The Doors Have Closed  

Click below and be one of the first to hear when we open the doors again to The Picture Book course.

Join the waiting list

Transform your picture book life in just 8 weeks...

  • Want to create books that small people and their grown-ups absolutely love?

  • Curious to see if there’s a your-picture-book-shaped hole in the world? 

Good news...there IS!


The world *needs* your picture book.

It’s time!

The Good Ship Illustration Picture Book Course is here at last! Salty is ready to set sail with you on an 8-week adventure...

Here's What You Get


Signposts, expert guidance and friendly encouragement to help you find YOUR unique way of making picture books. We'll make sure you avoid the most common bumpy bits where picture book people get stuck.

We've made the mistakes so you don't have to.

You'll also get a generous scoop of structure, guidance, encouragement and freedom to finally figure out your picture book, and to be proud of it!

The Good Ship crew will cheer you on as you...

  1. Plan,
  2. create,
  3. and get discovered!

Creating your best ever picture book YOUR way will help publishers/clients trust you. You'll learn how to make picture books from a place of playful curiosity. 

It really is allowed to feel this fun and easy!

Gain self-confidence and belief in your picture-book-illustrating genius.


There's never been a better time.


Exclusive Interviews with International Award-Winning Picture Book Industry Professionals

the creme de la creme of the Picture Book world

Alison has published lots of picture books; including bestselling and award-winning titles by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. (And our Helen's How to Hide a Lion series!)

Award-winning author, illustrator and animator.

Author/illustrator known for her book Penguin, and her CBeebies series Tilly and Friends.

Award-winning picture book author and illustrator with over 1,000,000 books sold!

Writer and co-founder of the acclaimed Picture Hooks mentoring scheme for illustrators.

AKA Louise Lockhart, who has illustrated non-fiction books and has her illustrations printed on all sorts!

Illustrator, painter, and author working in children’s publishing, editorial, and fine art.

Multi-award-winning author and illustrator, Catherine has written over 20 books for children and illustrated many more for other well-known authors including Julia Donaldson and Michael Morpurgo.

Painter and illustrator from Sweden with heaps of experience of non-fiction and fictional picture book illustration. 

Illustrator and graduate of the MA in Children's Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art.


Last but not least, it's our Helen!

Helen has illustrated approximately a bijillion books (over 60!) and is here to generously share her wisdom and guide you through this 8-week course.

You're about to learn things that normally take YEARS to learn through trial and error.
Hold onto your picture-book-making hat.

Good Ship captains Tania and Katie (and Salty!) are coming along for the ride too. We're all here to cheer you on, answer your questions and make sure everything is ship-shape.


An 8 Week Online Course

8 week intensive e-course, with live teaching from Helen Stephens (and background cheering from Tania Willis and Katie Chappell)


WE LOVE PRINTABLES. Don't worry if you can't get access to a printer though - you can still do this course without a printer.

Specially Designed Tasks

Carefully crafted to fast-track your picture book creation. Save yourself years of fumbling about figuring things out the hard way.

Live Q&A Sessions

Get your burning questions answered! During the course, we'll chat to you live and share our 60 years of illustration experience.

Guidance and Tools

We will arm you with a handy toolkit so that you can make your very best picture book. Skills to last you well into the future!


...audios and transcripts too! We have done our best to make the course as accessible as possible for all learning styles.

Lifetime Course Access

We're not going anywhere, so you can relaaax and complete the course at your own pace. No panicking is required.

The Good Ship Community

The opportunity to be a member of our private online community of fellow Picture Book makers! Be part of our supportive network of friendly creatives.

We're closed right now, but we'll be open again later this year

It's your time...

The world has a your-picture-book shaped hole in it.

We'd love to have you aboard.

Join the waiting list

Pay in Full


Picture book goodness, no nonsense

  • An intensive 8 week Picture Book course
  • Weekly tasks and course content - bonus interviews, behind the scenes and more.
  • 8 x live Q&A calls
  • Lots of incredible printables
  • Lifetime access to the course!
  • A community of like-minded creatives. Studio vibes.
  • Create your picture book! At last!



Spread the cost

  • An intensive 8 week Picture Book course
  • Weekly tasks and course content - bonus interviews, behind the scenes and more.
  • 8 x live Q&A calls
  • Lots of incredible printables
  • Lifetime access to the course!
  • A community of like-minded creatives. Studio vibes.
  • Create your picture book! At last!
  • Spread the cost over 3 months.

Why Learn From The Good Ship Illustration?

3 eras of illustration industry knowledge. Three is a magic number!

The three bears of illustration

Each of us are from very different parts of this fast-changing illustration world, with individual industry & teaching know-how.

  • Over 60 years of experience, across the illustration industry.

  • We're all full-time illustrators. Our illustraton work supports us and our families - it's not a hobby. We are proof it's possible! Illustration can be a lucrative and rewarding career.

  • We've all taught illustration at university level
    (and we're all LOVELY). 

And it's not just us!

We have guest appearances from the leading experts in picture books. Stay tuned for updates.

We can't wait to tell you more!


This photo is Helen, Tania and Katie from left to right :)

Helen Stephens

Helen is an award-winning author, illustrator, best known, amongst other things for her 'How  to Hide A Lion' series. 'How to Hide a Lion' has become known as an international bestselling classic of picture books.

She taught on the highly respected Cambridge School of Art MA in Illustrating for Children and has mentored graduate illustrators on the Picture Hooks Scheme. She started the popular #walktosee sketch-booking hashtag on Instagram.

As seen in: NY Times. Wall Street Journal. Uppercase. Guardian Book of the Year. Times Book of the Year. ‘How to Hide a Lion’ was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal, and her books have won lots of other fancy pants awards. Her books have been published in about 30 languages, and clients include: Walker Books, Random House, Scholastic, Penguin, Alison Green Books, David Fickling Books, Campbell Books, Nickelodeon Junior, Egmont, Simon and Schuster, Bayard Presse and Orchard Publishing.

Career highlights: How to Hide a Lion was adapted for the stage by The Polka Theatre and toured the UK, Helen won a BLUE PETER BADGE as a grownup by being on Blue Peter!

A couple of extra fun facts: She likes to draw in the rain and wears her dressing gown over her clothes to work.

Tania Willis

Tania is an award-winning designer/ illustrator with 30 years of experience, and an MA in Illustration from the Royal College of Art.

She has taught illustration at BA & BFA level in the UK and Hong Kong and has more than 20 years of perspective on the industry in Asia. Her illustration clients include English Heritage, Conde Nast Traveller, Cartier, Time, Waitrose Magazine and Swire Group.

Her illustration experience covers advertising, murals, editorial, design, surface design, licensing, publishing, branding, event, editorial and corporate - but her biggest passion is illustrated maps.

Plus we are so lucky, she designed our gorgeous ship-in-a-bottle Good Ship branding.

Career highlights: Designing a livery for an A330 Airbus and a Hong Kong tram.

A couple of extra fun facts: Tania taught Helen at Glasgow School of Art. She swears too much (unrelated to teaching Helen), loves Hong Kong trams and wanted to be in The Slits.

Katie Chappell

Meet Katie! Our most recent graduate (2012). She is a live illustrator working all over the world via the magic of the internet. Her clients include Facebook, Apple, Google and lots of the UK’s top universities. 

Her live illustration work covers everything from graphic recording in corporate meetings, to painting giant murals on shop windows in Regent Street, London.

Katie has an MA in illustration from Edinburgh College of Art, as well as a foundation degree in animation and a BA in illustration and graphic design. She's lectured illustration students from foundation to MA level.  

Career highlights: Live-Illustrating in the boardroom for management at Google HQ in London. Painting giant boards for the Royal Society of Biology’s gala dinner, where David Attenborough received a lifetime achievement award.

A couple of extra fun facts: Katie is an accidental TedX speaker, and is really good at backwards mirror writing and napping.

But don't just take our word for it...

Watch these videos and see what students thought of our other course, 'Find Your Creative Voice: Fly Your Freak Flag'.


Esther Coombs

"I cannot encourage you wholeheartedly enough to commit to the fly your freak flag course. It has broadened my drawing, opened up my practice, and encouraged me to dig deep to find my inner freak and what i really care about in my work, really its fab, truly encouraging and useful, testing and broad, interesting and exciting.

I might even do it twice!!"


"The Good Ship Illustration is a safe port in my journey as an artist. My desire to draw and draw and draw now has a soundtrack of three accomplished and accepting voices.

I look forward to module Mondays to see what Helen, Katie, and Tania have in store for me. My fellow participants are supportive and talented artists from numerous time zones who share their art and their process of finding their unique voice."

Julia Woolf

"I am having so much fun on this course. Even though I can't dedicate much time to it at the moment as I have deadlines it's still enabling me to sketch and draw for myself. It's made me realise I don't need to set aside hours to do this, and the results are so interesting. It's great to know the course is there as a resource whenever I need it.

If you're curious, just do it, you won't regret it."

The Doors Aren't Open Right now... 

But they will be again soon!

Do you dream about being a published illustrator-author? 

Imagine seeing your own stories on the shelves at book shops.
Get that story out of your head, and into a book. At last!

Be part of our lovely supportive online creative community.

We'd love to have you aboard.

Sign me up to this waiting list!

Nice things people have said about
our other course 'Find Your Creative Voice: Fly Your Freak Flag'!

Sarah Naybour

"This is like the most wonderful creative support group. It's all about you and finding your own individual style and way of working. There is energy and laughs, but most of all there is really good solid advice and experience shared."

Lylet Soliven

"Come for the drawing classes and leave with important lessons (in life and illustrations) and an amazing community! Katie, Helen, and Tania are such gracious teachers who will hold your hand but also let you run free, no matter if you have ever tried drawing or not.

As an illustrator, I still learned many important things and all I’ve experienced ever since signing up to the class was growth. Highly recommended!"

Justine Picchereddu

"Tania, Helen and Katie are amazing teachers, full of good tips and exercises to push our drawing practices further. I learnt loads of new things and met really nice like-minded artists on the course as well :) "

Sarah Lacey

"The Good Ship has brought out some actual growth and a path to follow in my work which I'd not found yet, even after years of art school and all the years since graduating. This has really helped me find my feet.  

I'm excited for the next steps I'm going to take, really truly, with butterflies in my tummy. The Good Ship Illo has been the proper tonic (or maybe a Rum Ration?) that this old Sea Dog needed."

Emily McKenzie

"Thanks so much to the Good Ship Illustration courseI’ve been doing, I’m really excited about exploring different combinations of materials and colours I haven't really explored before. The Find Your Creative Voice: Fly Your Freak Flag!

Course starts again in July, I’d really recommend it, I’ve found it super inspiring!"

Zoe Blair

"This is a fantastic course. I have enjoyed every week. Full of new ways for me to approach working and help figure out what I want to do.

For me it has been a big reset button. Informative, supportive teachers, excellent interviews and assignments to gently push you further. Thank you so much, I am planning on holding off on the last task, keeping it in the back of my mind whilst I redo the course again starting next week."

The Picture Book Course Will Open Again!  

Click below and be one of the first to jump in.

Join the waiting list

Want to try a little taster?

We created our free mini course #ChildhoodIllustrated to give you a taste of what a course with The Good Ship Illustration is really like.

Unlock new ideas and inspiration. Create picture books that children really love and connect with. We'll walk you through the first steps!

Click download and you'll get instant access.


Frequently Asked Questions

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