Erin McGuire

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Meet Erin

Erin McGuire is a children’s book author and illustrator living near Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the past fifteen years, she’s illustrated numerous picture books, middle grade novels, and book covers for clients such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Disney Hyperion, and Scholastic Press. Erin has been the cover artist for Nancy Drew Diaries for the past ten years. Her author/illustrator debut picture book, THE SPY IN THE MUSEUM, is the first picture book biography of French spy Rose Valland, who saved thousands of works of art from Nazi looting and supplied vital intelligence to the Monuments Men during WWII. In addition to her own nonfiction projects, Erin has illustrated biographies of Lady Bird Johnson and Harper Lee, and illustrated several historical fiction projects. Erin has also taught and lectured internationally about art, illustration, and picture books.

Sessions + Events

Critiques + Reviews

  • Manuscript Critique - PB, Nonfiction
  • PB Dummy Review
  • Portfolio Review

Illustrating Nonfiction Picture Books: My Secret Strategies - Special Session

Friday, Sept 20th 4 pm - 5 pm


When you illustrate nonfiction, you have to get it right. Join author-illustrator Erin McGuire as she shares her best tips and secret strategies for tackling all of the challenges related to illustrating nonfiction. From recreating historical fashion and environments, to getting unstuck from research dead-ends, you’ll gain an arsenal of tools to create exciting artwork for nonfiction projects. Attendees will gain several skills, including: a deeper understanding of the nonfiction book market, how to approach drawing people from history (even if they lived before photography), different ways to shoot photo reference, tips for drawing historical fashion, how to research historical environments that might not exist anymore, how to utilize 3D models without learning any new software, and how to use color and lighting to create the mood for a historical subject.

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