Illustrating children’s books is a notoriously competitive industry to get into. Given Barnes spent the weekend heaving with artistic talent it seemed only fair to garner some advice for anyone starting out. So we asked four seriously renowned illustrators for their golden rules for any aspiring artists.

“My Golden Rule is that anything that happens within the story should always be moving the story along. Characters should never have a conversation that doesn’t actually impact what is happening to them. Everything that happens and everywhere they go should always be furthering the adventure.” Lorenzo Etherington, of comic book duo The Etherington Brothers.


“If I’m not enjoying it, then the reader won’t enjoy it. So have enthusiasm and passion.” Marcia Williams, the illustrator behind Comic Strip Classics.


“I don’t have a magic formula, but I always tell people to look at a lot of art, go to museums and stay curious.” Axel Scheffler, creator of The Gruffalo.

Axel 3

“Just do it all the time or as much as you can. All you need is a pencil and your imagination.” Garry Parsons, whose latest works include Are You The Pirate Captain?


Compiled by Arno Bryant, Malika Kingston and Juliet Vandensteen

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