|Opening Ceremony at SCBWI LA Conference 2013. Over 1200 in attendance!|
I received an email a few months ago from Cecilia Yung, art director from Penguin Young Readers Group and also on the SCBWI Board of Advisors. She asked me if I would like to speak at the conference. I was floored. Excited, yes, but me? But when she told me they were doing a panel on books for toddlers in the illustrators intensive, I knew I had ALOT to talk about regarding this subject. I've been working years as an illustrator now, and have always been in learning mode. Now in almost a blink of an eye, I was on the other side, with much info to share with others. How did this happen?
I also got to run two breakout sessions; one on anthropomorphic character design and one on creating novelty books. I appreciate all the people that came! One's nightmare is to having no one show up. In one session, we had to turn people away because the room was at capacity!
The best part was to meet in person, all the talented illustrators I've come to known online for years. I felt right at home. I know this is my tribe. Alot of them knew I was nervous about my talks. Thank you for your support. It was SO nice to see a friendly and familiar face in the audience as I spoke.
My rep, Mela Bolinao, also was on the faculty this year. I haven't seen her in person for literally years, so it was so nice to get some face time (we communicate mostly by email). Funny how it is in this conference and in LA of all places that we got the opportunity to meet up.
|The Black and White Gala. Dancing under the night sky with children's book peeps.|
Oh and all the fun little things! Dancing under the night sky with all children's publishing folks. The book signing (and people wanting to take a picture with me. I'm very, very flattered!)
I don't know how the stars aligned for me this year that I was given this opportunity and I'm truly grateful. I can't describe what an incredible and amazing time I had. From the conference I did learn that everyone in this industry work so hard to get to where they are at and where they want to be. They all are so passionate about children's books. There are still so many things I want to do and I will be working harder myself. Thank you everyone at SCBWI for having me!