Where to begin?
Four days, thirty-six pages of notes, a heap of new friends... The conference was a roaring whirlwind of a weekend that left my head spinning and sparks shooting out of my ears and fingertips. (This was very dangerous for my sketchbooks, but worry not, there was no lasting damage.)
Like last year, there were an astounding series of workshops and keynotes, from the heartfelt to the irreverent:
The amazing, Arthur Levine
The inimitable, Tony DiTerlizzi
(you might remember this book of hers, Sarah Plain and Tall...)
Melissa Sweet giving a painting demonstration
Tony showing original work
Final panel (L-R, Tony DiTerlizzi, Melissa Sweet, Laura Godwin, Eugene Yelchin, Jon Klassen, Cecilia Yung, Rubin Pfeffer, and Antoinette Portis)
Like last year, I submitted my portfolio into the annual Portfolio Showcase, and just like last year there were over 160 incredible portfolios laid out on the tables.
At the showcase
But entirely new this year, my portfolio won an award... !!!!! I was completely stunned. You can't tell from the above photo, but many of the portfolios on those tables were nothing short of breathtaking. I feel so incredibly honored to have been selected for the Illustration Mentorship program. A gigundo thank you to David, Pat, Cecilia, Laura, and Priscilla. The five members of the Illustration Board, each choose one portfolio, so I have four co-mentees who are all super talented: Jen Betton, Maple Lam, Karyn Raz, and Brian Won. I'm so excited to work with them this year!
With fellow mentees
(L-R, Jen, Karyn, Maple, & paper-Brian)
And then, you know the saying... all work and no play... this year's gala theme was the "Hippie Hop", 60s attire, tie-dye, gigantic afros, and flower tattoos encouraged:
I know I keep using words like incredible and amazing and mind-blowing and head-spinning... but it really was. The conference is an extraordinary event with some of the most creative, encouraging, and kind people I've ever met. If you want to read more, there's some pretty good coverage of the conference here. (Not to mention, the two gals pictured above and I are featured in one of the photos.)
Talk about talented, hanging out with awesome, creative-types
(L-R, Christina Forshay, Maple Lam, David Diaz, me!, and Juana Martinez-Neal)
Finally, I'll leave you with some work. Here's what my sketchbook/journal looked like.
Three of those thirty-six pages: