I have found that it is very difficult for me to assert myself and just talk to people I don't know, especially the people I most WANT to talk to, like editors, art directors, agents, etc. but by not doing that, I know I'm missing out on opportunities. So this year I am going with confidence and a positive attitude. I saw this video (below) on a blog a few weeks ago and it really stuck with me. You should really watch it, but it basically explains how open body language can effect your mental attitude. The speaker suggests before going into an important meeting, spend 2 mins doing a "power pose" in the bathroom, or wherever. This will give you the confidence you need to get through that meeting successfully instead of coming across as timid and shy. That is exactly what I am going to do before my portfolio critique, and then I am going in and giving my critiquer a firm, strong hand-shake! Who's with me!?
Speaking of portfolios, did I mention that my printer broke? Yep! 2 weeks before the conference, it broke and it has been in the shop ever since. I probably wont get it back until sometime after the conference if it's even worth fixing. I might end up buying a new one. That printer has been so good to me for so long (7 years!) It got me through college and helped me start my illustrating career. But I suppose good things can't last forever...and I can only hope the next printer will be as kind to me as the first.
So, being printer-less, my friend Katy Betz was so gracious to let me use her printer for whatever I needed. So I spend a whole day printing my portfolio and picture book dummy and I'm so pleased! The colors are bright and vibrant and they came out just like they looked on the computer screen! I didn't get so lucky with my postcards and bookmarks this year. I'm pretty sure this will be the last time I use Overnight Prints because they always come out too dark and end up in a very disappointing print quality. The paper they use is nice and thick and sturdy, and feel very professional, but the quality just doesn't seem to match. Of course I have noticed that I say this every time I order from Overnight Prints and somehow I keep using them. O well, someday I will learn.
This year I will be reusing my portfolio from last year, but with mostly new work. I also switched out the pages for Kolo cloth-hinged pages. I absolutely recommend them!! Ever since I started making portfolios I have struggled with having pages that just wouldn't lay flat. It drove me crazy! Finally, I saw a blog with these Kolo pages and I will never use anything else! They don't actually come in 8.5x11 in portrait format, so I ordered the 11x14 and cut them to size. Worked great! Maybe next year I'll go for the Kolo portfolio as well. They are very nice looking!
Finally, there is my picture book dummy, which I am very pleased with the final product! Some pages are just a line drawing, some have values, and 2 are finished paintings so publishers can see different stages of completeness.
So I have everything I need to spotlight my artwork, the confidence to show it to people, an open mind for critiques, motivation and inspiration, and hope in my heart. What else would I need?
Here I come SCBWI! Who's with me!?!