We owe all our success to our wonderful students and we have had quite a few take our classes and go on to illustrate books and sign with agents! Here's a few of their stories:
I first came across SVS in 2015. It was during a time when I decided to take illustration more seriously. I wasn't quite sure where illustration would take me, or even what type of illustration I wanted to do. What I did know was that I needed to improve my skills to a level that would be marketable.
As soon as I started courses on SVS, I could see various aspects of my art improving. I found their courses to be easily digestible which translated well to practical application. About five or six months after joining SVS, I drew and submitted a piece to one of their live critique sessions. After making a few suggested changes, I submitted that same piece to an SCBWI illustration contest. To make a long story short, I was selected as one of the finalists which led to getting into contact with an agent who I eventually signed with.
SVS is a great combination of quality instruction and a supportive community. Will, Jake, and Lee are dynamite. They bring a tremendous amount of skill, knowledge, and experience to the table, and on top of that they are excellent teachers and mentors. And this isn't even taking into account the guest teachers that they are able to bring on board. The sense of community is also part of the SVS experience. Art can be a very lonely occupation, but the forums on SVS were always active and reminded me that there were other like-minded individuals all striving and supporting each other to improve. Whenever I'm asked if I have any recommendations in regards to art instruction, SVS is always one of the resources that I suggest. It's a fantastic investment for anyone looking to further their career as an artist.
Charlie Eve Ryan
Early on as an artist/writer, I learned no matter what I did failure would come for me. It comes for all of us in waves and I could not allow myself to be paralyzed by the fear of it. I knew almost nothing and was riding on instinct. It was my job to learn from it, grow and strive to be better. One way I did that was to surround myself with people who were/are exceptionally more talented than me on every level and learn as much as I could from them. Insert SVS.
I learned about SVS through Will Terry. I had taken a few of his photoshop classes online and really connected with his teaching style. I had already been a fan of Jake Parker's work and when I heard they were putting together a Live Online Children's Book Illustration course I jumped at the chance to be a part of their very first class. For me, it was a dream combination and the class was packed full of useful information, practical tips, and personal feedback. I started to see my artwork in all new ways.
Lee White was a huge bonus and I squealed like a school girl when I found out he was joining the team.
Will, Jake and Lee are not only exceedingly talented artists, but they know how to break down their knowledge and share it in a way that is easy to understand and apply. They are excellent teachers and entrepreneurs. These three know how to run a business. When I share my work with them, I know I'm going to get an honest, constructive critique. They don't pull punches and it is exactly what I need to push forward.
As a late creative bloomer and youngish mother of two little children, SVS was by far the best learning platform for me. It allowed me the flexibility I needed to learn while supporting for my family. I've watched SVS grow right along with my children and art career. It has been beyond exciting and it's only the beginning.
I am a now a life long subscriber. The forum has been a great way to connect with other artists. I love being able to rewatch classes especially when I am stuck or need to review. I make a point to put aside extra money every year to take a few of the Live Classes, too. I know with every SVS class I take it is an opportunity to level up my skillset.
My work is now represented by Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency and we are working on a few books for submission to publishers. With my youngest going into first grade in the fall, I have the opportunity to pursue my art career full time. None of that would have been possible without my SVS mentors.
SVS for life.