Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Super Bad -;)

Did I hear that right? Did they call my name? I thought I was in NYC... ya know the belly of the cute beast that is Kid's Publishing? 3 years ago - here, at this conference..... I almost packed it in. They couldn't give me an award....

But - THEY did.  SCBWI NYC 2011 Art Showcase Honor Award.

I am happy and thrilled and tickled and freaked out and pumped and dazzled and intimidated and humbled and validated and in need of a new website and challenged and invigorated and well- you get the picture up there. It's time to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight and sing a la Babs Streisand "Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am !!!!..." - just change "Mr. Arnstein" to "Publishers".

So much time has been spent being a "Wanna be" - I am now in that uncomfortable space between "Wanna be" and "Be". In art- uncomfortable is good. It means change and growth and new work and surprises. Bring it on. I've been training for it!! 

The Grand Prize Winner was Leeza Hernandez. 
I met Leeza in 2007 at the NYC conference. She was a force of nature then and now a force to be reckoned with! - She's a joyous spirit that sprinkles explosive pixie dust everywhere she goes.

The other winners were Greg Pizzoli  and Laurie Sharp. I didn't get to meet Greg- so Congrats Greg! I did meet Laurie- and I love her felted illustrations and love the idea of photographing sweet little hand made characters for books.

SCBWI has other "awards" - that may not bring one up on the stage- and on a giant scary video screen but, are ever more valuable. SCBWI sets the stage for special people to enter your life. Liked minded, supportive friends who give a pat on the back - a kick in the rump - and a shove when you need it. I have met people I admire, some I consider mentors and friends I cherish through SCBWI conferences. That is the best anyone can hope to win, right? My roommate Katherine Blackmore and I met at a Florida conference 3 years ago. She's my partner in crime and we take turns being each others' shrink.We had an awesome time together this past weekend.

I was at the grocery store yesterday and a little old lady yelled at me - "Your blocking the SAMPLES with your cart! Move!" I should have shook my fist at her and said "I am an award winning illustrator lady!" "Samples be damned!" BUT I realized this feeling will last and lift me up until I go down to the basement and see the Mount Laundrymore I have to wash. Life goes on- but the art side of my life has been turned up a notch. It's a nice, swift kick in the tuchus to do better work- to live up to getting something like this and the expectations it may create. Thank you SCBWI for kicking my tuchus back in 2008 - and again now. It's proven to make me better.

The conference as a whole had a very "Practical" feeling to it. I think the tone was set on Friday for me. The Illustrator's Intensive was all about the "APP" with a sprinkling of licensing.
Dan Yaccarino was the perfect guy to introduce the possibilities for the positive application of childrens' literature in the digital world. His talk took me from being one of the people - hugging, white knuckled, my actual paper books - to actually seeing it as an exciting avenue to take, if done thoughtfully.

He clearly laid out how digital books are just another step in the evolution of literacy.- makes sense. I have an art crush on Dan Yaccarino.

I, personally, see APPS as an after publication product. Book first. Then APP. There seems to be a rush to go straight to APP- with many excited to think about it as an easier way to break in to publishing- or to make money. All paths are valid if they feel right to you. My hesitation lies in keeping the line drawn between video game and digitally enhanced BOOK. Keeping the quality high.

I have no interest in  reading "Angry Birds and the Playground Pigs make friends"

I'd like to see some time taken to let quality books- that seem to lend themselves to the technology - be made into "E"-enhanced books. I think about it as a possibility to awaken my animator life that has been lying dormant for over a decade and a half. Somewhere in my brain is all of that knowledge waiting to be applied - and this could be just the ticket.

There was another session on APPS, then Licensing our work and an opportunity to go to the NYC Gift Show and a lawyer spoke- but I had to run. My daughter was in her school play back in Long Island. I would not, could not miss that- So I ran home!

I missed being at the Showcase. Maybe that's why winning feels a bit unreal. I love being inside "Thunder Dome" as I call it - seeing the best work from the huge talent pool that comes. Exciting to be an illustrating gladiator in there. - This time I escaped being thrown to the lions and got a thumbs up!

I have more thoughts on the conference- I hope to write in the next few days.

Watch me! I'm Super Bad! - I wanna jump back & kiss myself.   - funniest lyrics


Cyn Narcisi said...

Congratulations, Kelly!! :) It's just the beginning for you! And yes, you ARE Superbad.

Redheaded Stepchild said...

Congrats to your Super Bad, Kickass self!

Nina Crittenden said...

Most excellent, Kel. And VERY well deserved! Hip, Hip, Hooray for you!!! :)

Diandra Mae said...

Wonderful post, Kelly! I agree with all of it, especially the part about letting quality books transition into e-books. I've seen too many books apps that are more games than literature, I don't care whose name is on it.

And of course I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that you found redemption in the same place that laid you low years ago! Buck up lady, I can tell you're going to ride this thrill all the way to the top! *mwah!*

Robyn said...

so ridiculously proud of you!!! It was only a matter of time!!

Sandra Willard said...

Congratulations on being an award winning illustrator lady! Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

Leeza Hernandez Illustrator said...

Congratulations Kelly-mondo! You brilliant faberoonie gla, you - well done and congrats - kudos and way to go! Bravo! Hurrah! Woo-hoo! It was much deserved and I just loved that illustration. Enjoy the ride, cos I know you are in for a big one... and ditto to Sandra's comment, couldn't have happened to a nicer person indeed.

Hope to see you again soon. Say cheese!

(Ps: thanks for the super shout out, too!)

Kelly Light said...

I am so grateful you guys come and read my ramblings here. Thank you for the support and the congrats!!

Kelly Light said...

Leeza- I am so happy to have experienced it with you.I'm gonna be first in line at your table to get you to sign your books next NYC conference!After your keynote. We can jam in LA this year too right? We'll tag teak LA- they won't know what hit 'em. I printed out the NJ conf registration. So - I'll see ya there if not sooner in NYC!

Kelly Light said...

tag team! not teak- tag teak- like wood. damn bad typing

atlanticmo said...

I meant to tell you at the scbwiwcnyc that I loved your shoes. Congrats!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

I'm telling you Kelly, this is one the best post ever!!!! You got soul and YES you are super bad! he he he he he! I love it. What an inspiration. Awesome post indeed! Keep writing like this and we'll have to give you talk show for artist he he he! I mean it.

lil kim said...

WOW, congrats Kelly! Super awesomeness and so very well deserved.

Ang said...

Congratulations! (late)
I love the way you draw yourself. And the Angry Birds and those naughty pigs will NEVER be friends. Universal truth.