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

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 Zoom 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.

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

Storyboard Critiques

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

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 (what a publisher might have issues with), the designer (text/image, design and layout issues) as well as from the illustrators point of view. (I know what it feels like to be on the other-side of the table). 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.

Picture Book Illustration e-Course critiques?

The ‘Picture Book Illustration e-Course’ takes place only twice a year, so the timing may not align with your needs. During PBIC I offer storyboard feedback during week three and week four. As a PBIC student, you aren’t guaranteed a critique of your storyboard during the e-course. Each critique takes time, and depending on class size, I may not get around everyone. If that’s the case, I usually pick storyboards that cover problem areas across the board. 

Response time

Working in the online arena can sometimes give the impression that I’m available 24/7. If I’m not teaching or scheduled for a one-on-one mentoring session, you’ll find me working on a new class or illustrating (away from my computer) I also like to take time out during the weekend and holidays. So please don’t be alarmed if I don’t get back to you immediately. Time buddy is an awesome app to check time zones with your city and Auckland.