SADA hosts lectures

Professional Illustrators advise students at event

Hundreds of Studio and Digital Arts students listened to the advice Melanie Hall and Megan Halsey shared during their two lectures and were also able to meet the illustrator/authors at a book signing Thursday, Oct. 16.

The first lecture was titled Two Authors: Two Stories and was held in DeMoss Hall 4040 at 10-11:30 a.m. The second was called All About Art Licensing and was held in the Grand Lobby of DeMoss Hall at 2:15-3:45 p.m.

Vision — Megan Hall and Melanie Halsey share ideas. Photo credit: Joel Coleman

Vision — Megan Hall and Melanie Halsey share ideas. Photo credit: Joel Coleman

The book signing and exhibition was held from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Liberty University Art Gallery. Some of Hall’s books included “In Our Image, God’s First Creatures,” “Christmas Presents, Holiday Poetry” and “Every Second Something Happens, Poems for the Mind and Senses.” A few of Halsey’s books were: “3 Pandas Planting,” “Boats: Speeding! Sailing! Cruising!” and “Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night.”

Department Chair Todd Smith opened the second lecture with a prayer. He thanked Hall and Halsey for coming, as well as the professors who organized these events. He also recognized the ILLUMINATE Grant that helped fund these opportunities.

Hall and Halsey have been friends since 1987. According to Halsey, they clicked immediately and have enjoyed working together. Hall explained that Halsey constantly spurs her forward, which causes her to rise to new challenges.

“It’s nice to have that friend who has your back and is encouraging when things go wrong,” Halsey said.

Hall has been storytelling in the publishing and design industries business for more than 25 years, and 2015 will mark 25 years for Halsey, according to her website.

“(It) feels like such an accomplishment to still be in this business,” Halsey said.

The two have worked on illustrating children’s books, but like many illustrators, they are involved in multiple projects.

“We wear many different hats,” Hall said. “I don’t just want to do one thing. I enjoy doing multiple things.”

In the first lecture, the pair shared about themselves and their stories. In the second lecture, they discussed art licensing which, according to Halsey, is when permission is given to a manufacturer to use a designer’s work.

Hall and Halsey explained that when people are observant, they could see that licensed art is all around them. Halsey broke the topic down into several categories, including paper goods like stationery, fabric for sewing or quilting, wall coverings and home décor pieces such as chairs or lamps.

According to Halsey, people want things that are pretty and also functional. Most people prefer to buy things they already need with designs on them.

Halsey claimed that the key to art licensing is to be versatile and flexible. Designers’ sense of style reflects their personality, but they must be able to tweak their designs to adapt to what the manufacturer wants.

When asked which market, illustrating books or art licensing, was better to get into, Hall and Halsey noted that both fields are viable options because art directors always need new material. They encouraged students to follow their passion and pursue what they wanted to do.

Hall and Halsey stressed a balance between illustrating and designing. Students need to have artistic talent, but also be competent in design software.

For more information on Hall and Halsey, check out their websites: and

Glossner is a news reporter.

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