Thursday, June 19, 2008

SCBWI Poughkeepsie!

I spoke at an SCBWI conference in Poughkeepsie, NY 2 weeks ago, and as always, I came away inspired and excited to get back to work! So many talented, and friendly, people. Per my usual M.O., I brought my camera but did not take any pictures (which is fine, because they probably would have all ended up looking like this:)

Luckily, I do have some non-blurry pictures that I used in my powerpoint presentation, starting with this powerhouse of an opening slide:

Eh? Eh? Intrigued, right?!? I followed up with these titillating images of the secret inner sanctums of... THE ART DEPARTMENT.

"Glamorous" is the word I think you're looking for. The point of my talk was to give the "inside scoop" on the art department (since I have a foot in both the world of the illustrator and of the publisher). I talked about postcards and mailers,

what happens to them,

and which ones I find successful, and which ones might end up in the recycling bin. I also talked about the process of choosing an illlustrator for a project (LOTS of printouts from the internet, and LOTS of discussions involving the art director, associate art director, publisher, and 3 editors). I also talked about who one should send samples to, and how to get in (and stay in!) the art director's good graces.

The Q&A session had a lot of "Qs" about dummy book submissions, so this is something I might try to incorporate more into future talks. Anything else? Any other secrets from the inside that you illustrators are dying to know?


Adam said...

I see where this is going. We ask the burning question, you tell us the answer, but then you have to kill us.

I'm right, aren't I?

(Thanks for the exclusive peek into your two worlds, though!)

Al said...

Is that a ladder of post-its hanging above the computer?

I ask because i once sat opposite someone in my office (a designer, actually) who took offence to me being cheerful and built a wall of post-its out of her screen, one stuck to the other, so she could block out my face. It stretched to about 5 long, i think. It's amazing how versatile post-its are.

Ah those were the days.

Vicki said...


My diabolical scheme has been foiled!

I like the Post-It ladder idea, Al. That sounds like something out of The Office. That co-worker sounds like a joy to be around! I could really use some sound-proof Post-its to create a little serenity chamber for myself at work. Let's just say people fancy themselves quite the songbirds around here. Particularly popular are medleys involving our book titles. Just imagine hearing this all day:"OLD BEAR (Kevin Henkes), take a look at yourself, you're a lot like me". Or, "TROUBLE (Begins at 8, Sid Fleischman), TROUBLE set me freeeee".

Al said...

Ha! Someone should really do a kids' book based on Neil Young. That would be ace! Maybe Sesame Street?

Big bird's flying across the sky...

Helpless would never be the same again.

I used to get told off for making trumpeting noises all day long in the office. I apologise now to anyone who had to put up with me!