Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2022 Florida Regional Conference Illustrator Intensive


Illustrator Intensive


with Laurent Linn and Dan Santat



Join top industry Art Director Laurent Linn and Caldecott Award-winning Illustrator Dan Santat as we practice techniques to create standout portfolio illustrations. Bring a digital or physical sketchbook and an illustration from your portfolio that you would like to workshop. The session will include live critiques, illustration and design demonstrations, as well as opportunities to practice during class. The lessons learned in this workshop will support every future drawing you create.


Glossary of Illustrating Terms

We know there’s a lot of information and jargon tossed out during conferences, so we’ve prepared a handy definition guide to help you. To access the Glossary of Kidlit Terms, CLICK HERE.


Homework for Participants:

•   Bring your digital or physical sketchbook.

•  Submit in advance one piece of art from your portfolio that you would like to workshop or re-envision. This piece should tell a story and demonstrate your personal illustration style. 

What does “tell a story” mean? Can you elaborate?
An image that tells a story is more than just a character design. It’s a character in a scene performing an action. If it helps communicate a key conflict in your story, all the better. If, for example, your story was about a goldfish’s desire to fly, a storytelling illustration might show the goldfish preparing an attempt to fly or actually leaping out of the bowl.

When is the deadline to submit?
Submissions must be turned in one week prior to the conference.

What are the formatting guidelines?
Submissions should be digital JPGs with the shortest dimension being at least 1200 pixels. The second dimension will always be equal to or longer than 1200. This means that a TALL image should be XXX pixels tall by 1200 pixels long and a LONG image should be 1200 pixels tall by XXX pixels long. Tips for scanning / photographing your art can be found here:

Where to submit?
Once registration closes, a form will be sent out to all participants with a link to upload homework.





9:00-9:15 — Introductions and explanation of the day.


9:15-10:15— Critique Part 1
Laurent and Dan will analyze and critique each attendees best art sample (submitted in advance) on projected screen. This session will set the stage for the rest of the workshop, giving participants specific, actionable opportunities to explore.




10:30-11:15—Critique Part 2


11:15-12:00—Designing Better Illustrations with Dan
Dan shares techniques he has developed during his award-winning illustration career, specifically how to improve an existing art piece using better design techniques instead of being “a better painter.”




1:00-1:45—What Art Directors, Editors, and Agents are Looking for in Your Art with Laurent

Laurent shares what makes portfolio and website illustration samples stand out to show that you create art like no one else and are ready to go. 


2:00-2:45—Drawing Session
Coached by Dan and Laurent, students will rethink their art sample with loose drawing in their digital or physical sketchbooks.




Display, critique, and analysis of in-class revisions. Discuss next steps for students and opportunities to progress on their own.

Disclaimer: Our faculty will do their best to accommodate everyone but may not be able to get to all submissions due to time constraints.


3:45-4:15—Q&A / Wrap-up