Brown bear character art of Bernie, AKA, Bearnadette

Illustration for Children’s Books

Annual Talent Search For a Children’s Book Illustrator

illustration of birds on teacup for global talent search 2016
Birds Chatter on Tea Cup, my entry for GTS2016

I’ve emerged from my cave after sleeping through the fourth annual Lilla Rogers’s Global Talent Search. I would still be in the dark about the talent search if not for artsy friends on Instagram. Fortuitously, a hash tag led me to a talented network of artist and illustrators who had entered a contest to win agency representation by Lilla Rogers Studio.

Lilla Rogers at Make Art That Sells sponsors an annual  Global Talent Search competition to find talented children’s book illustrators. The Grand Prize winner receives agency representation from Lilla Rogers Studio; career development support in illustration; and numerous product licenses. Zowie!

Stop the presses: Lilla Rogers announced the winners of the Global Talent Search 2016. Entering the finals, Five Finalists were selected! Also, Mara Penny’s menu cover for Sunny Spindler’s cafe received the People’s Choice Award! See their work!

I found Make Art That Sells When I Fell Down a Rabbit Hole

Hat with pink and yellow feathers and sprinkles illustration
Hats off to MATS “Semi-Finalists 2016”

I discovered MATS after seeing a teacup illustration Mitsib posted on Instagram. It had a zillion hashtags. I loved her teacup, so I clicked a few of the hashtags, particularly #gts2016  and #globaltalentsearch. Soon I was in a teacup wonderland of illustrations.

Flash forward: Michelle Brown, AKA Mitsib, came through the first round of contest elimination, and received the prestigious “I’m a Semi-Finalist” banner to proudly wave on Instagram. Her art is one of 50 illustrations chosen out of nearly 1,000. Hats off to Michelle!

Global Talent and the 50 Semi-Finalists

Truly a global event, the 50 Semi-Finalists came from:

  • Europe (21)
  • North America (22)
  • Australia (6)
  • Africa (1).

For the first-round of competition, Lilla created a real-world design challenge. Artists were challenged to illustrate a teacup and napkin set for Sunny Spindler, a fictional character who owns a candy shop and café. Lilla posted photos and inspirational reference materials to fuel the imagination and provide art direction.

Beaded bar icon in green

Lilla and a panel of judges narrowed the initial 1,000ish entries down to 50 Semi Finalists. For the second round of judging, the 50 Semi Finalists were charged to illustrate a menu cover for Sunny’s café.

The judging of the menu covers is underway. YOU can take part in discovering the next great book illustrator with your vote for the People’s Choice Award. The window to vote closes Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Chop Chop!

Stay tuned. Lilla Rogers will announce the finalists, Sept. 7, 2016.

I was carried away with enthusiasm for the contest

birds on a gilded tea cup illustration
Birds chatter on Bohemian teacup

Seeing the teacup contest, I quickly posted my teacup . It was a last hour entry. I was late to the party: No time to read entry qualifications or read Lilla’s artistic direction. My teacup was simply an aristocratic teacup with a pair of fancy birds – not a teacup and napkin set for Sunny Spindler’s café. I feel like a school girl who handed in homework without reading the assignment.

Icon of a curved bar with fringe in blue

Notably, as well, MATS bestowed an Honorable Mention on  33 outstanding illustrators who did not make it to the semi-finals.

Make Art That Sells posted a gallery of the 50 semi-finalist for #GTS2016 on their FB page. On Instagram, search #globaltalentsearch.

Resource for the Art of Children’s Book Illustration

If you desire a career in children’s book illustration, Make Art That Sells offers classes and resources on their website.

A current class offering in October is Illustrating Children’s Books by Lilla Rogers, art agent, and Zoë Tucker, children’s book art director.
The class is structured over five weeks. The class target for you is to create a “brilliant children’s book pitch to help you land your dream children’s book gig.”
Class content includes:

  • Over 20 videos
  • Weekly assignments
  • Live weekly video reviews
  • Interviews with publishers and illustrators
  • …more

If you missed the Global Talent Search this year, think of this as a heads up for next year.

The Tea Party is Over

The 2016 Global Talent Search deadline has come and gone.

If you are like me and missed the party this year, you have a year to, in Lilla’s words, “Take it Up a Notch” before next year’s contest.

ice cream sundae art with extra, extra sprinkles
Extra, extra sprinkles, please!

My viewpoint on artwork is “Add sprinkles to everything” … turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Lilla Rogers says it like this, “Take it up a notch,” her secret to Make Art That Sells.

Art is Everywhere

There was a moment when I wondered if art would fall by the wayside in this technological world we zoom around in, but on second look, art is on the rise as we share our ideas and use art to illustrate our thoughts.

Fancy Bird icon
Bird in Formal Attire

I just passed along a magazine I read in 10 minutes to a friend who was helping me at the DMV. I heard myself say as I handed her the magazine across the counter, “I’ve already seen all the pictures.”

Bird on Cactus in pink, desert evening sun
Bird on Cactus in desert evening sun

Later, I smiled to myself realizing I didn’t read the magazine at all. I am simply one of those people who think reading  the photographs and illustrations is synonymous with reading the magazine, proving to myself that the art of illustration is alive and well!

Published by

Patricia Wiskur

My love for art comes from years in the studio of Wiskur Productions, with my husband, Darrell Wiskur, a designer and photographer. Also, I was an editor and photographer in the real world for 17 years ... all the while, thankful for an artful life and cherished memories. Photos are ©2019 Darrell D. Wiskur