Thursday, March 13, 2008

I do love CBIG!

I have written before about the illlustrator group I belong to, CBIG, , of which I am co-president (self-important sniff). Actually, that phrase, "self-important sniff", is something I learned from my boss, which is fitting because he was the speaker at our meeting on Sunday!

(imagine a picture of Paul here- I can't find my little camera-transfer thingy at the moment. Picture long flowing locks and a winning smile).

Paul Zakris is the art director for Greenwillow Books. It was a very informative meeting- even for me, who works with the guy every day! He talked about some important issues, including:

* Don't oversaturate the market with your work (2-3 books per year, max) (Check! Not a problem for me)

* If you're an illustrator, consider the possibility of becoming an author-illustrator.

* Agents: could be friend, could be foe. Choose wisely.

* Work in a size proportional to the trim size of the book.

After about an hour or so of talking, we take a little snack break (I made my famous Banana Pudding for the occasion of Paul's visit). Then, we drew names out of a hat & Paul reviewed 5 member portfolios. Which could be a little stressful, since the review is done in front of the entire group, but it's generally a good learning experience all 'round.

This group in particular has been instrumental in getting my book published. About, oh, a year and a half ago my name was chosen out of the hat to show my work to an editor from Publisher A. She asked me to send her my dummy, and over the course of 6 or 7 months we communicated back & forth, and I did a round or 2 of revisions. Although Publisher A did not end up aquiring my book, I am very grateful for this editor's help, as my project was the stronger for it. Not long after, I met another editor at another meeting, . She also asked me to send her my dummy- and the rest is history. Point is: I love this group for the opportunity to meet editors & art directors face-to-face. I've found it extremely helpful.

So, any New York-based illustrators out there- Please come & join us!


Bonnie said...

ah man! This makes me wish I still lived in NYC. Alas I sailed up north to Boston.

Wish there was something like that up here, sounds fantastic!
Congrats on your book :-)

Vicki said...

Yeah, maybe Boston is a bit of a commute... But if you're ever in the area, and we just so happen to be having a meeting, you're welcome to stop by!

I looked at your blog- I love your work!

Al said...

Hello! I've just been nosing at your illustrations - I love your sheep. Especially the one contemplating the painting in a gallery.

great stuff!

Vicki said...

Thanks, Al! The Mousehunter looks awesome-I'll be on the lookout when it comes out stateside!

Anonymous said...

Hi Vicki!

You make famous banana pudding?! How come I never got any? 8-)

I am writing to tell you that I promo'd your book in an interview I just did - check it out:

Thanks again for the awesome cover you did for my book. EVERYONE exclaims when they see it. Libba Bray said it was SO COOL and she's right.

Katie Davis

Al said...

Thanks Vicki! That's really kind.

Vicki said...

Will there be a snack table at your book launch party?! If so, perhaps a tub of banana pudding could make a mysterious appearance...!

I really enjoyed your interview- and, of course, thanks for the very kind shout-outs!

Anonymous said...

As long as no banana pudding makes its acquaintance with my new, fresh, gorgeous book with the awesome cover!