Mentoring Programme


Five art graduates hoping to become picture book illustrators will be matched with five eminent and established illustrators for a year.  You and your mentor will focus on particular aspects of the illustrators’ work.

For the mentee, it is a similar experience to working closely with an editor for a year, but with the extra opportunity to experiment and work outside your comfort zone, trying new techniques and methods.

During this period, you will make four pieces of work which will be displayed at the Scottish National Gallery for 3 months and then tour the UK.

One mentee will be awarded the prize of the Picture Hook Illustrator of the year.


There will be a training session to establish how the you and your mentor will work together and to discuss your processes and intended outcomes.

The mentees will also be given further training during the scheme, including a trip to a publishing house in London to see the publishing process at first hand, and sessions on self-promotion, portfolio presentation and events.  You will also be encouraged to attend the other training classes on offer to Picture Hook Illustrators throughout the year.

Showcasing your work

Towards the end of the process, you will be given the opportunity to show your portfolio to publishers and to take part in an event with your mentor.

Apply now

Applications for the current mentoring scheme are now closed. If you would like to apply for future programmes, click here for advice on eligibility and how to apply.

Extra information

Please note that the final details of the mentoring scheme will be dependant on funding.

The five chosen illustrators from the 2014/15 programme were: Jon Bishop, Hannah Coulson, Catherine Lindow, Maisie Shearring and Tracey Smith. Read more about our illustrators here.

Previous mentors on the scheme were: Debi Gliori,Brita Granström and Mick Manning, Cate James, Natalie Russell, and Nick Sharratt.

The scheme is funded by Creative Scotland.


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