Since I last blogged, I have had a busy few months! Besides continuously working on new illustrations for my portfolio, I also attended 2 SCBWI events. The first event was the California North/Central's Illustrators' Day back in May. This was the second regional event I have attended but it was the first where I truly felt like a participant rather than an observer. Speakers included Ashley Wolff, author/illustrator of numerous children's books, and Mary Kole, senior literary manager at Movable Type Management. I also had a wonderful and informative one-on-one portolio critique with Rotem Moscovich, editor at Disney Hyperion. On top of that I had my first ever portfolio showing and I was runner up in the promo card contest. Not too shabby!
The more recent event I went to was the Annual Summer Conference in LA. It was three intense days of workshops, presentations, and socializing. I left the conference feeling even more motivated and brimming with new ideas. I definitely recommend the summer conference to any aspiring children's book writers/illustrators or anyone just looking for a creative boost. Besides, do you need a better excuse to spend three days in sunny southern California? Some of my favorite highlights include a very animated and inspirational speech by Tony DiTerlizzi, a humorous take on the road to publication by Dan Gutman, my awesome portfolio review with Lauren Rille (art director at Simon & Schuster), the amazing Portfolio Showcase, and last but not least...the super fun Hippie Hop! But the conference was not just a place to listen to seasoned industry folk. It's also a great opportunity to meet people that are first time authors and illustrators, like Debbie Ridpath Ohi. I was following her blog for several weeks leading up to the conference. So when I finally met her, I don't know why but I was a bit intimidated. But that quickly disappeared because Debbie was super supportive...her energy was infectious! Her first book, I'M BORED, launched this past Tuesdsay and she has an inspirational story of how she landed a book contract. It really gives hope to all the hard working illustrators out there. Back to the drawing board!