Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrator Intensive with Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Date(s) - 02/07/2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Registration Is Closed


Character Design: Learn how to create characters for children’s books, and how to keep them consistent.  Learn how to create characters that stand out with shape, texture, and color whether using traditional media such as watercolor, gouache, acrylic, mixed media, collage or photoshop, or procreate.


You must pre-register and fees are non-refundable.

FEE: $15 for SCBWI members, $20 for non-members. To receive the SCBWI Member price, you MUST BE LOGGED INTO YOUR SCBWI ACCOUNT. 


Vanessa Brantley-Newton was born during the Civil Rights movement and attended school in Newark, NJ. She was part of a diverse, tight-knit community and learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment at an early age. 

Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was the first time she saw herself in a children’s book. It was a defining moment in her life, and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, Vanessa includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read, so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader.

Vanessa celebrates self-love and acceptance of all cultures through her work, and hopes to inspire young readers to find their own voices. She first learned to express herself as a little girl through song. Growing up in a musical family, Vanessa’s parents taught her how to sing to help overcome her stuttering. Each night the family would gather to make music together, with her mom on piano, her dad on guitar, and Vanessa and her sister, Coy, singing the blues, gospel, spirituals, and jazz. Now whenever she illustrates, music fills the air and finds its way into her art. 

The children she draws can be seen dancing, wiggling, and moving freely across the page in an expression of happiness. Music is a constant celebration, no matter the occasion, and Vanessa hopes her illustrations bring joy to others, with the same magic of a beautiful melody.


Register Below:

This virtual intensive will be presented via Zoom Sunday, February 7, at 1:00 PM Pacific. Registration is required. Note that registration closes midnight, Thursday, February 4, or once we reach capacity. Register now to reserve your spot! If you are an SCBWI member, please log in to your SCBWI account to register.

All confirmed registrants will receive an email containing the event’s access information on Friday, February 5.