*I will be using initials, etc. where/when the info is proprietary to the SCBWI.
Fri, 1/30/09. 5am rise & shine - got to catch the 6:38 train! Yikes - glad I don't have to commute daily. Anyway I'm at the Hyatt for the SCBWI Winter Conference, Illustrator's Intensive and I'm very excited about my 2 workshops: Digital Painting and Graphic Novels.
Big Changes in 2009. Publishing is in transition. Time to reinvent , re-define. There are more & newer forms of publishing: electronic, web, etc. but not more $$. What worked before may not work anymore. A crisis is a Terrible thing to waste! Do you see a theme here? Illustrators evolve, adapt or else??? -And this was just the opening!
Leo & Diane Dillon, illustration royalty, gracious and awe inspiring, showed a body of work that was constantly changing. They were lucky to have never been pigeon holed in any particular style, given the freedom to constantly experiment at whim. Through out all from woodcuts to friskets, Sci-fi book jackets to picture books, the one and only constant was the Dillon's aesthetic taste. Somehow they escaped the concept that one must have a style/Brand to successfully market oneself as an illustrator, and were able to create to the project.
A Traditional Aproach to Digital Painting - taught by illustrator William Low. This was an amazing workshop. I'm a traditional illustrator with knowlege of photoshop 7 vs the latest CS whatever. However I went home w/pages of notes and a semesters worth of info and loads of ideas on how to work smarter w/some digital help from PS7. Needless to say I can't wait to buy a new computer and be able to play w/the latest CS.
Attention Picture Book Writer/Illustrators: You Can Create a Graphic Novel: Here's How - This workshop should have been called: Survival tactics for illustrators. Elise Primavera showed how she adapted her style over the years to stay on top of the changing market. From her early work, classic pen & ink to her best seller; Auntie Claus, pastels, to her recent graphic novels, Fred and Anthony Escape from the Netherworld, loose doodlely ink line. She exhorted us to copy (as a way of learning) what we felt was current to digest and ultimately make our own - until the next cycle. She also told us (and this was a theme that ran through the whole conference) to mine our childhood journals/sketch bks/memories for Mid grade/teen & graphic novel ideas. Tips on staying fresh: Get uncomfortable! Try new things, techniques. Welcome the squirmy feeling. Don't be afraid of beginning with a chaotic mess and keep that energy going.
So Yes - I will create a graphic novel and be very squirmy doing it and have it sub ready before the trend expires! GWAH! I'm very uncomfortable now!