SCBWI Faces goes behind the scenes to meet our volunteers. This month Loretta Flockhart chats to Ell Rose, Illustration Features Editor for Words & Pictures.

Ell Rose is a non-binary illustrator & animator based in Edinburgh. They have two cats that sometimes feature in their work in either comics or illustrations/animation. They are available for editorial, non-fiction and fiction books and commercial work as well as 2D motion graphics.

What do you illustrate?

My illustration work is cute and colourful, the main focuses being characters and bringing them to life. Currently I’m working on a children’s book with a client and it’s such a wonderful collaboration between myself and the author.

Ell Rose's newest illustration, to go alongside their 30th birthday


Do you have a ‘day job’ as well as volunteering and making art?

My day job is freelance illustration and motion design/animation, which is absolutely amazing, I really enjoy the work I do and I get to meet some lovely people through it.


Describe your creative space

I mostly work in my living room, I have a standing desk with a wide monitor, and a pretty hefty PC. I mainly use my iPad so often am just curled up with terrible posture on my couch illustrating.

Ell Rose's work desk. The moss ball is called King Kwentin. Ell has a lot of
Sanrio things on their desk, and tombow pens

How long have you been a SCBWI volunteer?

It will be a year on April 3rd, which is really exciting for me — I’ve really loved working with everyone and being part of the Words & Pictures team.


Describe the main tasks of your role as a SCBWI volunteer

As the illustration features editor, I illustrate the headers, talk to other illustrators to get really fun ideas together for comics or other features. I make sure a new upcoming illustrator is featured every month too.


Has volunteering influenced your art in any way?

It’s definitely given me more resources to improve my work and to be inspired.


What are the advantages of being a volunteer?

You get to work with some really wonderful people and build a community, the networking aspect is great.


At the SCBWI conference in Manchester (photo credit Sarah Broadley)

At the SCBWI conference in Manchester (photo credit Tita Berredo)

How many hours per week do you spend volunteering?

It ranges, it’s difficult to say as a lot of the time it includes emails back and forth.


Do the boundaries between volunteering get blurred or do you have clearly demarcated creating/volunteering times/space?

I usually try to keep certain aspects of the work like illustrating headers and uploading articles to one day a week


Favourite children’s book?

This is a difficult question as there are so many that have had a big impact on me, however. Currently Mini Rabbit Not Lost by John Bond remains at the top of my list alongside the rest of that series.

Get in contact with Ell via their email and see their work here or on Instagram.  

* Header illustration by Tita Berredo and Ell Rose; 

other images courtesy of Ell Rose


Loretta Flockhart has a background in publishing, an MA in Creative Writing and is an English language teacher / writing tutor. She enjoys working with adults and children, whose first language is not English, to write poetry and stories. Find her on (formerly Twitter). 


Anne Boyere is one of Words & Pictures' Feature Editors and runs the #SCBWIchat on X (formerly Twitter) chat about books for all ages @SCBWI_BI. You can find her on X.  


Tita Berredo is Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and the Art Director of Words & PicturesFollow her on InstagramX and or contact her at:

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