Make Your Mark – 10 Week Illustration Programme – Apply Now for January 2023

Our 10 week group programme to kick start your freelance illustration career is back in January 2023!

Back in February following a call out which attracted over 150 applicants from across the globe, we shortlisted 38 artists and illustrators to enrol in Make Your Mark; our 10-week intensive programme.

Covering personal and professional development, over the course of 10 weeks we set weekly challenges, workshop exercises and creative briefs (including projects in editorial, packaging, publishing & branding) to challenge and motivate our students, support their creative development and build confidence and momentum in their professional practice.


PLEASE NOTE: Applications for January 2023 are now closed!

Make Your Mark will return in October 2023 as an extended 12-week programme.

Apply for October 2023 now »

Whether you’ve been working in the industry for a while and need a much needed boost, or you’re fresh out of University and not sure where to begin; Make Your Mark provides the tools you need to build confidence, develop a portfolio, connect with clients and navigate your way into the illustration market.

Supported by our online membership platform; Inkygoodness Collective, our programme structure is focused on group based teaching and interactive live zoom sessions, designed to foster a thriving and engaged community of artists and illustrators from all over the world, brought together to share their insights, experiences and learn from one another.

Our programme runs like this:

– 10 week programme

– 1.5 hour live group zoom call per week (see what’s covered below)

– Live interaction each session

– Weekly challenges to get you moving!

– Small groups of no more than 20.

– Groups tailored to be the best possible fit for you and your creative practice

– Industry Zoom Q&A’s with three leading illustrators

+ More TBA!

Plus three months inclusive access* to Inkygoodness Collective, our online membership for artists and illustrators. Make Your Mark runs January 25th – April 7th 2023.

*Fees apply thereafter; cancel anytime. Free membership period runs for three months from 19th January – 18th April 2023.

What we will cover:

WK 1 – Personal Development (25/01) – Building a successful career as an illustrator requires more than just talent. You need determination, drive and bags of energy! Getting into healthy habits to nurture your mental and physical health and wellbeing is essential. In our first session you’ll learn the practice of self discipline and how to adopt a daily routine to stay focused.

WK 2  – Creative Development (01/02) – Develop and build a body of work you can be proud of! We’ll be setting you industry standard creative briefs to challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone and give you tips and advice on how to harness the power of passion projects for your portfolio.

WK 3 – Illustration Markets (08/02) – Demystifying the world of commercial illustration. In this session we will provide an overview of the various markets for illustrators – from editorial work to education; advertising, publishing, branding and much more!

WK 4 – Licensing (15/02) Diversifying your income as a freelance illustrator is essential to build a sustainable career. In this session we will discuss the licensing market and print on demand and the various opportunities available for illustrators to make extra income through image licensing.

WK 5 – Curating Your Work (22/02) – Tips and advice on how to present your work online! Discussion around portfolio platforms vs. your own website; common mistakes – do’s and don’ts – and how to curate a stand out PDF portfolio to reach out to your dream clients.

WK 6 – Self Promotion (01/03) – Essential skills for building your illustration brand, building credibility and raising your profile; and key tips around self promotion, networking and collaboration. You’ll get clarity on what works – and what doesn’t – and build your confidence in the process.

WK 7  – Getting Hired (08/03) – You’ve developed a killer portfolio – but you’re still not winning client work because you don’t understand pricing, networking or how to sell your work. This session will provide tips you can action immediately to attract clients and new opportunities.

WK 8 – Freelance Business Tools (15/03)- Covering everything you need to know to set up your freelance business, including taxes, contracts, accounting and more.

WK 9 – Agency Representation (22/03) – The role of the agent, discussing the pro’s and con’s of getting an agent + special guests TBA.

WK 10 –  PR & Marketing Toolkit (29/03) – Learn how to be your own publicist! Essential tips on planning your own marketing strategy with advice on copywriting, useful phrases and tone of voice for press releases and best practice for reaching out to magazines, blogs and press for features.

+ BONUS SESSION *NEW* How to diversify your income by selling art – (31/03) Understanding the various ways to sell your art; how to curate an exhibition; working with commercial galleries and connecting with art collectors.

+ BONUS SESSION: Feedback – (05/04) Valuable tailored feedback on the work produced during the programme and your online portfolio and a key opportunity to ask your questions in our final session. Practical tips and an overview of your next steps on your journey as an illustrator. *Option to book a 1:1 feedback session at a reduced fee.

Design Talks, Q&As + Mentoring

To compliment the programme we are also hosting design talks with leading industry designers and illustrators, each specialising in a different area of the market – from editorial illustration to advertising and book illustration. Each week we will hear their stories of developing their portfolio’s and building successful freelance careers; alongside some of their closely guarded secrets to thriving in this competitive industry. Each speaker will also select ONE artist from the programme for a 1:1 mentoring session in early 2023.

Introducing our mentors

Confirmed Speaker & Mentor: Genie Espinosa

Genie Espinosa works and lives very close to the beach in Barcelona, Spain. An avid reader and animation obsessed, she started drawing from a young age. Studying both graphic design and illsutration, she worked in marketing for many years before taking the leap into full time illustration. Her clients include Dreamworks, Time Out, Die Zeit, FOLD Moleskine, RIPOSTE MAG, BRAIN MAG. She is also the author of HOOPS, an award-winning graphic novel about teamwork, respect, true friendship and self-esteem.

Confirmed Speaker & Mentor: Yukai Du

Yukai Du is a Chinese-born illustrator and animation director based in the UK. Since she was an animation student in Guang Zhou Academy of Fine Arts, she found her passion in creating crafty illustration and animation digitally. Graduated from Central Saint Martins London in 2014, she has been exploring and establishing her work in both still and moving images with her unique style.

Yukai’s inspiration for her work lies somewhere in the dichotomy of Impressionism, the dash of lines and layering of dots to create a surface, combined with a love for geometric shapes and playful vibrant patterns. Her clients include Adobe, Apple, WeTransfer, LUSH, the New Yorker, TED Talks etc. She also received a few international awards such as 3X3 Illustration Best of Show (Student Show), Adobe Design Award Honourable Mention and a D&AD New Blood Wood Pencil.

Confirmed Speaker & Mentor: Molly Fairhurst

Molly Fairhurst is an artist and illustrator from the Yorkshire Dales, now residing in the south west of England. She uses the absurdities of drawing in the hope of creating something human, lending her lines to client work, comics, and her own drawing.

Featured in It’s Nice That ‘The Graduates’ showcase shortly after completing her degree at Leeds College of Art in 2017, her clients today include H&M Kids, WePresent, The New York Times, Mailchimp and Nike.

In her talk we will unpack her drawing techniques, materials and creative process; her love of stories and what inspires her; hwo she’s developed her visual aesthetic over the years and worked with a variety of clients; and hear all about her journey from graduation to crafting a full time creative career as an artist & illustrator.

Why our artists loved it

“I would absolutely recommend the programme to another illustrator or someone who is thinking of getting into illustration. It really gave me a sense of drive to push my illustration work during the 10 weeks. I already miss the momentum”

Luke – Make Your Mark alumni

“I would definitely recommend the program! We covered so much material in the course, from creating good habits to different illustration markets, to self promotion and marketing, it was all really helpful. Since I’m new to commercial illustration and wasn’t sure where I wanted to go next, this was a great way to learn a lot at once and see where I want focus. The practice briefs we were assigned were hard for me as I hadn’t worked to a brief before but it helped me learn what types of illustration I am interested in, and how to push myself to work to a deadline!”

Melissa – Make Your Mark alumni 2022

“Like many creatives, I am generally nervous to approach agents and companies for commissions, but Lisa has broken the process down to ensure that all aspects of self- promotion are covered. I know that by the end of the programme, I will have created a cohesive promotional package and a sense of confidence in what I have to offer.”

Nat – Group Coaching alumni 2021

“This course has exceeded my expectations and has pushed me to be more proactive with weekly homework tasks to keep me moving. I feel that in the past few weeks we’ve covered more than my university course ever did when it comes to the business and marketing side of illustration.”

Hannah – Group Coaching alumni 2021

“I loved the programme, and found the portfolio sessions most useful – following Lisa’s advice helped me get a commission!”

Ellie – Group Coaching alumni 2021

Open to artists worldwide. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted within 2-3 days of applying and invited to secure their spot with a deposit. Applications will be assessed based on your existing portfolio / work samples, commitment to the programme and commercial potential.

We look forward to reading your application.

Introducing your coach: Inkygoodness founder Lisa Hassell

Lisa Hassell is a creative consultant, public speaker, design writer and founder of Inkygoodness, an organisation focused on championing emerging illustration talent. Founded in 2010 on a shoestring, Inkygoodness now has a global audience of 70k, made up of design students, creative graduates and young professionals. Previously she ran WE ARE GOODNESS, a creative consultancy and illustration agency representing a diverse roster of international artists.

As an artist agent she has worked with art buyers, advertising agencies and design studios to deliver illustration to clients like Google UX, Google Play, Facebook, The Guardian and New York Magazine. In 2022 she launched Inkygoodness Collective; a brand new online membership for emerging and established artists and illustrators.

Follow Lisa on Instagram


Posted on Sep 25th, 22 by | Twitter: @inkygoodness

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