Opportunities Board

Masterclass Package: Developing Picture Book Characters

Opportunity closes: 20th May 2022
Type: Masterclass
Based: London
Salary: Undisclosed

Website: pathways-org.com
Instagram: @pathways

Book both our Masterclasses and see your picture book characters come to life after two days of expert training.

Masterclass 1: Bringing Characters to Life with Dapo Adeola & Chanté Timothy

Creating appealing, engaging and authentic characters is essential to making successful picture books. In this one-day masterclass with the award-winning Dapo Adeola (Look Up!) and acclaimed illustrator Chanté Timothy, you’ll explore character case studies, and use practical exercises and group sharing to transform your draft character concepts into believable characters through movement, gesture and interaction, using story to bring them to life.

All you’ll need to bring with you is a sketched character concept (detailed guidance will be provided by the artists when you sign up). During the masterclass, participants will be developing their draft character concepts, working on character design and visual development to produce a finished character. As part of this masterclass, you’ll also receive valuable and critical feedback on your character design.

This masterclass will be delivered in-person. If you are unable to join the session in-person, we are happy to accommodate online attendance. Please email [email protected] if you wish to join online once you have purchased your ticket.

After the workshop, every participant will receive a comprehensive resource pack on character design compiled by Dapo Adeola & Chanté Timothy.


  • Dapo Adeola is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and character designer who creates characters and images that challenge expectations around race and gender in a fun and upbeat way. He is the co-creator and illustrator of the bestselling picture book Look Up!, winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Number 1 debut picture book of 2019. Dapo also runs illustration and character design workshops in and out of schools, to help highlight the importance of representation in popular media and the possibilities of a career in illustration to children from diverse ethnicities.
  • Chanté Timothy is a children’s book illustrator whose work explores movement, expression, and storytelling through her characters. A Pathways alumni who is published in four amazing titles, Hey You! by Dapo Adeola, My Big Mouth by Steven Camden, Happy Here introduced by Sharna Jackson alongside 10 Black British authors and 10 Illustrators, and A Black Woman Did That by Malaika Adero. Chanté’s work consists of vibrant imagery focused on different themes of diversity.

Masterclass 2: Illustrating People - the Nosy Parker’s Guide with Sara Ogilvie & Jane Buckley

No matter how simple or complex your illustration style, observation and capturing detail from body language is vital in making authentic, convincing characters and narratives that readers can emotionally connect with. Over two half-days of playful exercises and real-life assignments you’ll explore facial expressions and body language, draw from life and memory, and evolve characters, interactions and scenes with humour and empathy. Involves homework between sessions. All you’ll need to bring is a sketchbook.

The first session on Sunday 19th June will be delivered in-person at Discover Children's Story Centre in London. The second session on Saturday 2nd July will be delivered online only.

If you are unable to join the first session in-person, we are happy to accommodate online attendance. Please email [email protected] if you wish to join online once you have purchased your ticket.


  • Sara Ogilvie is an award-winning illustrator and printmaker. In 2010, her first picture book Dogs Don’t do Ballet with writer Anna Kemp was published for Simon and Schuster. It led to a Booktrust’s Best New Illustrators award in 2011 which paved the way for ten years of successful picture book collaborations picking up recognition on shortlists including the Roald Dahl Funny prize, Sainsbury's Picture Book awards, and the Waterstones Children's Prize. This year, The Hospital Dog, in collaboration with Julia Donaldson, won the Indie Book Prize in the picture book category. Izzy Gizmo, written by Pip Jones, is currently being animated and orchestrated for Music in the Round based in Sheffield.
  • Jane Buckley - With over twenty years’ experience in children’s publishing, Jane has worked for a wealth of publishers including Penguin Random House, Little Tiger Press, Kingfisher, and Dorling Kindersley. Throughout her career, she’s worked with a variety of award-winning illustrators such as Benji Davies, Sara Ogilvie, Liz Pichon, and Kate Hindley. Jane started her journey studying Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, as a painter and filmmaker with a keen eye for a good story and, as a result, the picture book world soon beckoned. Through her determination and hard work, she now finds herself as the British Book Awards Designer of the Year winner and Art Director of Picture Books and Novelty at Simon & Schuster UK.

All aspiring illustrators, 18 and over, with an interest in children's book illustration and for more experienced artists looking to try something new


  • Masterclass 1: Sunday 22nd May 2022
  • Masterclass 2: Sunday 19th June & Saturday 2nd July 2022


  • Discover Children's Story Centre, 383-387 High St, London E15 4QZ or online if you are unable to attend in-person
  • Discover Children's Story Centre & Online


  • £170 [Early Bird, if booked by Sunday 10th April 2022]
  • £210 [General Admission, from Monday 11th April 2022]

Tickets to this event are non-refundable.