One-on-One Mentoring

Having a mentor can be useful for discussing how to best progress with your illustration project. In my one-on-one mentoring, I offer the support and guidance you need to get the best out of your project. If you’re interested in one-on-one mentoring or you would like to discuss this further, please email

Getting the most out of your session

To get the most out of any session make sure to come prepared. To do this:

  • be on time (or even 10 mins early for our Zoom)
  • have you video conference camera and microphone up-and-running
  • email the illustration work that you’d like to discuss, beforehand
  • bullet-point what you’d like to discuss, from most to least important
  • keep an eye on the time
  • have your Trello board on hand


NZ$200.00 for the first session. This usually lasts 2-3 hours and includes:

  • face-to-face ‘Zoom’ session: to discuss what’s working and what’s not, to identify goals and to create steps to get you there
  • set-up of a (free) ‘Trello’ board: to keep you on track, to motivate and to offer a form of accountability (we will both have continued access to this).
  • half-hour follow-up call: 1-2 weeks following the initial session, to finalise, tweak, work through any issues and to see how you want to move forward.
  • Emails: setting up two video sessions, and a follow-up email.

NZ$100 per hour every session (following the initial session). You have the option to do this:

  • weekly
  • every two weeks
  • once a month

NZ$50 per half hour. To keep costs down, we can aim to keep the session to a half hour.

Storyboard Critiques

Storyboard appraisals are done separately to One-on-One mentoring sessions. If you’d like me to critique the visual story of your picture book, you’ll need to email me your manuscript along with your storyboard. For NZ$100 I offer:

  • feedback via sketches and/or (password safe) video
  • written notes
  • a half-hour follow-up Zoom (or Skype) session

Why Get a Storyboard Critique?

Before you head into months of work, illustrating the final artworks for your book, you may consider a fresh pair of eyes to make sure that you’re on the right track, BEFORE investing any more time into your project.

“Nina, thank you so much for your generous insights. I am impressed by the value and depth of your comments. So helpful”. Howell Burnell

Students continually comment on my generous and thoughtful feedback. As well as illustrating more than a dozen picture books, I’ve been teaching illustration for several years and I’ve worked as a graphic designer since the early 90’s … with all of this visual experience, I simply see things (especially visual stories) in a different way. I may spot things that may have been overlooked, I may suggest a small tweak that offers a huge improvement.

With my broad skill-set of experience, I offer feedback from the viewpoint of the reader, the client, the designer (text/image, design and layout issues) as well as from the illustrators point of view. I always offer my initial reactions, as these are the most valuable, but I never leave it at that. I also share any insights, solutions and ideas that may lift your visual story. It takes time to work through a visual story, but what I offer are fresh ideas, new perspectives, and fundamental suggestions that can bring your visual story to the next level.


NZ$100 for a children’s picture book storyboard critique.

Response time

If I’m not teaching or scheduled for a one-on-one mentoring session, I’ll either be working on a new class or illustrating (away from my computer) I also like to take time out during the weekend and holidays. I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. To make things easier for you, Time buddy can be used to work out time zones between Auckland (where I live) and your city.