As many of you already know, last weekend I went to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Summer Conference. Oh my goodness!...I'm still recovering and processing everything I learned!! It was my first time going and I can't wait until next year!
Some highlights and lessons learned from the Conference:
1. Meeting Loren Long!! He is one of my favorite illustrators and a big influence on my art and inspiration to me. I bought his illustrated version of The Little Engine That Could and he signed it for me! He was also a Keynote Speaker and I also went to one of his break-out sessions. It was great seeing part of his process.(Loren Long and some of the OC Illustrators)
2. Spending time with the OC Illustrators ladies! I was so glad to spend some time with them and get to know them better. We spent a lot of time stalking people we wanted to meet and then not knowing what to say to them. It was great. (Some of the OC Illustrators!)
3. Hearing many, many times: Don't follow trends, follow your heart. Draw what YOU love to draw, because that comes from deep in your heart, and when it comes from deep inside of you, it will be genuine and real, and that's when you will make your best work.
4. Learned some tips on writing, which I am not as interested in pursuing at the moment, but eventually I would like to have a book published that I wrote AND illustrated. Rhythm and prose is important in picture books, pay attention to page turns and payoffs, and don't tell the story with text, tell it with image, and let the text "complete" the narrative.
5. For portfolios include sequential pieces, classic tales in your own style, show your strengths and range of ability, and make sure your weakest image is still strong because your portfolio is only as good as your weakest image.
Of course there is SO much more, but those were the biggest things for me. Now I have a lot of work to do, a whole list of books to look up, following up on contacts that I made, submit my work to publishers and agents, and start on some new art pieces to make my portfolio better and more refined. There's LOTS to do before next years Conference, so I'd better get to work!!
...But first, a few more pictures!
(E.B. Lewis in the middle and Ashley Bryan on the far left. Some awesome illustrators/writers)(Arthur Levine at the Heart and Soul party on Saturday night, so fun!)
Until next year....