Illustrating our stories
2017: Our first books – Lyn Gilbert
Lyn Gilbert is a qualified and highly experienced illustrator. She illustrated Mikhulu Trust’s first two books, ‘Little Helpers’ and ‘All’s Well That Ends Well.’ She was able to articulate our vision exactly, using simple and realistic imagery typical of the South African context. Lyn subsequently donated her time to illustrate ‘Children Like To Play.’
2018: Our first Illustration Incubator
Mikhulu Trust was funded to develop four new wordless picture-books, with the primary goal of supporting the development of new black South African children’s book illustrators. We worked with four young, previously unpublished, South African illustration interns to develop five new wordless books. Lyn Gilbert mentored each of the illustration interns. She met with them weekly, commenting on their illustrations, guiding them on page-by-page planning and providing advice on how to successfully make a living as an illustrator. The illustration interns also received other mentoring support such as exposure to other professionals in the book production industry.
2019: Expanding the incubator – Moloko Mabotja
We loved all of the books that came out of the Illustration Incubator, but one of the illustration interns did very well, and he was commissioned to develop one extra book for Mikhulu Trust. He still needed some support from Lyn Gilbert, but he did very well in working towards becoming a professional illustrator.
2021: Illustration partnership with University of Johannesburg
In 2021, Mikhulu Trust partnered with the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Graphic Design (UJ DGD) to collaboratively develop new books. Through this partnership, UJ DGD would identify, source and manage illustrators at various expert levels (professional, newly qualified and student illustrators). Mikhulu Trust would write the stories, and provide feedback and input on the illustrations. We have developed 2 books through this process so far, and we are in the process of developing a further 4 books.