SketchLook with Stephen Axelsen


SketchLook is an ongoing feature of the SCBWI Blog. It is a glimpse into the working process of artists, how we experiment, think through our ideas, stretch our imagination and observe the world. This is a glimpse at current work in progress, free doodles, rough drawings, and sketches from life. CLICK HERE to participate in SketchLook.

Stephen Axelsen
I call the current project "Following My Nose". It is, like my nose, a long project.

Members of SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand are invited to submit images at any time. Work should be scans or snapshots of sketchbook pages featuring sketches, drawings from life or working drawings. Up to five images, Jpeg format, 72 dpi, 750px width maximum. Kindly avoid overlaying text on images and other digital manipulation. CLICK HERE to submit images for SketchLook.

More Portfolio Critiques—by Popular Demand!

As a special option for Illustrators who are attending the Sydney Conference 2014, Bruce Whatley and Stephen Axelsen are providing an opportunity for delegates to have a top professional critique of their work. By popular demand we have opened up additional time slots but places are limited so Book Now!

Bruce Whatley


Bruce Whatley spent the earlier part of his working life in advertising as an art director and illustrator but since 1992 he has written and/or illustrated over 60 children’s picture books published both in Australia and overseas. The award winning titles include The Ugliest Dog in the World, Looking for Crabs, Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase, Diary of a Wombat and Baby Wombat’s Week which took out the Australian Book Industry Award in 2010Flood and The Little Refugee both were CBCA Honour books in 2012 and Nog and the Land of Noses a Notable book. His main inspiration has been his family, who feature in several of his earlier picture books. He uses a variety of illustration medium including gouache, pen and ink, pencil, oils, watercolour and more recently CGI software. He aims to entertain and surprise the reader with illustration styles that vary considerably depending on the text and the age group of the audience.

Stephen Axelsen

Stephen Axelsen was born in Sydney, Australia. He grew a lot of hair and went to university where he drew cartoons on folder dividers and earned a degree in Social Sciences. After university he fell into books and publishing more or less by accident. His first book was published in 1975 and he has worked in children’s book publishing ever since. He lives with his wife Jennifer, Waldo the dog, and Pippi the budgie. He used to have babies but they grew into great big people and went away. Stephen mostly writes and illustrates humour because he is a moderately funny person, in a serious sort of way.