The Illustration Department’s Fall Retreat


The Illustration Department’s Fall Retreat

from 745.00

The Illustration Department invites you to the Highlights Farm on September 28, 29, and 30th for an all-inclusive Fall weekend of drawing, painting, and learning!



In this unique retreat—designed for illustrators of all experience levels—five acclaimed faculty members from the children’s book and editorial worlds will lead hands-on workshops and discussions. Our topics will include:

  • The Importance of Drawing (followed by live figure drawing) 

  • Working as an Editorial Illustrator

  • Working as a Children’s Book Illustrator

  • Learning Best Illustration Practices

  • Understanding Character Design

  • Demystifying “Style”

  • Making a Living as an Illustrator

The Art Directors on faculty will offer free 20-minute portfolio reviews.

Check this page in the coming weeks for a detailed schedule.


This year’s illustrious faculty are:

James Yang

James was born in Oklahoma and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts and Design. His work has appeared in American Illustration, Communication Arts, 3×3 Magazine, How, and others. He has taught and lectured at institutions including SVA, Parsons, FIT, and SCAD. James currently lives in Brooklyn where he happily works for a variety of clients in editorial, publishing, and animation.

Find him online at Follow him on Twitter:

Kelly Light

Kelly is an author and illustrator who now lives in New York but grew up down the shore in New Jersey surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She has illustrated two chapter book series: Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee, and The Quirks by Erin Soderberg. She is the author-illustrator of Louise series from Balzer and Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins (Louise loves Art, Louise and Andie, the Art of Friendship, Louise loves Bake Sales, Louise and the Class Pet and the upcoming Louise and her Lucky Pencil) and the upcoming Smiley Family Album.

Find her online at Follow her on Twitter:

Jim Hoover

Jim is the Associate Art Director at Viking Children’s Books. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration, Jim has been in publishing for nearly twenty years. He has designed and art directed hundreds of books including:

  • PICTURE BOOKS: Tea Party Rules with K. G. Campbell, Shy with Deborah Freedman, Ella with Marcos Chin, Bus! Stop! with James Yang

  • NOVELS: Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch series, Max Brallier’s New York Times best-selling series The Last Kids On Earth

  • NONFICTION: National Book Award Finalist Elizabeth Partridge’s, Marching For Freedom, Printz Award-winning John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, the up-coming Boots On the Ground, and the children’s book adaptation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth

Jim lives in Brooklyn with his wife. Follow him on Twitter:

Giuseppe Castellano

Giuseppe is an Executive Art Director at Penguin Random House. He oversees the art and design of over 200 children’s books a year across seven imprints including: Penguin Workshop, Mad Libs, Frederick Warne and Co., and Penguin Young Readers. He is also the founder of The Illustration Department. Check out his popular #arttips blog at You can also follow him on Twitter at @pinocastellano.

Find him online at Follow him on Twitter:


The tucked-away campus of Highlights offers cabins, walking trails, a thousand-acre wood, a creek, an outdoor fireplace, exceptional food, morning yoga, and so much more. For more on the location, click here.

Attendees have the option to book a single or a double cabin. If you book a double, and would like to be paired with specific attendee, let us know.

If you would like to come a day early or stay a day late, you can treat yourself to an all-inclusive “Unworkshop” for just $129 a day! Click here for more info


Google Maps | Click here to download a map from Honesdale, PA.

Complimentary pick-up is available from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International (AVP) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) airports. We will also pick you up from the bus terminal in Honesdale or Scranton.


To receive a full refund, you may cancel no later than August 15, 2018.
To receive a 50% refund, you may cancel no later than August 31, 2018. 


If you have any questions (or special requests), please email Sarah at We hope to see you there!