Drab to Delightful: Craft Engaging Characters for Picture Books with Mirka Hokkanen

Jun 29, 2024 - Jul 27, 2024

Online event

Illustrators: are you feeling stuck with designing characters for picture books? Have you gotten feedback that your characters are stiff or not drawn consistently? This Summer Springboard for Illustrators is a 2-part class designed to help you take your character designs from bland and stiff to charming and energetic. You’ll learn how to use the personality of your character to guide its design and give it energy, how to use shapes to explore character design and five tips on how to draw characters consistently.

Webinar Dates and Times

Saturday June 29, 2024 12 noon -1:30 pm Eastern and Saturday July 27, 2024 12 noon -1:30 pm Eastern

Each session is 90 minutes long

Registration will close at NOON, Friday, June 28, 2024

How It Works

The first session will be a presentation with slides and a live demo. 

The second session is a chance for you to take what you learned and put it into practice. Bring your character sketches to the second session for an open critique and get friendly feedback from fellow workshop attendees.  

Second session details

You will receive a link to a Google folder to upload your character sketch for a critique. Work will be critiqued in the order that it was uploaded, and in the case of an overflow of work for the time that we have, we can’t guarantee that everyone will get a chance to have their work reviewed. 

Please note registration confirmations are no longer emailed. You can find your confirmation and the Zoom link on your member home page under My events. The button is located between your News feed and Resources buttons

If you do not receive your registration confirmation, please email mddewv@scbwi.org with “(name of event) registration issue” in the subject line. Emails must be sent no later than 24 hours prior to an event to ensure a response.

A link to a recording of this event will be emailed the day after the webinar and will be available to registered attendees for 30 days.


Premium member price: $25

Regular price: $45

You must be an SCBWI member and logged in to your SCBWI member account in order to register.

Not a member yet? Learn more here.

Note: if you have a current paid SCBWI membership, you are now a Premium Member.

Optional Critiques

Mirka Hokkanen is offering post-event written picture book dummy, picture book manuscript, or portfolio critiques.

Critiques are available to Premium Members only.

If you DO NOT purchase a critique, when you register you must check Show this registration in My Events (if you signed up for a critique you DO NOT NEED to check this choice)

Details on submitting your manuscript will be emailed the day after the webinar. Submissions are due one week after the webinar. 

Critique fees paid are non-refundable.

All critiques are $70

About the Presenter


Mirka Hokkanen

is a Finnish-American neurodivergent (ADHD) artist, author and illustrator who loves nature and quirky animal characters. An award winning author-illustrator, Mirka is best known for her picture book series Kitty & Cat, graphic novel series Mossy & Tweed, and her nonfiction picture book series Little Seasons. Mirka has an MFA in printmaking, and has over a decade of experience in the fine art world, exhibiting in galleries, teaching in-person classes and selling work at art fairs before starting to illustrate books and license her work. As a military spouse and mom to three kids, Mirka has learned to adapt quickly to all kinds of situations, and turn challenges into opportunities. When not creating a menagerie in the studio, Mirka takes care of the zoo she has at home: three kids, a kitty, a pup, and a husband.


Questions? Email us at md/de/wv@scbwi.org