Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 6, 2019

Illustrator Critique of Anastasia Ward by Mira Reisberg

Hullo friends of Kathy Temean’s blog, we are trying something new and different for the next few Fridays with some video illustration critiques so I can also teach some Photoshop tips as part of it and because it’s so much easier to show rather than tell. Anastasia Ward’s work is wonderful but there is always room for improvement, especially in keeping characters consistent and paying attention to where the gutter or middle fold in your book’s binding is. One of my favorite sayings, which I may have invented is, “in life as in children’s book illustration, stay out of the gutter.” Also keep in mind that like all critiques, as many people as look at your work, that’s as many opinions that you’ll get, so take what you like and leave the rest. I hope you find it fun and helpful.



Dr. Mira Reisberg has a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children’s literature. She is an acquiring Editor and Art Director at Clearfork/Spork and is also the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Her students have published over 370 books and won ever major North American award. Mira’s 8 published children’s books have won awards and sold over 600,000 copies.

She is excited to be co-teaching the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books interactive e-course with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Art Director, Andrea Miller starting January 13, 2020. You can find out about it here:

There is currently a $70 discount with this code here: 2020ArtLove Mira lives in a 100 year-old house in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two cats.

Mira Reisberg Ph.D.
Editor/Art Director Spork Children’s Books
P 503.255.0152

ANASTASIA’S BIO: Anastasia Ward is a digital illustrator with a passion for telling stories. She quit her day job to pursue a career in illustration full time a little less than a year ago, but has been working part time as a freelance illustrator for about 6 years. She mostly works with self published authors, illustrating and package their books for print, and doing random illustration work for other clients. It is her goal to find an agent that can help her break into traditionally published children’s books and YA novels. Because her client’s taste in styles varies greatly, she has grown accustom to working in multiple styles, or creating a style that is suited for each of my clients needs, but her own personal children’s style is shown through the illustrations she provided here.


Mira will critique one submission starting today and continue each Friday until the end of December.  She will discuss many things like how you can tweak to help you sell your work, plus much more. Submission opportunity will end on December 22nd.

Please send Two or Three SEQUENTIAL illustrations (Two/three with the SAME “story/characters‎”) to:
Kathy.temean (at) Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide and your name should be in the .jpg title.

Put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and send to kathy(dot)temean(at) and include a blurb about yourself I can use to introduce you to everyone.


Mira, fabulous job. I plan to watch it a few times. See you next Friday.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you so much for critiquing my work. It was very helpful and I agree with most of what you suggested. Ha, especially in the hair! I will have to work on how to stylized my ears a bit more. I like to draw them big and mousy looking and sitting lower on the sides of the head, but I guess that isn’t reading correctly. And thank you for giving me the hope of one day being a traditionally published illustrator. It has been a struggle finding work, and I was beginning to lose hope that I was cut out for it, but you have given me the drive to continue on!


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