Ever have those days in the middle of winter where you are just feeling blah and can't get motivated? That's how I was feeling, and then the SCBWI Spring Fever Conference came around this past weekend. It was the perfect prescription for the winter blah's! I have been a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for three years now, and I have known about the national and regional conferences, but my schedule has never allowed me to attend one. Until this year!
What a wonderful day I had with so many serendipitous moments. Meeting a professional illustrator, connecting with friends from on-line, and learning new things. But the best part was being in the company of so many people who are passionate about storytelling for kids. There was a palpable feeling of creativity in the air with so many authors and illustrators all coming together for the purpose of being inspired and pushed on in their craft. Plus they set up a little book store with everyone's books for sale so of course I had to go shopping.
The day started with a discussion of query letters and loglines (two new terms for me!). As I was sitting listening, I decided to post to Instagram what I was doing. I quickly received a comment from a follower that she was there at the conference too! Wow! Technology is so cool! I looked around me, where was she? Nicolette was right behind me and at the break we got to meet each other face to face versus over Instagram. She is an emerging author with kids and a day job just like me. We had so much in common and it was fun to talk and encourage each other.
After lunch Nicolette went to the author feedback session and I went to the illustrator feedback session. It was run by our guest illustrator Elizabeth Zunon! She presented her work and creative process to us in the morning session and now she was giving portfolio reviews! What a thrill it was for me to have my work reviewed by such a successful illustrator.
And I also got to purchase one of Elizabeth's books for my collection! It's a true story of a boy who lives in Malawi and figures out how to make a windmill from old junk, to pump water to his village during a terrible drought. The story is heart-warming and the illustrations are lovely!
I also got to meet a several great illustrators who live in the area. We got to share our artwork, talk creative process and exchange websites. One illustrator who I met is Jacob Souva who has amazing digital collage artwork. It's sort of like a cross between Eric Carle and Miroslav Sasek. Check out some of his work below:
Isn't it great! You have to check out more of his work via the link I included above. All in all the SCBWI Spring Fever Conference was just what I needed to get me through March. I hope my story helped inspire you!