

If anyone is interested Creating Picture Books course information can be downloaded here. - Sandy Fussell

Feedback from attendees:

I really enjoyed learning about the technical aspect of picture book production: colour printing, page lay-out and design, and so on. I also found the presenters obvious preference for much shorter picture book texts enlightening. I have several picture book texts which are far fewer than 450 words; I now feel more confident to run with these rather than feeling the pressure to flesh them out. - Kathryn

It was particularly interesting to learn about the illustrators experience and to see the samples of books in various production stages that Margaret offered - Lili

It was encouraging to see both Marg and Dee being so enthusiastic and passionate about such a treasured part of the publishing industry - that of picture books - Anke