Here at The Big Issue we’re thrilled to have children’s illustrator and character designer Dapo Adeola as a judge for our Big Spring Cover Competition for kids.
Self-taught Dapo is known for creating characters that challenge gender norms in a fun, upbeat way.
He is the co-creator and illustrator of Puffin Books title Look Up!, the humorous tale of science-mad Rocket, who is convinced she is going to be the greatest space explorer that ever lived. The title made the 2019 shortlists for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and Foyles Children’s and YA Book of the Year.
To mark his important role in our drawing challenge, the Puffin pro has shared his top tips for anyone who aspires to follow in his footsteps as a children’s illustrator — some of which will no doubt help any would-be entrants to our competition, too…
1. Research other illustrators
“Illustration is a huge field with rules and a system of working attached to it. Get into the habit of researching everything, as this will help you with your work and your progression.
“Whether it’s finding online resources, news and info about your field and the people within it, or references for your work, you need to develop a habit of researching and reading about illustration as much as creating it.”