I want to make a more in-depth blog post about my NY SCBWI Conference experience but for now I think just showing the (chronological) sketches I did at the Conference will be fine. I took notes in my sketchbook so if my (sometimes sleep-deprived) handwriting is legible then you might be able to read what I learned about at the Conference! yay!
from some of Tomie dePaola's speech at the Friday Illustrator's Intensive.
Brett Helquist and Paul O. Zelinsky also gave insightful speeches at the Illustrator’s Intensive. Later on Sunday, I showed Paul O. Zelinsky my sketch of him and he was generous enough to sign my sketchbook and also highlighted some of the most valuable info he gave at his Intensive talk in his signature. I asked him to think of one of his favorite quotes when I presented my sketchbook to be signed and I may have put him on the spot a bit (sorry!) but I’m very glad he turned his signature into a creative little doodle. :)
some very informative notes from Laurent Linn at the Intensive on Friday for my Snow White piece (which I can revise based on his feedback and send to him). Laurent Linn was AMAZINGLY nice and had a very approachable nature. At the Intensive on Friday we sat at tables to present our Snow White pieces for critique to the faculty and after his critiques I felt extremely lucky to have had him as our faculty critique-er. He gave very good constructive criticism but was also very kind and guiding about it. His eyes noticed everything I thought that might be a flaw in my piece but he also gave great ideas on how to improve the piece -not just for me but for everyone at the table. Really, if you’re on Twitter follow him!!
Jack Gantos gave an absolutely HILARIOUS speech on Saturday that I wish I hadn’t been so sleep deprived for.
Thursday night and Friday night I was so keyed up from a mixture of nerves and excitement that I barely got any sleep both nights. bleh. I apologize if I seemed loopy or out of it to anyone that I met on Friday and Saturday.
another set of notes and sketches from Laurent Linn at his Breakout Workshop about self promotion for Illustrators and how you can get your name out there.
From Holly McGhee's Breakout Workshop: Developing Your Illustration Style/Brand
After two nights of nearly no sleep and a full day on Saturday I promptly passed out and was rested enough for Sunday where one of the opening keynote speeches was by Kate Messner about the “Spectacular Power of Failure”.
Very encouraging and insightful advice about how failing can just basically be another step toward success!
I sure feel like I know how that goes.
I drew Oliver Jeffers sitting at the Keynote Panel: the Art of the Picture Book on Sunday-he also signed and drew a little doodle in my sketchbook. the Keynote Panel featured other Illustrators and Author/Illustrators like Peter Brown (whose signature and drawing you can see bleeding through the page), Raúl Colón, Marla Frazee, Shadra Strickland, and was moderated by Arthur A. Levine!
Peter Brown signed my sketchbook and drew a sketch of a carrot from Creepy Carrots! (one of my favorite recent picture books!)
Tomie dePaola also signed my sketchbook. I showed him a picture of me at one of his book signings at the Columbia Mall in Columbia, MD when I was 7 back in 1995 (yep). His reaction was -perfect!-
Despite calling himself a “grumpy old man that’s been in the business for a very long time” Tomie dePaola was very sweet and gave such great, insightful advice during his speeches. It was amazing to be able to learn from him and interact briefly with him ( maybe almost giving him a heart attack as well).
This SCBWI NY Conference was immensely valuable and I am so glad I decided to buck up and go. Being in NYC was sometimes crazy, a little stressful, but mostly exciting, and a whirlwind ride. I would very much like to go to the LA Conference this summer and if that’s not possible, definitely the next Winter Conference in 2015. I implore anyone in the Children’s Book Writer or Illustrator profession who hasn’t gone to one of these conferences to seriously consider going. The opportunities at these conferences and the learning that happens is completely worth it.