Tips for Illustrators with James Burks | Celebrating Picture Book Month

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #204

Celebrating Picture Book Month: Tips for Illustrators

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”Tips for Illustrators” artist=”James Burks” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ]

Click to tweet about this week’s episode
  • Thanksgiving next week! I’m grateful for those of you who have donated to the podcast.
  • Getting excited and prepped for the next session of Crank It Up with Katie. There will be an early bird price of $97 but don’t join yet. Wait for Cyber Monday when it will be even less. The lowest it will ever be.
  • If you’re not on my mailing list go to and get on it so you can be notified of the Cyber Monday sale – and if you miss it, you can be notified when the early bird price ends so you don’t miss THAT.
This Week’s Guest is

Author Illustrator James Burks
author- illustrator James Burks. After spending fifteen years as an artist in animation working on such movies as Emperor’s New Groove, Atlantis, Treasure Planet, Home on the Range, Space Jam, the Iron Giant and the television shows, Wow Wow Wubbzy, Ni-hao Kai-lan, the Dinosaur Train and most recently on Fan Boy and Chum Chum, James is now writing and illustrating his own children’s books including Gabby & Gator, Bird & Squirrel on Ice, and Bird & Squirrel on the Run.
Iron Giant

Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks

James and I talk about
  • Tacos!
  • His Bird and Squirrel song.
  • Art of visual storytelling.
  • How James got in the biz.
  • His preferred medium.
  • Tips for illustrators.
  • 3 things James would recommend.
  • The worst thing you could do as a storyteller or an illustrator.

Illustration by James Burks
Illustration by James Burks


Note to my podcast listeners

When I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR I thought, “Hey! I could do that, but with children’s publishing as my focus!” That’s how Brain Burps About Books got started. Writing is so solitary. I thought it would be a great way to get to talk to my friends and make new ones, plus I could help others learn. Maybe I’d learn some stuff myself, too. I’ve had the privilege of talking to the first three National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature, to librarians and New York Time’s bestselling authors. I’ve interviewed to booksellers and publishers, writers, illustrators, app creators, and app distributors, and more! There is always something new on the horizon to learn and to share. So many listeners have asked how to support the show, and actually, now you can. I’ve installed a donate button to help defray the costs of producing the show. What do you learn or get out of Brain Burps every week? If it’s worth donating a dollar, two dollars, five, or whatever you think the show is worth to you, it would help enormously. The show costs $20 a month to keep on the server, and that’s only if there are four shorter episodes in a month. That number doesn’t include other costs like my time to research and record, post, edit the intros and outros, web hosting, and equipment and software to do all this. I ended up loving podcasting. I love my listeners. My “Burpers!” This is my gig, I know. and like I said, it’s an incredible experience for me. But if you’ve you’ve been helped, or just love it too, and you’re able, here’s your opportunity to help defray the costs. No matter what, thank you for being a Burper!

Sometimes I use affiliate links. if you click on them and buy what I recommend, I earn a referral fee. You do not pay any more than if you found the same thing through a search engine. It’s akin to going to a restaurant and getting a recommendation from the waitress on what’s good. You don’t pay more for the food she suggests, but you might tip her for her service. In any case I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, recommend a product or person I don’t believe in or trust. Otherwise, how would you believe me next time?

Leave a Comment

Enter your info below if you want to…

  • be a better writer
  • learn from live critique workshops
  • have access to interviews with experts
  • learn the how-tos of writing
  • be in a community of like-minded writers.