Monthly Archives: April 2012

a conference summed up in lists

My favorite things from the SCBWI conference:

  • My consultation with Lucy Ruth Cummins, an art director at Simon and Schuster. She was truly excited about my work and she gave me all kinds of useful suggestions!
  • Getting a peek into Melissa Sweet‘s artistic process (and studio, via video!). She works so passionately and thoroughly on her artwork- her collage is pure play and her watercolors are exceptionally rich. Carmine: A Little More Red is now on my list of books to study (see below).
  • Andrea Welch from Beach Lane Books shared ten questions she asks when considering a picture book, such as “Is the project emotionally engaging?” or “Does the story meet a developmental need?” Speaking of emotion, I teared up at her mere description of William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. What a great story.

Things I heard that stuck:

  • “If I were to hang this on my wall, what would I want it to look like?” – Melissa Sweet
  • “The creative muse likes rhythmic activities: walking, music, chopping vegetables…” – Bonny Becker
  • “I figured they’d have reject toys at the Monster Academy.” – Scott Magoon

Picture books I can’t wait to check out:



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the conference is acoming

It is about a week until the annual SCBWI Western Washington conference, which means I’ve been working less on actual illustrations and more on constructing my portfolio.

This has meant troubleshooting seemingly small issues, such as how to keep everything landscape oriented so that viewers don’t have to turn the portfolio back and forth… or debating whether I should choose a piece that I love but copies poorly, or a piece that is so so, but looks good when it’s reproduced.

You can see that I’ve chosen to split a lot of images to make them fit the way I want, which creates a gutter like a picture book, but it also creates an empty space to one side of the image.  Altogether it might not be the most professional looking presentation, but if it looked too slick it wouldn’t be a great reflection of me and my work anyway.

Next on my list is updating my website and other online presences, then researching all the big names, publishers and agents who will be there. Really good times when it’s finally sunny outside!


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