Thank you Yoda for the perfect quote. SCWBI conference, over. Head, spinning. Since I love a good quote, and I take notes in sound bytes...these were some of the best:
I most enjoyed the inspirational talks by Jerry Pinkney, Harry Bliss, Nicky Grimes, Holly McGhee, David Wiesner and Carolyn Mackler. I love listening to artists reveal their process and personal angst. The common thread I got out of it- stay true to yourself and work your ass off.
I was nauseous until the moment I dropped off my portfolio. After that, it was like it entered a black hole and resurfaced a few hours later. I would have LOVED some feedback.
I would say one of the highlights was the brief impromptu artist portfolio swap on the floor outside of the restaurant. I hope this can become a formal scheduled event for the artists at the conference. Much can be gained by seeing what others are doing and finding where you fall in the mix.
Another great result of going to the conference for me was sorting out my head on what to focus on. I had toyed with the idea of a graphic novel for kids 8-12. So, that's what I've decided to focus on. I asked my self, "Where is your heart?"- in cartoons...
Anyway, there were some things I was not as thrilled with. The conference on the whole was very writer-centric. I would have happily missed a breakout session for a workshop on thumbnailing or brainstorming, or anything art focused. A session with an artists's rep or an art director. Art specific. My morning session was almost identical to my afternoon one.
The art that won the portfolio exhibition was beautiful. AND very traditional, painterly, classical really in it's early 20th century - Parrish like imagery. Which, I love. But- it was diametrically opposed to what the publishers,editors,agents,marketers and publicists were asking for. Hmmm....interesting.
The other awards given, though the art was very nice, were for the most part, members of someone's master class. This only re-emphasized that no matter the industry, it's not always what you know as much as who you know. Schmoozing, connections, taking classes and workshops and having mentors...all as important as the art.
It was interesting to hear the state of the markets... and hear people say the report of the picture book's death has been greatly exaggerated... and it was interesting to follow the path of a book from concept to shelving in a book store.
I was dismayed to hear the emphasis on very little text for picture books. I love "Don't let the pigeon" books as much as everyone else, but I want kids to learn as well as laugh.
Blah blah blah, I go on. All in all,It was a tremendous learning experience. I met some nice people who are quite talented: Mercedes O'Connor Goldcamp(I owe you socks), Gina Pery, Leeza Hernandez, Joey Chapelle, Carrie Hartman(I owe you 4 dollars), Monica Scheliga Carnesi and some interesting writers too. I will post links asap. I'm not sure if I'm going to LA. I'll think about it. I've got a lot of that to do....