Getting Strategic About Social Media for Illustrators: A Two-Night Mini

Online | Illustration, Business of Publishing
How do you build a social media following? Where should you focus your time to best connect with publishers and fellow artists? And is there a way to monetize your social activity?

May 1, 2023 - May 3, 2023




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

How do you build a social media following? Where should you focus your time to best connect with publishers and fellow artists? And is there a way to monetize your social activity? Join webcomic team Lisa Burdige and John Hazard to learn how illustrators can get the most out of their posts without cannibalizing time to do their art!

  • Monday, May 1 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Wednesday, May 3 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat.  This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

Why This Workshop?

Illustrators have the opportunity to engage followers on social media with their artwork, brand, and style. Join webcomic team Lisa Burdige and John Hazard as they discuss their social media success on Instagram, and the implications for all illustrators on the platform.

They’ll share tips for building an audience. They’ll demystify a few key social media metrics. They’ll discuss strategies for driving engagement. And they’ll give an overview of the  latest bells and whistles Instagram is offering. Finally, they’ll talk about how illustrators can make a mark on this thriving social platform while still having time to do their art.

In addition, Lisa and John will discuss how and why to get involved in other platforms. They’ll give a brief overview of the pros and cons of TikTok, YouTube, Twitter and some of the newcomers. And they’ll talk about ways to monetize your work on other platforms like Patreon, Ko-Fi, Substack, and Linktree.

Together, Lisa and John have grown their Instagram following for Background Noise Comics to over 26K. Lisa is also a Creative Director, building award-winning social content and followings for global brands. They’re eager to share the full range of their social experiences with you!

In this short course, illustrators will:

  • Learn beginner steps to starting an Instagram page and providing content

  • Identify a personal and professional WHY when it comes to social media

  • Explore ways to build a following and/or monetize content

Feedback Expected

  • None included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are an illustrator looking for beginning information about creating a social media presence.
  • You are a children’s book writer and/or illustrator looking for some inspiration. John and Lisa will share their path to building an audience of over 26k followers on Instagram.
  • You are interested in learning more about monetizing your social media posts via Patreon, Ko-Fi, and Linktree.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop; it is two 75-minute sessions with limited engagement meant to introduce social media platforms to illustrators.
  • Are authors and writers welcome to this workshop? Yes, everyone is welcome. We believe you’ll find value in the content. However, please note Lisa and John will be focusing on building a social media following for illustration-based content, using illustration-based examples. You might need to translate their tips and strategies to be applicable to your own work.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.


If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through June 30, 2023.

Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately.  You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Part One: May 1, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • Building our platform on Instagram: How? Why? What?!
  • Using #hashtags to connect with new followers
  • Ten tips for illustrators on Instagram
Part Two: May 3, 2023 (7pm-8:15pm EST)
  • Beyond Instagram: Other platforms to consider
  • Monetizing posts via Patreon, Ko-Fi, and Linktree
  • Q&A

How It Impacts Kids

Kids love connecting with new stories and art. Social media will help you connect with readers, educators, librarians, and fellow artists. This short course will introduce you to ways to make these important connections.

Testimonials from Our Community

“It got me inspired, which was my goal by attending. I will be looking into the references and trying out the process on my own.”

“I just really liked these folks (John and Lisa) and thought they were very good teachers. I thought that their content was good and they made it a relaxed but profitable presentation.”

“Keep the mini courses going for those of us that can’t attend at the Highlights Foundation Campus! It helps us stay in touch and keep our skills growing!!”

Meet the Faculty


May 1, 2023 - May 3, 2023




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.