SCBWI LA 2014 – Recap

You know how when you go on the Scrambler at a carnival and your head keeps spinning for a few minutes even after you get off the ride? That’s what it’s like going to the SCBWI in LA.  I’ve been back home for nearly 48 hours and my head is just starting to slow down.  Family and friends keep asking if I had a relaxing weekend in California and the answer is a resounding No!  It was fun, inspirational, thought-provoking, chaotic, for a person used to spending most days alone in an attic studio, a bit socially challenging.  But relaxing? Nope.

I was really hoping to talk to more of the illustrators that were there. There were about 200 illustrator portfolios in the showcase, some of which blew me away.  I was disappointed that only 8 of those were recognized for awards.  Some really amazing work went without any recognition at all. Today I’m adding all the promos I brought home to my inspiration collection. 

Speaking of promos,  how cute are these little goodie bags that Debbie Ohi handed out? I’m a big fan of her work and I’m so happy to have met her.
Debbie Ohi Goodie Bag
I’m also a big fan of Marla Frazee and I was really excited to have a portfolio review with her. She gave me some very good things to think about.  Most of what she said I already suspected but it was good to have her validate my hunches and give me some confidence that I’m on the right track.  I was really happy that she complimented my use of color, which is something that I’ve really been working hard to improve.
Marla Frazee
I really enjoyed Judy Schachner’s key note address when she talked about making character bibles for each of her books. Her character bibles are scrapbooks filled with inspiration and ideas for each of her books.  I can’t imagine I would ever make anything as labor intensive as and wonderful as her character bibles but I can’t wait to make my own version for the book I’m currently working on.
I also took away a great deal from Meg Rosoff’s breakout session about accessing your subconsious.  She likened a mind to a horse (the unconscious) and rider (the conscious) and that the rider has to understand and connect with the unwieldy beast under her if they are going to be able to work together. I definitely need to work on my horsemanship!
Now that my head has stopped spinning and I have mostly unpacked my suitcase, I feel like I can move forward with a freshly charged battery and a sharp new pencil  Now I just have to roll up my sleeves and get to work!