Storyboarding with Terry Denton – Adult Program


Friday 11 September – Story by Tanya Hempson

Terry Denton – illustrator, writer and ‘adventurer’ extraordinaire, presented to a group of illustrators at the StoryArts Festival on Friday. The main subject: Storyboarding.

Terry entertained us with plots of past and future projects, surrounded by the exhibition of his works from the Many Story Treehouse; a collaboration between himself and writer Andy Griffiths.

Terry spoke of his and Andy’s experiences with that series and how it differed to other projects he’d worked on, storyboarding – from concept to creation – and the publishing industry at large. We also had the opportunity to ask questions and have a look at his process pieces, including art work from some of his earlier authored/illustrated books (Felix & Alexander) all the way through to most recently published Jandamarra. With thirty years experience, Terry was really able to capture the essence of his love of books in the presentation, alongside his process and evolution as an illustrator/writer.


Terry moved around the walls of the exhibition, talking through the various art pieces, and characterizations and pages from the Many Story Treehouse. Pointing out and talking of book covers, to character sketches, roughs all the way to final illustrations. This man is prolific and diverse. As we saw by the artwork that goes into the Story Treehouse series, the process is extremely hands on, collaborative and extensive, spanning years of process refinement.


Later, we were handed sheets of paper and a loose scenario. Without being overly precious about it, we all got to work, loosely sketching out a picture book. This wasn’t about finer detail planning layout but story ‘making’. I think we all felt a great sense of adventure!


Terry Denton has illustrated for many of Australia’s top writers such as Andy Griffiths and written more than 20 books himself.

Tanya Hempson is a Commercial Artist/Designer and children’s book illustrator based in Brisbane.


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