Instructor Stories: Jannie Ho


Today, I’m excited to introduce the incredibly prolific Jannie Ho as our Adobe Illustrator instructor. Also know as Chicken Girl, Jannie has illustrated children’s books for over a decade. You can find her work in trade and educational books, magazines, toys, crafts, and digital media. Jannie (pronounced Jane-nee) received her BFA in illustration at Parsons The New School of Design in New York. After graduation, she spent time working as an in-house graphic designer at Nickelodeon, Scholastic, and an art director at TIME Magazine for Kids. She left all of that to pursue illustrating, and we’re so glad that she did!

Jannie’s Books (and Other Projects)

Jannie has illustrated for HarperCollins, Sterling, Little, Brown & Co, Viking, Scholastic, Penguin, Cartwheel Books, Walter Foster Publishing, Oxford University Press, Peaceable Kingdom Press, Nosy Crow, Running Press Kids, Creative Teaching Press, Mudpuppy, Target, Toys R Us, American Greetings, Highlights for Children, High Five Magazine, Colorbok, TIME Magazine for Kids, Old Navy, and more!

She also wrote and illustrated Bear and Chicken, published by Running Press Kids.

Her Adobe Illustrator Intensive

I like how Jannie describes the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator in the following highlight from last November’s Black Friday Bootcamp.

Jannie does 99% of her work in Adobe Illustrator. As part of the intensive, she even includes a template for thumbnails that you can save as a PDF and have a picture book dummy to share with critique partners, agents, or editors.

That alone could convert me to working in Illustrator.

But there’s more! When making vector art, you don’t have to worry about dpi (dots per inch). In Photoshop, you have to make sure you’re working with at least 300 dpi. But with vector art, you can scale the image up or down without losing any resolution. That means you don’t have to know what size your finished product will be. You can just start working and worry about size later.

I love that. I also love that Illustrator files are smaller than Photoshop files.

Jannie will walk you through the basics of making vector art in Adobe Illustrator. You don’t have to have any previous experience. You WILL need access to Illustrator. This intensive covers everything you need to illustrate your book in Adobe Illustrator: how to use the tools, character creation, customizing backgrounds, making thumbnails, and exporting files.

You can register for Jannie Ho’s intensive HERE.

Book Giveaway Details

I’m giving away one of Jannie’s books. To enter, just let me know which book you’d like to win in the comments by midnight on July 10. You don’t have to buy the intensive or be a student. If you don’t live in the States, just make sure it’s something that Book Depository carries, and you’re also welcome to enter.

Please share this post on social media for extra entries, and paste the link to wherever you shared as a reply to your original comment.

Thank you for reading!

Blog Contributors

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems. 

Arree Chung is an author/illustrator and the founder of Storyteller Academy. Arree’s Ninja! series has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Kirkus also gave a starred review to Mixed, which recently won the FCGB award. 

Today Arree lives a creative life, making stories for children. Arree spends most of his time making picture books, writing middle grade novels, and sharing his love for art, design, and storytelling with kids and dreamers everywhere.

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31 thoughts on “Instructor Stories: Jannie Ho”

  1. Megan Whitaker

    Bear and Chicken!
    I like that her illustrations look so fresh and have the feeling of acrylics-beautiful!

  2. Love her style-sweet, simple, engaging for all ages! If You’re Spooky and You Know It is my choice . Thanks for interview!

  3. The “Bear and Chicken” cover makes me really curious what the story is about. (Or maybe I don’t want to know? I’m vegan. LOL No, I’m sure it’s a pleasant story.) Anyway, that’s the book I’d most like to have.

  4. I’m interested in The Mixed Up Alphabet book. Thank you for sharing these inspiring posts and links to her work. I have always wanted to create a children’s book. It is a ‘maybe someday’ goal.

  5. WoW! What a body of gorgeous work! Thanks for sharing this Myrna. I struggle with digital everything, and took on too many classes lately, but I am going to rewatch Jannie’s videos and learn!

    Don’t know if I’m eligible for the book giveaway as I’ve already won one. But I’d love a copy of Bear and Chicken for our local library.

  6. Kamalani Hurley

    Terrific post. I love learning about how artists use insights and tools to bring their visions to life.

  7. Looks like a great class! The book I’d like to win (not an easy choice) is “The Great Reindeer Rebellion”. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Wow this is really encouraging. Seeing how great the character lineup looks and the fact that you can easily reposition characters without worrying about losing the likeness.

    I’d love to win Violet Rose and the Little School Sticker

  9. Jannie Ho’s illustrations are so adorable! I’d love to read the Violet Rose & the Summer Campout book.

  10. Thanks Myrna for sharing the awesome collection of Jannie Ho. I enjoyed this intensive and reading Bear and Chicken. I would love to win VIOLET ROSE and The surprise party. Good luck to everyone!
    And Thanks to StorytellerAcademy because it just keeps getting better every year!

  11. Ashley Congdon

    What an amazing accomplishment to illustrate all those books. I would like a copy of BEAR AND CHICKEN. Thank you.

  12. Wow, she is very talented! Gonna look into her intensive for sure! I would love a copy of Violet Rose and the Summer Campout for our family!

  13. What a great style! I really liked the preview for the Illustrator class, too and am thinking about taking it. I would love to have Bear and Chicken. Thanks for the opportunities!

  14. I love Jannie’s illustrations 😀
    I would love to get Tiny Tabs: Little Bubba Looks for his Elephant for my little nephew

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