In February, I visited NYC for the SCBWI Winter Conference. The line up of speakers was outstanding and I walked away from every session with helpful tips and new ideas.
Another highlight, I was asked to be one of the illustrators for the conference blog. These two paintings were my contributions, check out the post here.
Outside the NYC Public Library: Keika Yamaguchi, Linda Dorn, Corinna Luyken, Renee Spencer, Me, and Brook Boynton Hughes
Rodolfo Montalvo and I riding Milo's car into the Phantom Tollbooth
On my last day in NY, I visited the Society of Illustrators and attended their Illustrators 56 exhibition. It was inspiring to see so much wonderful and diverse illustration in one place.
Attending this year's conference as gotten me thinking about how much the SCBWI has helped me improve as an artist and writer. Before 2013, I had only occasionally been active with the SCBWI and my career as a children's book writer/illustrator had stagnated. If you're new to the SCBWI, I want to encourage you to keep up your craft and keep attending conferences. To get back in the groove, I attended the Winter Conference last year, the program itself was wonderful and everyone was gracious, but I knew very few people and spent much of the time feeling awkward and self-conscious. But afterwards, I became involved in my local SCBWI chapter, attended two more SCBWI conferences, and worked steadily on sharpening my skills. As a result, this year I was much more comfortable at the conference, knew many more people, had improved my portfolio, and felt more optimistic about my career. It's exciting to look back and see how much progress is possible in a year. So keep on trucking', I look forward to seeing you at conferences and cheering each other on as we both make progress!