From Autobiography to Illustrated Story

A course by Paloma Valdivia
Illustrator, Writer and Editor. Tulsa, Chile.
Joined August 2019
, Illustrator, Writer and Editor

Learn how to create a picture book starting from a personal story and an object from your childhood

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (147)
  • 2189 students
From Autobiography to Illustrated Story

Learn how to create a picture book starting from a personal story and an object from your childhood

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (147)
  • 2189 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 15 Lessons (1h 49m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever

Through colors, lines, and words, it is possible to recreate a story that today only exists in your memory. To help you with this mission, there’s no one better than children’s book’s illustrator and writer Paloma Valdivia. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages and she has been recognized with several international awards, including The Best Book Awards by UNESCO and the German Graphic Arts Foundation.

In this course, Paloma teaches illustration and writing techniques for you to learn how to create an autobiographical story based on an object from your childhood. See how to rescue the memories inside your head and bring them to life in a unique and intimate illustrated book.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Narrative theory
  • U3
    U3. Let's Get to It
  • U4
    U4. Creating the Story
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Paloma begins the course by showing you her trajectory and sharing her main artistic references. She then tells the story of how she became an illustrator and how she published her first children's book.

In the next stage, learn some resources and storytelling tools like the autobiography to incorporate into your story. See the importance of creating a daily journal with your thoughts and ideas and how to explore your memories through an object.

In the third unit, find your object and approach it from different perspectives, transforming it into the thread that connects your story. Paloma shares her method for structuring text and shows you how to make the first sketches for your final illustration.

Then, give the final shape to your illustrated story, adjusting your sketches until you define your final drawing. Learn how to work with graphite and paint, applying different coloring techniques to achieve the desired atmosphere.

In the final stage, polish your text, paying special attention to the cover and the final sentence of your story. Finally, Paloma gives you some advice on promoting and sharing your creation.

What is this course's project?

Create a written and illustrated autobiographical story, based on an object from your childhood.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

Anyone who wishes to tell a personal story using illustration and writing techniques.

What you need

To take this course, it is recommended to have basic drawing skills.

Regarding materials, you will need a phone with a camera, an object from your childhood to base your story on, sheets of A3 drawing paper, pencils, erasers, ink, rulers, pens, and colored pencils.


2189 Students
147 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Paloma Valdivia

A course by Paloma Valdivia

Illustrator, Writer and Editor

With a design degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and a postgraduate degree in illustration from the Escola d'Art i Disseny de Barcelona, illustrator, writer, and publisher Paloma Valdivia has taken the children and young adult’s books world by storm.

With work translated into more than twenty languages, she has been recognized internationally with the New Horizon Award of the Bologna Children's Book Fair (Italy), the BIB PLAQUÉ of the Bratislava Biennial of Illustration (Slovakia), the Municipal Literature Award of Santiago (Chile), The Best Book Awards granted by UNESCO and the German Graphic Arts Foundation, and the Little Bird Award, among others.

Besides having her own publishing house dedicated exclusively to children’s books, Ediciones Liebre, Paloma has collaborated with publishers and entities including Amanuta (Chile), Fondo de Cultura Económica (Mexico), Kalandraka (Spain), La Joie de Lire (Switzerland), Fatatrac, (Italy), and Enchanted Lion Books (USA).


  • U1


    • Introduction
    • Influences
    • What will we do in the course?
  • U2

    Narrative theory

    • Autobiography as a resource
    • The importance of registration
    • The object and memory
    • Materials and how to use them
  • U3

    Let's Get to It

    • Getting to Know the Object
    • Building the Story
    • Creating the First Sketches
  • U4

    Creating the Story

    • Making a clean copy of the sketch
    • Working with graphite and ink
    • Use of color and final details
    • Cover, text writing and closing
    • Share the story
  • FP

    Final Project

    • From Autobiography to Illustrated Story

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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From Autobiography to Illustrated Story. A Illustration course by Paloma Valdivia

From Autobiography to Illustrated Story

A course by Paloma Valdivia
Illustrator, Writer and Editor. Tulsa, Chile.
Joined August 2019
  • 100% Positive reviews (147)
  • 2189 students