I spent the weekend in fabulous Manhattan, NY, at SCBWI's annual winter conference. Friday was the Illustrators' Intensive. It WAS pretty intensive, and very thought provoking. Leo and Diane Dillon presented as well as signed books. I was in heaven. I am a huge fan of their work and to have an opportunity to hear and meet them was quite the dream come true. Illustrator William Low's tutorial on Photoshop was very much hands on. Elise Primavera's exercise in idea generation (a group process that resulted in some pretty zany stories) was definitely an I-can-take-this-home-and-use-it pearl. Ending the day was an invaluable critique of portfolio pieces by art directors Giuseppe Castellano, Scott Piehl, and Carla Weise, moderated by Cecilia Yung.
Saturday brought inspiring presentations by author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, YA author Jay Asher, and editor Richard Jackson. The breakout sessions with editors and art directors was very informative with an important lesson: each really has his/her own way of doing things. Similar questions were answered very differently.
Sunday we heard the entertaining MG author Bruce Hale (he sang!); more great take-it-home advice from agents Michael Bourret, Alyssa Henking, Edward Necarsulmer, and Michael Stearns; author Jack Gantos; and the announcement of portfolio awards. And here's the horn tootin' part: I received one of two honor awards. Yay! (The piece above is part of a dummy included in my portfolio.) Kudos to weekend buddy Leeza Hernandez on her Tomie dePaola award and congrats to David Ercolini on his grand prize win.
Overall, it was a great conference. Very different from the summer L.A. conference but in good ways. But both leave me overflowing with inspiration and motivation. So, time to go. I gotta get back to work on my children's books!