I had a really, really great time at the SCBWI-New England conference this past weekend. I gave two workshops; one about my approach to writing graphic novels and one about my approach to illustration. It was an interesting experience for me because I had to examine what it is I do (mostly on an intuitive level) and organize it in a way that people other than me could hopefully understand. The feedback I received was very good, so I think it went well.
On Sunday I gave a joint 4-hour Illustration Academy workshop with Yolanda Scott (editorial director, Charlesbridge), Ann
Stott (art director, Candlewick) and author/illustrator David Hyde Costello (click on the link for a look at David in his studio). We couldn't have done it without help from Casey Girard who made everything run smoothly. It was an intense experience for all of us, but I think it also went very well. Heck, I was inspired.
And you can't beat the finale that Yolanda and David worked out... a literal showstopper of a number about the combination of words and text.
David, who is as cool and nice a guy as you could possibly meet, brought an extra uke for me. It added to the shall we say celebratory atmosphere that rocked the Courtyard Marriott on Friday night. SCBWI people are a very social bunch.
Thanks to Casey for the pix. More pix and general round-ups can be found at the conference Twitter page.
In addition to my co-Illustration Academy team, I met and/or re-met a ton of fantastic people including but certainly not limited to Jo Knowles, Frank Dormer, Cynthia Lord, Kate Messner, Abigail Halpin, Mitali Perkins, Cynthia Leitich-Smith, Dawn Metcalf, Kelly Fineman, Jennifer Morris, Kat Black, Deborah Sloan, Michelle Henninger, Anne Sibley-O'Brien, Anna Boll, John Bell, Jennifer Carson, Anindita Basu Sempere, and a host of very cool attendees. Thanks to everyone for making this such a blast.
One of my favorite things about the conference was that I had the chance to meet for the first time in person two authors that I've had the honor to work with: Ann Stott (Always) and Jeanne Birdsall (Flora's Very Windy Day).