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Week 1:  July 3, 2023
Prompt: "And that's when the Pirate realized they had taken a wrong turn"
Specs: 2-page spread (any dimensions). Be aware of the gutter!
Challenge: Try to use full color, show the environment, and establish clear foreground, middle ground, and background.  

Week 2:  July 10, 2023
Prompt: Redesign a book cover. Pick your own cover (or check out the list of cover ideas)
Specs:  You decide if your cover is for a picture book, MD or YA!   (Dimensions are up to you)
Challenge: Try to be creative, Change the Genre of your cover.  If you picked a happy PB cover, can you make it spooky or creepy?
(For example:  If you picked Charlotte's Web, try to envision the book as a mystery novel instead)

Week 3:  July 17, 2023
Prompt: "The water was ...     Until...  Finally it was..."
Specs:  3 Sequential Narrative spots (color or B/W)
Challenge: Try to change the point of view.  (For example: One spot could be from far away, next a close up, final a worm view)

Week 4:  July 24, 2023
Prompt: " Dr. G was shocked by the next patient's complaint"
Specs:  Single page, Color, or B/W (any dimensions)
Challenge: Character interactions, at least 3 characters.  Be creative Dr. G doesn't have to be a human. Perhaps They are a vet and the patients are animals, or aliens, or plants.   

Week 5:  July 31, 2023
Prompt: "The surprisingly small..."
Specs:  Full 2-page spread. (watch your gutter!). Any dimensions
Challenge: leave room for text, or incorporate text.  Are you good at hand-lettering? good chance to show that off

Week 6:  August 7, 2023
Prompt: Redesign a book cover. Pick your own cover (or check out the list of cover ideas)
Specs:  You decide if your cover is for a picture book, MD or YA!   (Dimensions are up to you)
Challenge:  Age it up or down.  (example Hansel and Gretel when they are teenagers.  or Hunger games in the playground) This is a good exercise for showing how you would keep the characters recognizable at different ages.

Week 7:  August 14, 2023
Prompt: "Everyone was surprised by Franklins guest.
Specs:  2-page Spread or Single page (Dimensions are up to you)
Challenge: Use an interesting POV.  Bonus add a vehicle!

Rules:  There are no rules, Do what you want and what your portfolio needs.  The point of this challenge is to come up with Portfolio-worthy pieces, so not just a character standing in the middle of a page.  You know what I mean!  Challenge yourself, and get creative.  Don't go for the first thing you think of. Try a few sketches and different points of view.  Maybe your character is not a human or an animal. Think outside the box.  That's why I am asking you to post some of your process sketches so you work past the first answer and you explore more creative solutions and compositions. 

A week is not a lot of time to polish everything.  That's okay!  From this challenge, you should be able to come up with a few pretty good pieces.  Go back and finish them later and get them portfolio ready. 

Have Fun! Enjoy the community.  With luck, your work will be seen by the right agent, editor, Art director, or client!

Book Covers Ideas (Picture Books)

  • A Sick Day for McGee by Phillip C. Stead

  • The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

  • But No Elephants by Jerry Smath

  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmas

  • The Little Red Hen by Little Golder Books

  • An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni

  • Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

  • Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

  • A Fish Our Of Water by Helen Palmer Geisel

  • The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

  • This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

  • Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems

  • Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

  • Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

  • If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff

  • How to Eat a Book by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod

  • Roo on the Boom by Julia Donaldson

  • Dot, Dot, Polka Dot by Morissa Rubin

  • Do Monsters Wear Undies? by Mark Smith

  • The Legend of Everwinter byTara Behan

Book Cover Idas (Middle Grade)

  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

  • A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

  • Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz

  • The Unteachables by Gordon Korman

  • Turning Point by Paula Chase

  • The swifts by Beth Linoln

  • The Forgotten Five by Lisa McMann

  • Unplugged by Gordon Korman

  • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  • I know Your Secret by Daphne Benedis-Grab

  • Alone by Megan E. Freeman

  • The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

  • Case Closed by Lauren Magaziner

  • Never After by Melissa De La Cruz

  • Scavangers by Darren Simpson

  • The Talent Thief by Mike Thayer

  • Midnight Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley

  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

  • The Nightingale by  Deva Fagan

  • The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

  • The Haunted Boookstore by Shinobumaru

  • Class Dismissed by Allan Woodrow

  • The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

  • The Department of Lost Dogs by Josephine Cameron

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