Why Cuddlefish Academy?

We were tired of seeing promising children’s book illustrators and writer-illustrators get suckered into taking expensive online workshops and courses that promised publishing opportunities, but didn’t deliver. You being your best YOU and getting the personalized help you need to level up is how you break in and gain and maintain career traction.

We are real life author-illustrators who are successfully publishing with the biggest publishers in the US, and we know how to help you over your career hump because we have been there. We are not agents. We are not art directors. We don’t own a vanity press. We aren’t trying to be art gurus or stroke our own egos.

All of our instructors and mentors are experienced illustration professors and successful working writers and illustrators. We are sincerely committed to your growth and success!

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"I work full-time and attend school part-time, so having the flexibility that the Self-Swimmer course offered was awesome. Great class!"

- Anthony P.

Great Instructors!

"An informative class with

an attentive instructor. The lectures/assignments are all well thought out and designed to be repeatable. Course work can be easily applied to real world practice and daily routine."

- John L.


"I highly recommend Cuddlefish Academy for mentoring! They reviewed my portfolio and it was excellent in providing constructive feedback... I feel that they really went above and beyond, and is an incredible mentor!"

- Victoria W.

Meet The Instructors!

Kaz Windness, Stan Yan, Lily Williams, and Heather Brockman Lee are working professional authors and illustrators and have all taught at the higher ed level at accredited universities. This dynamic duo of being a current working professional and hands-on educational experience makes the Cuddlefish Academy team an elite group of people to get your children's book ready!

Bringing a wide range of experience to The Cuddlefish Academy classes, these instructors have a breadth of illustration knowledge to share. With additional experience in sales, the animation industry, fine arts, and more... we are here to get your portfolio ready and empower you for the next steps of your career!