illustration of animals and children in a park by Maisie Shearring
Illustration by Maisie Shearring, class of 2015

Our Programme

Picture Hooks provides opportunity and development for emerging picture book illustrators, to help them access the world of children’s publishing.

Although based in Edinburgh, our support is available for all emerging illustrators.

The programme is comprised of several branches:

Mentoring Scheme

The mentoring scheme lies at the core of Picture Hooks: emerging illustrators work closely with established professional illustrators. They are carefully paired and during the course of a year, each illustrator studies the creative process of making a picture book, steps out of their comfort zone and finds new techniques and methods of working, with one-to-one guidance by their mentor.

Read how to apply for the mentoring scheme here.

View our five Picture Hooks illustrators from the 2016/17 programme.

The Exhibition and Tour

At the end of each round of the mentoring scheme our Picture Hooks illustrators and their mentees exhibit their work in the Scottish National Gallery. The exhibition then tours across the UK.

More information on the current exhibition and tour is available here.


Regular conferences take place across the UK to demystify the world of publishing.

The fourth Picture Hooks conference was run in partnership with the AOI and hosted at the Manchester School of Art. It was a great success, featuring talks from Egmont, Nobrow Press, Handsome Frank as well as illustrators Robert Hunter, Matthew the Horse and Sonny Ross.

You can read recaps of each session and interviews with our speakers here.


Masterclasses offer additional support and development opportunities. They are advertised on our website and across our social media platforms.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Picture Hooks is a SCIO and supported by Creative Scotland.