Hey there blog-readers,
I just realized that I never posted this. I set up a post about the conference back in August, started writing, and never posted it. Oops.
I don't know I can really do the entire experience justice. It was jaw-dropping, exciting, exhausting, inspiring, overwhelming, refreshing, satisfying, hope-inducing, doubt-banishing, jam-packed with people I absolutely adore and admire... I could continue adding adjectives to that list, but I still don't know that it would adequately capture the amazingness of the weekend. It was a very reaffirming sort of experience. I cannot imagine spending my life doing anything but this. And part of my love of children's publishing is absolutely the other people in the field; I have never met a group of folks more passionate about what they do. Just one example of dozens from the weekend - I went to a break-out workshop on picture books (an amazing soup-to-nuts overview from first manuscript to printed page), and the art director running it stepped up to the podium. Before even beginning her talk, she stopped and took a look around the packed room (and I do mean packed... wall-to-wall artists, writers and publishers).
"Who here loves picture books?" she asked. And before waiting for an answer, she raised her hand, "I do!"
Everyone I met at the conference loves what they do, loves the field, and loves books. That in and of itself was incredibly inspiring.
I was so grateful for the experience that I threw together a little thank you card for the staff, art directors, and editors who I met. (You may recognize part of the image. There's a reason I carry a sketchbook.)
And now just a couple of photos from the Illustrator Intensive Day. After the main conference weekend, there was a full day intensive, during which seven working professionals did a live demonstration of how they work. It was incredible. All seven artists are amazing, and I would absolutely recommend checking out their books.
Kadir Nelson - Portraiture in oil
(Note: the gentleman in the chair is the inimitable Dan Santat, also of picture book fame)
David Small - Drawing of all sorts
Jerry Pinkney - Watercolor
And two bonus photos -
Judy Blume!!! (a surprise guest)
Me and a new friend (Kathy Ellen) at the 40 Winks Pajama Gala