Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrator Mentors

2018/2019 Illustrator Mentors

Use this list to determine which mentor will be the best fit for you, but also check out each illustrator’s website to learn more about them and view their portfolios!

Dow Phumiruk
Dow is a children’s book author and illustrator with an emphasis on the illustration side. She joined SCBWI in 2011 and credits all of her success in the industry to this organization. She has had four books released in the past 18 months (two nonfiction picture book biographies and one Christmas story that she illustrated along with one new Thai fable that she authored) and three more are on the way (two for which she will be both author and illustrator). Her work is mostly created digitally. Dow enjoys teaching and cheering aspiring picture book illustrators along on their journey. She is optimistic to a fault but will be honest with feedback for the end goal of improving your craft. When she is not creating or teaching medical students, she hikes to clear her mind and connect with nature for inspiration. Dow lives in Lone Tree, Colorado. Represented by East West Literary Agency.

Karen “Kaz” Windness
Kaz is a PAL (Published and Listed) writer and illustrator creating sweet, subversive stories with unique characters for kids of all ages. Kaz studied children’s book illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) where she was a valedictorian graduate in 2002. A proud SCBWI member for over fifteen years, Kaz gives back as the Rocky Mountain Chapter Illustrator Coordinator (2009-present). She is passionate about helping others succeed and believes education is key. She teaches illustration at RMCAD and is an RMC-SCBWI illustrator mentor. Kaz is obsessed with dogs and all things spooky. She loves working in acrylic, collage, pencil, and Photoshop. There’s not much she won’t turn into an art supply. Kaz is represented by Tim Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency

Who should apply to me? Everyone! I’m adept at working with both new and experienced illustrators. I’m a writer and can assist kidlit creatives who do both. I’m also a professional intuitive coach and counselor and am happy to offer those skills upon request.

Process: We’ll schedule a meeting, look over your portfolio and/or book dummies as well as your web/social media presence, and discuss and prioritize your art and career goals. You will be asked to commit to S.M.A.R.T. goals for the duration of the mentorship and I will help and push you to achieve these goals, as well as provide tools and encouragement for your future endeavors.

Successes! My mentees have created their first kidlit portfolio; Written, edited, designed, and illustrated a submission-worthy picture book dummy; Designed branding for their illustration business; Developed promotional materials and created a mail-out list and marketing plan; Created new illustration work that took first prize in the SCBWI Bologna Book Fair Gallery; Experienced life and career breakthroughs; Found a supportive community and a sense of creative wellness.

Stan Yan
Stan Yan is a Denver-based writer/illustrator, caricature artist and instructor. Yan has spent most of his life creating comic strips, comic books and graphic novels, although he only started to promote them at Comic-Con in 2001 and pursue his art career  full time in 2005. He started teaching comic art in 2007 via kids Summer camps and helped to develop and teach a Graphic Storytelling degree program at the Community College of Aurora in 2009. His recent credits include comics for Denver Comix and the Westword, writing and art for Vincent Price Presents (BlueWater Productions / Storm Comics), and writing and art for There’s a Zombie in the Basement (Squid Works Kids).