Illustrator, and Writer
|Age Levels:||5-10, 11-13, and 14-17|
|Will Travel:||Anywhere in the world|
|SCBWI Profile:||Member Profile|
Update… An 2014 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2014 – Go to http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/2014/11/marjorie-van-heerdens-2014-childrens.html
Update… An 2013 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2013 – Go to http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/2014/01/marjorie-van-heerdens-2013.html
CV before 2012
She and her husband lived and worked in Stellenbosch near Cape Town, South Africa for 20 years, in Johannesburg (SA) for another ten, travelled for eighteen months on honeymoon in a camper van around Europe, lived for a year on the banks of Lake Michigan in the USA and for four years in a forest on a mountain north of Athens in Greece. From each of these places Marjorie drew inspiration for her menagerie of animals, fairies, dragons, monsters and people.
Since 2003 the Van Heerdens live next to the sea in Gordon’s Bay, once again near Cape Town. Their two children are grown up and out of the house. Marjorie’s studio is in the loft and she sits looking at the magnificent view over False Bay while she writes and illustrates her stories.
Marjorie tirelessly works for the development of South African children’s book writers and illustrators and in 2003 she started the South African chapter of the international Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) based in Los Angeles and active in more than 40 countries around the globe. She is currently the co-regional advisor of the SA chapter. (She also started the SCBWI chapter in Greece in 2000).
In 2009 Human & Rousseau Publishers commissioned Marjorie van Heerden to illustrate André P. Brink’s Afrikaans translation of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The publication coincided with the celebrated novelist, scholar and translator’s 75th birthday.
In 2008 Marjorie, with children’s book author, Wendy Hartmann, won the M.E.R Award for best illustrated children’s book, for Nina and Little Duck published by Human & Rousseau (SA) in 2007 (also available in Afrikaans) and in 2011 she won the W.B Mkhize Award given by the Usiba Writers’ Guild for Uhambo LukaLulama Olude (Zulu version of Lulama’s long way home, which she wrote and illustrated (Giraffe Books, an imprint of Pan MacMillan.
She has just completed two Chinese children’s picture books written by Kathleen Ahrens, the SCBWI Regional Advisor chairperson and Chu-Ren Huang. Published in China in 2012 - http://booksfromtheeast.blogspot.com/
Marjorie van Heerden -
Note: Marjorie van Heerden is passionate about children’s books. Since
her first children’s book was published in 1983 she started doing in-depth
research and study on the subject. This led to her sharing her insights and
experience more and more with fellow authors and illustrators. Over the years
she started giving talks and workshops at home, at conferences and on
invitation at colleges and university art and education departments. Her
audiences have ranged from school children, pre-schoolers, educators, parents,
publishers, children’s book writers and illustrators, academics and others.
Here is a selected list of subjects she has focused on over the years:
Selected topics of Talks given by Marjorie
Essential Early Development
Areas – A
PowerPoint presentation to educators and academics.
Illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Alice in
- A PowerPoint presentation to children’s book writers
and illustrators and to school learners and teachers.
The Challenges for Picture Book Authors & Illustrators in
Developing Countries – A PowerPoint Presentation to
children’s book writers and illustrators, publishers, educators (first given at
the AFCC Conference in Singapore in May 2012).
The Function of Illustrations in a Children’s Book – A PowerPoint Presentation to children’s book writers and
illustrators, publishers, educators and librarians (given at the AFCC
Conference in Singapore in May 2012). First presented in Afrikaans as “Die Rol
van Illustrasies in Kinderboeke” at the ATKV Writers School in Johannesburg (April
My Journey as a Children’s Book Writer/Illustrator (Afrikaans: “My Reis as ’n Kinderboekskrywer/illustreerder” – A
PowerPoint Presentation to children’s book writers and illustrators,
publishers, librarians, educators and parents (first given at the ATKV Writers School
in Johannesburg in 2011).
Were Adults influenced by the Books they read as Children? - A talk given to children’s
book writers and illustrators, publishers, educators, booksellers and
librarians (first given at the 2009 Cape Town Book Fair).
The Mind of an Illustrator – A talk first
delivered at the AGM of IBBY (South Africa) in 2008.
My Pictures Tell Stories – A talk given
to children’s book writers and illustrators and to school learners and
Some Notes from a Picture Book Illustrator in Africa – A talk given to children’s book writers and illustrators – based
on an article written by Marjorie and published in Once Upon a Time (Spring 2006; Vol.17 #1) an American children’s
The People and Things that made me a Writer and Illustrator of
Children’s Books – A talk given to children’s book
writers and illustrators, publishers, librarians, educators and parents.
I believe in Magic – A talk given to
children’s book writers and illustrators, publishers, librarians, educators and
One Illustrator’s Journey – First a
slide show and later a PowerPoint presentation given to children’s book writers
and illustrators, publishers, librarians, educators and parents. (First given at
the Children’s Book Forum (later called IBBY South Africa) AGM in July 2003).
Selected list of Workshops Facilitated by
Marjorie van Heerden:
workshops, mostly aimed at children’s book writers and illustrators, usually
range from 2-3 hours up to 3 days.
Art Materials: Working in Colour;
Working in Monotone.
Characterisation in Children’s
Drawing Animals, (or rather,
Mammals) and Fantasy Creatures.
Drawing the Human Form.
Faces: Mixing colour (mixing
Illustrations of Children by
some well-known Artists.
How to draw Children.
· Creating Backgrounds.
Backgrounds: Mixing Colour
Creating good Book Covers.
Illustrating a Children’s Book:
The Creative Process.
Tips for aspirant writers: Looking
at characterisation, plot and all aspects of creating a compelling story.
Resources: How to do research
and use it.
Portfolio presentations and how
one can submit/pitch your work to publishers.
The Role of the Illustrator is
like that of a Moviemaker.
5-Day Children’s Book Illustration Course given
annually by Marjorie van Heerden at Stellenbosch University in South Africa:
2014 Marjorie gave this course at the Spring Workshop of the Visual Arts
Department of Stellenbosch University for the sixth consecutive year.
Introduction to the world of children’s
books illustrators: the process; characterisation
are you? – The mind frame of an illustrator. Who is your audience/ Today’s
process of creating a children’s book – To create a storyboard; to create a
“dummy book”, with rough illustrations.
- The process of creating characters for a picture book: children, adults,
animals, and fantasy characters.
Fundamentals of Drawing
at the child’s physical and mental development and how that can be incorporated
into drawings of children.
draw children – A step-by-step look at the structure of a typical child’s body
and how it changes, starting with the newborn baby up to children of 16 years
difference between adult and child bodies. – How to draw adults.
draw animals, monsters and other creatures.
look at various art materials and techniques. A look at the world of children’s
book publishers and analysing selected published children’s books.
at how Marjorie works in her studio.
at materials; various papers, drawing pencils, inks, watercolours, pastels,
use of colour.
use of monochrome.
of different illustration techniques and styles.
at a variety of picture books – A detailed analysis of a selection of different
types of children’s picture books and specific selected illustrations.
at the world of children’s book publishing, local and international.
on how one can submit/pitch your work to publishers.
A close look at visual backgrounds, light
source and space in an illustration.
- How background creates a sense of place; the value of negative space.
source – The importance of the light source and tone in an illustration.
session: (Exercises under Marjorie’s guidance) Characterisation sketches;
creating a storyboard; creating a dummy-book with rough illustrations.
Creating a children’s book and one-on-one
of Day Four: Doing characterisation sketches; creating a storyboard; creating a
dummy-book with rough illustrations. (Exercises under Marjorie’s guidance).
one-on-one sessions with Marjorie – Evaluation and critique of each participant’s
creative work and some individual guidance and pointers regarding next steps.
More about Marjorie go to http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/