Notes from the Conference

There is already much coverage of the SCBWI conference in various blogs that I won't be going into details with everything that happened. But I would like to share a few notes/quotes on the ones that made a big impression on me.

Illustrator Jerry Pinkney
"Every image is a portrait."

The first talk of the day at the Illustrators' intenstive. He mentioned that he saw a difference in his work when he really focused on picture books. His dedication to the craft is very apparent, especially when he said that while illustrating mongoose for a picture book, he listened to a tape of mongoose sounds. It made me realize I that I've been pretty scattered-brain lately, wanting to do different things with my art, etc., when my first love is the picture book and I still have alot to do, learn and work on. I immediately re-dedicated myself to making great picture books after his speech.

Holly McGhee, rep, Pippin Properties
"Working out of your comfort zone is essential in survival."

"Its not art if we are not in a new place."

"Never let complete ignorance get in your way."

"A simple suggestion opens the door."

A great talk about working out of your comfort zone. We all have them. Things that are out of my comfort zone: drawing different/dynamic perspective, and drawing people. I'll be working more on that.

Author/Illustrator David Wiesner
I've heard David Wiesner speak before at the Society of Illustrators. Each time I hear him speak, I get very inspired and want to go back to work right away, AND also think "Ok, why do I even bother?"

His work is incredibly amazing. I have a special fondness for the wordless picture book, so I am definitely a fan. I also saw his dedication to the craft when he showed 3-D models he had built for his book, Tuesday. He made clay models of the frogs and also a foam-core model of the clock tower that is on the cover, so he could try out different perspectives.

Author/Illustrator Tomie dePoala
What a treat to see Tomie de Poala in person! He gave some hints on making a portfolio:

-"Have I seen this before?" (your portfolio should be unique)
-"Is there too much in the portfolio?"
-Consistency in quality a must
-A portfolio is like an audition, a monologue to the art director
-Sequences are important

I was also thrilled to hear Illustrator Harry Bliss talk.....with new yorker cover after new yorker cover.....after new yorker cover. He also mentioned he won't be doing another children's book for a while. It sounds like they are pretty draining on him, he puts his blood, sweat and tears into making a great picture book. I have much respect for him.

I also enjoyed the luncheon keynote address with writer Carolyn Mackler. There were so much more but thats it for now...some food for thought!