Can / Should you write and illustrate.



  • Hi Everyone

    I am a brand new member and hail from South Africa. A little nervous to ask my first question, there are so many talented illustrators here and I have so much to learn. I have just listened to the podcast number 7 on 3 point perspective " 10 reasons I won't illustrate your children's book "... I was was wondering if it is wise to illustrate and write my own stories, I have so many ideas...

    Let me give some background about myself and history to perhaps put things in perspective. Professionally I own a small web dev and graphic design firm. Its been very successful and I have been going for about a decade now. So why the need to shift?

    My line of work can really hit a creative brick wall after a while. The coding and graphic design can be mundane and there is a lot of client dictatorship in my line of work. So I am not really enjoying it even though I land regular work and I am pretty good at it.... but I don't love it and I feel my creative muscles are been wasted away.

    As a child to young adulthood. I never watched any TV. I read lots and lots and lots of books. I am one of 9 children so when we went to the library we all took 4 books out and I read all my books plus most of my siblings every 4 weeks. Also, I drew a lot in pencil a lot growing up and loved it.

    I have always wanted to get back into illustration and over the past year have been learning a lot from Von Glitscha an illustrator teacher and vector artist on LinkedIn learning. I am currently busy putting together a few digital products to launch my own Etsy store, just to sell digital printable and earn a little extra on the side.. I have learned a lot there but there was still something missing. One of the challengings on linked was to draw 21 days which I did and it became addictive in a very short space of time.

    This is when I first came across inking and learned about inktober. I came to svs learn, saw who the authors were and then googled @Will-Terry. When I saw your artwork it hit me like a ton of bricks, wow ... I had to stop and just stare, I knew this is what I was supposed to be doing. I think have been watching your videos on youtube every day between my work for the last 2 weeks. I just cant get enough. Then I started watching @Jake-Parker's videos as well and i was blown away again. I love your inking style but will terrys fine art style is equally just as cool. So much love and passion goes into your work and you can both feel and see that. @Lee-White I have not had a chance to properly look through your work as yet.

    I have since joined svslearn and am going through each of the learning courses one by one. Evert morning I am listening to your podcast episodes while I train in the gym, its replaced my music and its way more interesting. Sorry for the long banter...

    I am willing to do whatever I am told to improve, no critique is harsh and I am willing to be humble and just breathe in the lessons and learn. And yes I am willing to put in 10 000 hours to be an expert in this field. I am already a business owner so I know all about constant failure, trying a thousand times over and developing a thick skin.

    My approach to this journey is to do as a student but as an entrepreneur. I want to create art that sells and don't mind self-publishing, I already have a strong background in marketing because of my current career?

    Do you think I should / can write my own books? ( have at least 6 books with rough outlines of content, but no illustrations that why I am here to learn first) I don't mind this journey talking 5 years or more before I even publish the first book. Ok I shall shut up now... But honest feedback and help would be greatly appreciated. 🙂



  • It´s great to know your story and I can relate to some parts of it (“client dictatorship” is a good one!). I work part-time in corporate marketing, though since one year I´m responsible for illustration there too, so things have come full circle - the rest of the time I do freelance children illustration and try to write my stories.

    Anyhow, my short question after your long description would be: what´s stopping you? I mean, why do you feel you need permission, since you seem fully prepared for the journey?



  • @smceccarelli Your answer is both profound and simple... the answer is... nothing actually. I don't know why I am asking permission. Seems silly now that I think about it. I guess all that left is to simply start. 🙂


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    You are in a great spot. You have literally no downside to beginning this journey. You have a job that pays the bills. And you have a job where you may be able to work some illustration in as needed to get some professional experience in illustration. Time to get to work and just do it! : )



  • @lee-white Thanks. I literally looked back at my question after putting al;l my thoughts down and realised the same thing. The only thing stopping me is me... Really enjoying the first classes on svs learn so far.


  • Pro

    Good luck on your journey, and enjoy it 🙂


  • SVS OG

    Definitely go for it. A number of award-winning books were written and illustrated by the same person. You’ll do great.


  • Moderator

    In Jake Parkers you tube video, You need a Product not a Project, he says that people say I have an idea for a children's book. His answer is Go do it! Write it, draw it. What is stopping you? I'm paraphrasing, but its a legitimate question. It definitely got me moving. Good luck, and Welcome!


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