Surround yourself with talented creative people in your field

I’m talking about the world of writing and illustrating books for children. I’m pretty sure the same applies to other fields also, but my experience is in the wonderful world of children’s literature. We all need insightful feedback from professionals in the field and trusted and a talented critique group to grow in our art.

This week I was lucky enough to receive a critique on my children’s picture book dummy from the talented Cheryl Klein, editorial director at Lee & Low Books. My critique was in conjunction with the KS/MO–SCBWI Fall Conference. It was the most insightful and thorough critique I have ever received, and I have received many through the years. She is a very generous person with her time, experience, and talents. I sincerely thank you, Cheryl Klein.

Miss Josefina’s Pockets was written and illustrated by Dayne Sislen.

Every writer and/or illustrator needs a critique group. A group of talented and helpful people who understand your goals and are willing to read or look at your work with fresh eyes and give you constructive feedback. You may not agree with their assessment, but you need to step back and view your work through their fresh eyes. We all get too close to our own work and fail to see the weaknesses. A professional in the field can help you even more, because they understand children’s literature and are aware of current trend.

It’s also important to have experienced professional on your side when you self publish. I have professional illustrated 15 books for other authors and publishers since 2011. Each books takes me between 6 months and a year to finish. I work very closely with each author to bring their vision to the printed page. I also write and illustrate my own books when I have time between illustrating for other authors.

Below are a few of the books I have been privileged to illustrate for other authors:

“Harry & Larry’s Epic Adventure,” by Tracey O’Brien; “The Cow Cocoon”, by Rachel Nolen and Maria Price; “The Girl Who Found Christmas,” by Barbara Escher; and “There’s a Mouse on my Head,” by Donna Warwick.

If you would like more information about having me illustrate your book, contact me. I can also help you successfully navigate through the confusing world of self-publishing.

All books shown above are illustrated by Dayne Sislen

Dayne Sislen is a children’s book writer and picture book illustrator. #Picturebooks, #KidLit, #KidlitArt, St. Louis Picture book Illustrator, Member of SCBWI,