Useful Illustrator Links


🍁 indicates a Canadian site

Be sure to check out our Useful Links page for more general kidlit links.

Excellent Starting Points

AOI (The Association of Illustrators)

The Association of Illustrators is the professional body for illustration in the UK. Since 1973, the AOI has been championing illustrators and the illustration industry with education, promotion, and campaigning to achieve a thriving industry for us all. Based in London, with members across 38 countries.

🍁 Illustration Québec

Fondé en 1983, Illustration Québec est un organisme à but non lucratif ayant pour mission de regrouper et de soutenir les illustrateurs, ainsi que de promouvoir et de diffuser l’illustration.

Illustration Québec is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 whose mission is to bring together and support illustrators, as well as to promote and publicize illustration.

The Society of Illustrators

Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators is the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America. Its mission is to promote the art of illustration, to appreciate its history and evolving nature through exhibitions, lectures, and education, and to contribute the service of its members to the welfare of the community at large. We offer year-round themed exhibits, art education programs, and annual juried competitions.

Educational Resources

The Illustration Department

Founded by Giuseppe Castellano in July 2015, The Illustration Department has become a global leader in online education for illustrators of all experience levels. They have personalized classes designed around each illustrator—with a focus on their strengths, their areas of growth, and their career goals. Sample courses: 3 and 6-month mentorships, Character Design Workshop, 3-week Picture Book Workshop, 3-week Illustration Workshop, 1-hour Portfolio Review, etc. Each session is conducted via Google Hangouts—an easy-to-use, no-sign-up-required, platform.

SVS: School of Visual Storytelling

Founded by Will Terry and Jake Parker, the School of Visual Storytelling (or SVSLearn) is an online resource for artists of all skill levels. They offer online art classes that you can stream on demand no matter where you are. They have classes covering everything from perspective drawing to character design, and composition to visual storytelling. You can subscribe and get instant access to 80+ video courses made by working artists. You can buy individual video courses. Or you can take an interactive class.


Adobe Color

Color is a web app and creative community where you and other artists can create and share color themes and inspiration. Save themes to your Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries to use in your favorite desktop and mobile apps, like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Photoshop Sketch. You can create color themes with rules based on color theory, as well as convert themes into RGB, LAB, CMYK, HSV, and Pantone colors without losing brightness or color accuracy.


3×3 Magazine for Contemporary Illustration

3×3 is the first publication devoted entirely to the art of contemporary illustration. Published in the United States and distributed worldwide, their sole interest is in sharing what’s shaping international illustration. Their mission is to preserve, protect, and promote illustration in all its forms.

🍁 Applied Arts

The Applied Arts magazine is Canada’s authoritative voice on visual communications. Since 1986, their focus has been to bring the best in creative achievement, strong opinions, timely information, and essential industry insight to their readership of creative and marketing professionals. The magazine is issued semi-annually (summer and winter). Each issue showcases the latest winners of their annual Advertising, Design, Photography, Illustration, and Student competitions.

Les Arts Dessinées

Publié en France, Les Arts Dessinés est un magazine uniquement consacré au dessin, sous toutes ses formes. Dedans, vous trouverez dessinateurs de presse, illustrateurs, auteurs de bande dessinée, peintres, décorateurs, architectes, designers, graphistes, couturiers, concepteurs de jeux vidéo, directeurs artistiques, etc.

Published in France, Les Arts Dessinées is a magazine dedicated solely to drawing, in all its forms. Inside this magazine, you’ll find press cartoonists, illustrators, cartoonists, painters, decorators, architects, designers, graphic artists, dressmakers, video game designers, art directors, etc.

Directory of Illustration

Published in the United States, the Directory of Illustration is a national talent directory and portfolio website open to professional illustrators. It is distributed each January to art buyers nationally.


3×3 Shows

3×3 Magazine has been judging the world’s best contemporary illustrations since 2003. Their mission is to spotlight the best contemporary international artists they can find and encourage a new focus on the use of illustration by the global editorial, advertising, and design communities. There are two main categories: Professional Show and Student Show. Eligibility is open worldwide to all illustrators at all levels. In addition, art directors, graphic designers, educators, editors, and publishers may enter work they have commissioned. Work must have been produced, not necessarily published, prior to the show deadline.

🍁 Alcuin Society Book Design Awards

The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada is the only national competition for book design. The Alcuin Awards competition has been held annually since 1984, with the exception of 2022 which combined 2020-1 submissions. Categories have changed slightly over the years. Most recently, “Comics/Bandes dessinées” was added in 2016 to recognize the increase in the publication of graphic novels. Winners are Canadian book designers whose books were published in Canada in the previous calendar year. Every year, the Society selects three judges with slightly varied areas of expertise. The winning books are exhibited both nationally and internationally and recognized in the media and at award ceremonies, as well as in their annual exhibition catalogues.

Applied Arts Illustration Awards

For over 35 years, Applied Arts Media has been the go-to destination for creative advice, insight, and inspiration. The Applied Arts Awards celebrate innovative creativity, and capture the current visual arts landscape in Canada and beyond. The Applied Arts Awards celebrate published, unpublished, personal, and student work from the advertising, design, illustration, and photography spectrum.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair — Illustrator’s Exhibition

The Illustrators Exhibition is a showcase for the latest trends in illustration and talent spotting new artists held during Bologna Children’s Book Fair . Launched in 1967, the Exhibition displays a wide selection of artists from different countries offering young emerging talents tangible professional opportunities. The work of all the artists is published in the well-known Illustrators Annual: a large catalogue for publishers and professionals from all over the world, enriched with contributions from members of the jury.

Communication Arts Illustration Competition

Communication Arts has six juried competitions that cover the entire field of visual communications. With winning entries published both in print and online, art and creative directors, graphic designers, Web designers, copywriters, photographers, and illustrators find these competitions a priority for worldwide promotion and a valuable resource for potential clients and colleagues.

Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition

The premier showcase for illustrators and animators, the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition features over 400 pieces of the most outstanding works created throughout each year. Open to artists worldwide, thousands of entries are considered by a jury of professionals, which include renowned illustrators, art directors, and designers. Further information can be found on the SOI Competitions website.

Society of Illustrators Original Art Competition

The Original Art is an annual exhibit created to showcase illustrations from the year’s best children’s books published in the U.S. For editors and art directors, it’s an inspiration and a treasure trove of talent to draw upon. For art students, it’s a marvelous opportunity to examine—up close—the work of the best in the field. And for the public, it’s a chance to appreciate the enormous range of creativity in children’s books and to see the printed pages alongside the original paintings, drawings, prints, and collages they represent. Further information can be found on the SOI Competitions website. 

World Illustration Awards

Delivered by the AOI (Association of Illustrators) (UK) in partnership with the USA-based Directory of Illustration , the Awards build on a 45-year tradition of the AOI organizing juried survey competitions. This high-profile competition is judged by distinguished professionals from the global illustration industry. The World Illustration Awards showcase the great work being made by illustrators all over the world today.

Links to Non-SCBWI Events

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – Illustrators Survival Corner

Established for illustrators by popular demand in 2017, the Illustrators Survival Corner is a BCBF space dedicated to the profession of illustrating, conceived for the many artists who come to the Fair every year looking for new jobs or to show publishers their portfolios.

The Illustrators Survival Corner is the place for illustrators to share experiences, hone their skills and find practical solutions to industry issues by talking with international experts. The Illustrators Survival Corner hosts internationally-renowned artists, leading publishers, agents, editors, and art directors from all over the world, who share their expertise through master classes, workshops, and portfolio reviews. A dedicated daily calendar of events covers different areas of the profession, from designing children’s books to self-promotion, managing interviews with publishers, contracts, using social media, and game design.

Since its inception, the Survival Corner has welcomed thousands of participants each year. It has become one of the most popular venues at the Fair and is a fixture in the BCBF’s extensive online programme of the last few years.

🍁 Festival BD de Montréal / Montreal Comic Arts Festival

Le FBDM vise à faire la promotion de la bande dessinée en devenant la plateforme de convergence, de référence et le pôle de rencontre entre les acteurs et actrices du milieu et leurs publics.

MCAF’s mission is to be a leading platform for the comic arts in Quebec and beyond, to broaden public knowledge of and engagement with the comic arts, and to promote cultural exchanges and interactions between creators, readers, and the public at large.

🍁 Festival de littérature jeunesse Montréal

Le Festival de Littérature Jeunesse de Montréal (FLJM), mis en place par l’organisme à but non lucratif Page par Page, a pour mission de promouvoir la littérature, l’écriture et le dessin auprès des enfants et des adolescents. Le festival est gratuit pour pouvoir permettre aux enfants de toutes les classes sociales d’avoir accès à la littérature jeunesse.

Le Festival de Littérature Jeunesse de Montréal (FLJM), organized by the non-profit organization Page par Page, aims to promote literature, writing, and drawing among children and adolescents. The festival is free to allow children of all social classes to have access to children’s literature.

ICON: The Illustrator’s Conference

ICON: The Illustration Conference is a 4-day event featuring paper presentations by top educators, workshops led by and for illustrators, a marketplace, an exhibition showing original works, a juried animation screening, 2-full days of mainstage presentations, opportunities to meet your heroes, reconnect with friends, and rub elbows with that special art director, and so much more. ICON is committed to providing a diverse forum for an ongoing dialogue that serves the illustration, design, publishing, advertising, and academic communities. The conference is held every two years in the US.

Pictoplasma: Conference and Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art

The central Pictoplasma Conference, held in Berlin, presents lectures by the world’s most influential artists and upcoming talents, cutting-edge illustrators, game designers, and leading animation filmmakers, offering the chance to learn from and be inspired by some of today’s most innovative and avant-garde artists.

🍁 Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Founded in 2003, the TORONTO COMIC ARTS FESTIVAL (TCAF) is an internationally acclaimed comic book festival held annually in Toronto, Ontario. TCAF is a free-admission event.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival exists to promote the breadth and diversity of comics, and what is considered comics, as a legitimate medium of literary and artistic worth. We seek to promote the creators of these works in their broad and diverse voices, for the betterment of the medium of comics and to reach as wide an audience as possible for them.

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