Sunday, November 16, 2008

WPa WSCBWI local conference

WOW what an informative event! This was my first time attending the Western Pa Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference of any kind. There is a national SCBWI organization and I am fortunate enough to be near my local chapter.

I participated in the illustrator workshops for the weekend.They were lead by Tim Gillnar ,Art director for the publish house of Boyds Mills Press. Along with local illustrator Anni Matsick.
What I gleaned most from the time spent was to do what i like best and stick to it. If I don't do people that is OK. "The World according to Tim" saves the post card he receives that he sees as potential for a project. In his case children's books. Not that the postcards he throws are not 'good' always. he just keeps what will work in is publishing projects. Speaking of postcards, Simple one image. The very best work that represents your entire world. If you meet the needs he will look on your web site for a few more samples of the work to show consistency and hopefully the ability to execute it again. When he calls he will ask if you interested/can do the project and when. Delivering the same quality and style he sees on the post card and on your web.
Speaking of postcards, phone number and web if you have one on it, an image on one side and possibly one on the other if you like.Envelopes get put under the desk and opened eventually. We were shown air fresheners, ornaments, fancy packages ties with ribbons that he did bother opening...basically simple postcard was perfect. There was a sample with a return card it he simply had to check-did you receive my postcard, Are you accepting work, does this suit your needs.Stuff like that. A small space if he wanted to add additional comments.He filled it out but there wasn't a stamp on it...so he didn't send it! Also 4 timeds a year is good to send. If you want to send everyweek too- that didn't bother him either. but don't call to see if he got the psotcard.
We also had the benefit of both their input during the portfolio review. Though I didn't have anything that was children's book subject matter, I took a few examples of my "style". I got a great critique and learned from others. I can't wait to et to work and report back net year.
Also- they told us time and time again-ask questions. Art directors are people like us. Want 15 books instead of 10 complimentary ones- ask when you are talking about the contract. Likely gonna get it. (are you not going to the job if you don?( Are they gonna get another artist over a few books? NO and NO).

On the way home I bought the Children's book writers and illustrators directory to pore through. I haven't bought a directory in years. I usually go to the library and use it there. But I toughed it would help keep my serious. And i will be checking out the resource guides through SCBWI.
Well as you see it was a lot of good information. I will fill ya in next time on more of Anni's tips and presentation.
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