Pilot Buddies

In 2021–22, Picture Hooks trialled a new scheme which would later become our buddy scheme for creative artists.

Amy Steele

Amy is an Edinburgh-based artist who has been working with Lauren O’Hara, learning about how to present her work. 

“Working with Lauren has been so much fun and truly invaluable. I gained so much new insight into the professional practice side of things that I really had no idea about. Lauren was so lovely and helpful and really tailored our sessions together to suit what I wanted to get out of the scheme. Would definitely recommend!“

Nadia Dalphinis 

Nadia is an Essex-based creative who has been working with Cate James.

“Cate has been a great help in my development as an artist and has provided much support in developing my knowledge & understanding of the industry. She has taught me her illustration processes from start to finish. I have learned how she uses a variety of digital and traditional resources to create texture, depth and warmth in her style. Cate’s mentorship has provided comfort and reassurance in my areas of doubt and inexperience. She has helped me to develop my confidence and encourages me to keep striving for more. Most recently we have discussed how I can progress as an illustrator by creating opportunities for growth and development through entering competitions for illustration and design.”

Nadia Alam 

Nadia is an illustrator who is also a first-generation Canadian and a South Asian BIPOC woman, mother, and former educator, with a strong commitment to social justice and representation. She has been working with Elizabeth Dulemba to develop her book, Party.

“I am really enjoying the buddy scheme. The meetings are productive and insightful – we have discussed topics like word count, character development, tone and symbolism, colour stories and visual flow. I have a lot of room to explore what works and what doesn’t in my own work, ultimately leading to a more confident creative process.”

Narges Fayaz 

Narges is a freelance illustrator from Tehran. She has been working with Jill Calder on drawing techniques and how to structure a picture book.

“Jill is a wonderful, professional person and she teaches me with patience and kindness. We have talked every month and each session is very useful, full of information about picture books and wonderful discussions.”

Yasemin Gava 

Yasemin is a London-based artist, actress, writer and illustrator. She has been working with Jane Ray on an illustrated storybook for children called Granny Gets a Smartphone. So far, they have covered topics such as layout, storyboarding, continuity and illustrating for different age groups.

“I’m constantly thinking of new ideas and juggling different projects at the same time. It can become really easy to get overwhelmed, especially when trying to navigate your way through the industry. The buddy scheme at Picture Hooks feels like a compass guiding the way and my mentor is absolutely fantastic!”