Making a Children’s Book with Katie Yamasaki

Tue, May 7, 2019 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Do you have an idea for a children’s book? Have you already written one and want to explore publishing options? This workshop is for adults of all ages and abilities who want to explore the following areas of making a children’s book* from start to finish. Topics will include:

  • How to tell your story
  • Picture book structure
  • Reaching your target audience
  • Learning about the publishing industry
  • The submission process
  • How to query an agent
  • Working with an editor and art director
  • Self-publishing
  • Connecting with a community of book makers to support you through the process!

Participants should bring an idea for a story, basic drawing utensils (pencils are fine), notepad, samples of their artwork (any level welcome) and a favorite picture book or two that they feel lives in the world visually and content-wise where they want their book to live.

This workshop is part of the programming for Lil’ Radicals: Multicultural + Social Justice Publications for Kids in the 21st Century on view from April 6-June 1, 2019.

*Graphic novelists are more than welcome, but Yamasaki is not experienced in that field and won’t be able to offer as much substantial support for the creation of a graphic novel.

Instructor Bio: Katie Yamasaki is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She works primarily as a muralist, children’s book author / illustrator and teaching artist. Yamasaki’s mural work has enabled her to travel widely, creating visual dialogues among diverse communities. From schools to prisons, housing occupations to hospitals, Yamasaki sees her art as a vehicle for dialogue, a tool for building platforms for communication. Yamasaki has painted over 80 murals around the world.

Another major focus of Yamasaki’s work is storytelling. She has published several books as both author/illustrator and illustrator only: Honda, The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars (illustrator only, Lee and Low, 2007); Lifelines, the Black Book of Proverbs (illustrator only, Broadway Books/Random House, 2009), Fish for Jimmy (Holiday House, 2013), When the Cousins Came (Holiday House, 2018), God’s Big Plan (illustrator only, Flyaway, 2019), Everything Naomi Loved (Norton, 2020), Dad Bakes (Holiday House, 2020) and the biography of her architect grandfather, Minoru Yamasaki, YAMA (Lee & Low, est. 2021).

Yamasaki earned BA at Earlham College and her MFA in the Illustration as Visual Essay program from the School of Visual Arts in 2003, where she is currently a member of the faculty. Prior to teaching at SVA, Yamasaki was a public school Spanish and Art teacher for 14 years. Yamasaki comes from a huge, diverse family, that is full of (among many other things), artists and teachers.