Monday, October 18, 2010
SCBWI wik'10 Conference
Just got back from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Southern Breeze chapter's Writing and Illustrating for Kids conference held every year in Birmingham, Alabama. I attended last year, and was so excited about some of the tips and people I met at the last conference, that I was anxiously awaiting this year's event.
Darcy Pattison was the keynote speaker for the event, and she kicked off the day of learning and fun with an inspiration speech about her career in kid lit. One things she mentioned that really stuck with me was "Don't become addicted to mediocrity." This is a tough business, and as an artist (or writer), one has to keep shooting for the stars. I thought she put this very well.
I attended three different workshops at the conference, the first being with illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba, one of my favorite illustrators and one who is always so giving with her knowledge of the biz. She spoke about online marketing, and what she does. "You only have to be one page ahead in the manual to be an expert," she reminded us. Again, she stressed the importance of keeping up with technology and talked about her ideas on promotion and how they have worked for her. I took three pages of notes; my head was spinning when I left!
Kerry Martin from Clarion held the next two workshops I attended. She spoke more about marketing, and what makes good portfolios and promo mailers. There was a pre-conference assignment that most of the illustrators at the conference participated in. The task was to thumbnail the story of the Blue Corn Maiden for a 32-page picture book. We showed and spoke about our work, and Ms. Martin gave us some comments, and also shared some of the projects that Clarion was working on. The above image was a character rendering of the title character that I did also for the workshop.
It was another great conference, and I met a lot of great writers and artists who I hope to keep in touch with! Thanks for SCBWI Southern Breeze for another great event!