Monday, May 7, 2012

SCBWI Chicago Conference Photos

I met so many wonderful and talented people at the conference - it was a real treat to be able to get to know them. I was inspired by their portfolios and enthusiasm for the craft of children's book making...a shout out to Tara Gartin for traveling 6 hours to get there - talk about commitment!


Martha Rago - associate creative director at Harper Collins was very gracious and open with sharing her knowledge of the business. She's the perfect spokes person for her company and the industry of children's books. I was honored to be able to get to know her and understand her thoughts combining art and words for children.

Janet and Terry organized a "first look" for illustrators. Each illustrator could submit one illustration before the conference to be critiqued by Martha and I in separate rooms. This was a great format in that neither of us had seen the art until is was flashed on the screen. We then had about 3 minutes to critique it. Nerve racking for me because I realized the impact this can have in someone's life and I wanted to make sure I didn't say anything that would be misunderstood or just plain wrong or unnecessary.

Janet McDonnell and Terry Murphy worked extremely hard at organizing and pulling off this event. My hat's off to them for their hard work - a dinner well deserved - OPAH!!!!


I got to go to Albert Whitman's offices and visit my editor and say high to the gang. When the secretary was in the bathroom I started answering the phones and pushing my books...that didn't last too long :)

They have funny cat's in Chicago - this one didn't like it when I grabbed his tail out side my hotel.

8 comments:

  1. Wow Will, you're living the life! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Rob - it's been very rewarding!

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  2. FANTASTIC! That’s the one word that describes the experience. Thanks for being a part of it Will. I appreciate my 3 minutes :o) (I didn’t even cry) Actually those 8 hours flew by! Your knowledge and willingness to generously share it is a blessing to all of us. Glad I got to thank you personally. You and Martha make a great duo! We’ve been looking all over for our cat... I see you found him :o)

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    1. Thanks Jack - great to meet you and you're right - it went by way to fast! I wished we had had another day we could have done so much more....sigh.

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  3. Wow, thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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  4. I appreciate that you are thoughtful enough in your critiques to understand how saying something in just a certain way will make such an impact on someone. I dropped from SCBWI because my group had told me I'd never be an illustrator. Though my portraits were good my illustrations simply weren't good enough. I've since stopped drawing altogether to raise three kids alone but realize how empty life is without the attempts to follow my dreams. I hope you were able to encourage someone to keep following theirs.

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    1. Don't ever let someone step on your dreams - even though it's hard to pick yourself back up afterwards. I've had it happen. I stopped drawing just like you. People are often unkind even without realizing or trying to be destructive. People don't realize the impact they have on others. We seek acceptance even if but just a small amount and when someone thrashes on our art it hurts. I often wonder how many genius art creators have smothered their art to stop the hurting?

      If you're going to critique someone's art please do it respectfully- you're dealing with someone's creative life.

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