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Student Feature: Jessica Boehman

A new book from a recent Children’s Book Illustration student

“Starting the class with Monica at SVA got me on the right track, and I am really thankful for that,” says Jessica Boehman, who just published a new book after taking a class with Monica Wellington. "It’s so fun being with like-minded people who are working toward the same goal. When I moved to New York City, I never imagined that I would be here.“

Read Monica Wellington’s full interview with Jessica Boehman.

The Lions at Night, Jessica’s new book, is a wordless homage to New York City, featuring the two lions from the front of the New York Public Library. "I decided to give myself the challenge of telling the story all in pictures. I wanted every kid who came to New York to be able to read it,” she says.

Jessica’s observation about “like-minded people” echoes something Monica says about the class: "In class I try to create a supportive, cooperative environment where we all share and learn from each other.” She adds that getting published "is going to take a tremendous amount of time, effort, determination and talent—and luck... It really helps to have a sense of community on that journey.“

Read more about Monica Wellington here and here.

Jessica joins a long list of Monica Wellington’s “alumni” getting published and making strides in their industries. "I usually have former students visit class to share stories of their paths to publication,” says Monica. For anyone curious about making children’s books, Monica Wellington’s blog is a great resource to explore. Monica has archived interviews and conversations with former students, many of whom reflect on the ways Monica’s class helped them turn a creative hobby into a profession. There’s helpful practical advice, too — like developing a website, marketing materials, and meeting with art directors.

What’s next for Jessica Boehman? Well, her new book already has a sequel in the works. And she remains busy with teaching. "I learned enough at SVA to be able to teach two illustration classes — a beginning class and a Graphic Narrative class, where we focus on sequential narrative illustration.“

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