Monday, March 11, 2013

SCBWI Regional Conference Summary

Is it bad that my throat was killing me on Sunday morning because of all the singing I did in the car on the way to and from this Saturday's conference?

Saturday morning I woke up to my alarm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 4:20 AM. Don't ask how I was feeling so peppy because to be honest, I don't even know myself.

Fast forward about 2 1/2 hours and I'm sitting in my car across the street from the church where the conference would be held, 30 minutes early! I didn't want to be that creepy lingerer who shows up way too early and then isn't sure what to do until it's appropriate to enter the building. So what'd I do? I found a Starbucks in my gps and decided to use their bathroom. It seemed inappropriate to go there just to pee without buying I opted for a small organic apple juice box accompanied by a blueberry scone.

Fast forward to the end of the conference and my head is just spinning with excitement. Am I rambling? I had a great time, and I can't wait to go to another conference! I loved how clearly the writers stood out, with their thick framed glasses and wild hair. Everyone was super nice, and most people had never been to a conference either! The speakers were wonderful, but the breakout session was my favorite. The small handful of illustrators met with Simon and Schuster's very own Art Director Lucy Ruth Cummins to review our 2 best pieces.

I submitted the following:

I let this third one linger around because I had a feeling there would be more time to look at an extra here or there, which I was right to think.

The critique was very intimate and that was great because we really got a lot of feedback with time leftover at the end. Everyone's work was awesome, I loved all of the different techniques used. Lucy said that she liked my thinner, wispy lines more than the thicker black ones. She also said to try to figure out what I want to do with my shadows. She said that she wasn't sure about how much they were softened and that I should go for a vector look more.

I certainly absorbed a lot of information during my time in Syracuse, much of which is still whirring about in my head. At the end while everyone met to say their last goodbyes I was at the drinking fountain refilling my water bottle when Lucy Ruth Cummins approached me. She wished me luck, shook my hand and said "you're going to do great things, I'm excited to see."

Now technically, she could say that to tons of people, to nearly everyone she speaks to who's an aspiring illustrator. I like to think that maybe it wasn't like that...I mean she did approach me after all...a girl can dream can't she?!

Here is a small list of things I took back with me from the conference:

  1. I need to draw multiple poses of the same character.
  2. I need to draw BIGGER. What was I thinking making pieces that were only 4x6 to begin with!?
  3. I should make b&w pieces to add to my portfolio, perhaps a middle grade book would be open to letting me draw their chapter breaks.
  4. I should make a book dummy.
  5. I really need to get my website up and going.
  6. ^ Plus business cards & postcards to send out.
  7. I need to draw MORE. Period.
  8. I need to learn how to use Twitter finally. Seriously? I'm 23 it should be already programmed into me.

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