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Orange Beak Studio was founded in 2017 from a desire to work closely with illustrators and authors,

to share knowledge and offer insight and encouragement for creatives.


The co-founders of Orange Beak Studio are: 

Maisie Paradise Shearring an award-winning internationally published author and illustrator

Ness Wood an award-winning designer and art director

Orange Beak Studio Associates:

Katie Harnett is an award-winning internationally-published author and illustrator

Tor Freeman is an award-winning internationally published author, illustrator and comics maker 

Mariesa Dulak is an internationally published author

Ramona Reihill is an internationally published editor and author


 The Orange Beak Studio tutors have varied but complementary skills. Maisie, Ness, Katie, Tor, Mariesa and Ramona are all practising specialists in their fields of illustration, design and editorial respectively. In addition to this, both Maisie and Ness have teaching experience at post-graduate level.


  We offer: 

one-to-one 60 minute illustration tutorials

one-to-one 60 minute design tutorials

one-to-one editorial tutorials with individual written feedback  

portfolio feedback

varied workshops

creative picture book week

monthly orange beak evenings

We work with clients at all stages of their development, from those who are brand new to it all, to illustrators and authors early in their career, to graduates and more established illustrators and authors. 


Our ethos is to support and enable creatively ambitious clients to move forward with their goals.

We give people time, honest and constructive feedback, and guidance.

"Having been stuck in a creative rut for a while, I was struggling to feel excited by my work and I would often find myself pulled in many different directions. Orange Beak took me right back to basics to help me discover who I am as an illustrator. Their advice and support gave me the confidence to draw from the heart and now I am creating pieces that I feel truly proud of. I can’t thank them enough!"

The Orange Beak Team


Maisie paradise shearring


Maisie Paradise Shearring is an international award-winning author-illustrator. In 2015, she graduated from Cambridge School of Art, where she gained a distinction and also received the Ronald Searle Prize for Creativity. In April of the same year, Maisie won the International Award for Illustration at Bologna Children’s Book Fair. 


Maisie’s picture books include Anna and Otis and I’m Actually Really-Grown Up Now, both published by Two Hoots. Anna and Otis was nominated by IBBY for the 2019 Bratislava Biennial of Illustration. Maisie has recently illustrated, The Girl Who Noticed Everything, a picture book written by Jane Porter and published by Walker Books. It follows on from The Boy Who Loved Everyone (also written by Jane Porter), which won the Little Rebels Award in 2020 and a Christopher Award in 2022. 


Maisie’s most recent picture book is Two People Can published by Harper Collins imprint Kumusha Books. Alongside co-founding and tutoring at Orange Beak Studio, Maisie has post-graduate lecturing experience, having worked on the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art and has also been a mentor for Picture Hooks.

'Not only is Maisie the most phenomenally talented illustrator and author, she's also truly fantastic to work with. In addition to her calm, clear-thinking approach to creativity she has an open-mindedness and a gift for empathy that make collaborating with her an immensely productive and hugely enjoyable experience.'

Nick Sharratt, Author & Illustrator

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Ness Wood is an award-winning book designer and art director and has worked for many major publishers designing children’s picture books and fiction. She has taught Publishing at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), on the MA Illustration course at Goldsmiths, University of London, run the Cambridge School of Art Summer School (2014-2020) and taught Design History at the University of Brighton. 


Her wide-ranging accomplishments in practical design and as a published author with qualifications in design history serve as a solid foundation for all of her work. She is known for her encouraging, straightforward and collaborative approach with illustrators and students. 


Ness has been a judge for the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award, and in 2018 was part of the winning team at the British Design and Production Awards, in the Graphic Novel Category. Some of her recent book designs include; There's a Tiger on the Train (Mariesa Dulak & Rebecca Cobb); War of the Worlds (retold and illustrated by Chris Mould); and Tokyo Café (Julian Sedgewick & Chie Kutsuwada).

'Ness Wood is one of the most talented and creative designers I have ever worked with. Her contribution to my Alfie books in particular has been invaluable. Her suggestions are never obtrusive, but her aesthetic grasp on the way a picture book works, and how it impacts on the very young reader, is impeccable.' 

Shirley Hughes, Author & Illustrator

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Katie Harnett


Katie Harnett is an award-winning author and illustrator. Her books include Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat, which was long-listed for the Kate Greenaway medal and the Franklin’s Flying Bookshop series written by Jen Campbell, the second of which was Shortlisted for the IBW Book Award 2020, the Goodreads Choice Awards and won the Made For Mums Award 2019.


Katie loves helping clients to identify new ways of problem-solving in their dummy books, will give clear feedback on how to take your work to the next level, provides frank and honest industry advice and is here to help out when you’ve just lost that loving (illustration) feeling.

'I had a tutorial with Katie and found it extremely beneficial, well organised, encouraging and enjoyable. Katie was an amazing tutor and her professional yet genuinely warm kind and enthusiastic manner made it easy to discuss the obstacles I've been trying to over come . . . Katie gave me some brilliant practical tips and suggestions with lots of examples given.' 

Orange Beak client 

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MariEsa dulak


Mariesa Dulak writes picture books and young fiction. After a degree in English Literature, an MA in Children's Literature and a twenty-year career in publishing, Mariesa gave up her day job and started writing. 


In 2020 she won the FAB Prize for her debut picture book text There’s a Tiger on the Train and secured a three-book deal with Faber, who paired her with the award-winning illustrator Rebecca Cobb (The Paper Dolls, The Everywhere Bear etc...). Contracts with Walker and DK Children's soon followed. 


Mariesa now divides her time between writing and working part-time as a school librarian. She lives in London with her husband, two children and a very shy cat called Cookie.

Praise for There's a Tiger on the Train:

‘A rhythmic rhyming story about a train to the seaside that fills with wild animals, while a father on his phone misses everything. Exhilarating illustrations and a heartwarming last line.’ 

The Sunday Times

'Pointedly satirical and highly enjoyable.’

The New Statesman 

‘FAB Prize winner Dulak instils There’s a Tiger on the Train with a sense of gleeful, adventurous chaos. Teamed with illustrations from Rebecca Cobb, her debut is a joy.’

The Bookseller

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tor freeman


Tor Freeman is an author and illustrator of picture and chapter books and has been published in the UK and worldwide during her 20+ year career. She is a regular contributor to magazines including Mes Premières Belles Histoires, Pomme d'Api and POLLE and had two ongoing strips in the weekly story comic, The Phoenix.


In 2012 she was awarded a Sendak Fellowship, and together with two other illustrators spent a month in Connecticut. In November 2017 she was the winner of the Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize.


Her books include the Digby Dog Delivers series, The Toucan Brothers, Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson and most recently The Book That No One Wanted to Read by Richard Ayoade. She has had two all-ages comics published by Bog Eyed Books, Welcome to Oddleigh and Sister Clawdetta: Murder at the Monastery. Tor lives and works in London.

'Tor was very friendly and easy to talk to. She helped me to work out why I was unhappy with a piece I'd been struggling with, and her suggestions were so helpful in getting it back on track.


Tor also encouraged me to experiment with scale and gave me advice about agents. I felt really energised after our tutorial - it was very uplifting!'

Orange Beak client 

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ramona reihill


Ramona Reihill worked for many years as a children’s book editor in London, looking after lists that included Julia Donaldson and Michael Morpurgo, the Ahlbergs, Miffy and Tintin. More recently, she has been involved with the creative writing charity, Fighting Words, as a facilitator and writing mentor, and is a tutor on the MA in Children’s Literature: Children’s Book Illustration course at Goldsmiths University of London.


With Bruce Ingman, she co-wrote a book on the work of Dick Bruna for The Illustrators series, published by Thames and Hudson.

'Ramona was very positive and respectful of my story/concept while still providing constructive feedback . . . I believe my story could significantly improve once I implement what we discussed. The session was highly interactive, and her insights regarding tone of voice, tempo, and character personality were particularly helpful.'

Orange Beak client 

'It was exciting to read your insightful ideas and made me want to immediately start a new draft to incorporate them.'

Orange Beak client 

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tony lee


Tony Lee is an experienced administrator having worked extensively in the academic and arts sectors. He spent over ten years with the University of Manchester as a programme administrator in various faculties, including Humanities, Health and Engineering. He previously worked in the arts industry, managing box offices in both the subsidised and commercial sectors, including London’s West End. For the last fifteen years he has been independently researching the history of the television programme, This Is Your Life

'Tony has organised us in a way we never thought possible!

He is brilliant to work with, dedicated to helping Orange Beak and our clients. Tony is calm, reassuring, confident and extremely competent. The king of spreadsheets!'

Maisie, Ness & Alice, Orange Beak Studio

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