Monday, October 13, 2008

SCBWI...Love Conferences!

I had the pleasure of speaking/slash/attending two lovely SCBWI conferences recently: Philly (my childhood hometown- Go Haverford Fords!) and Minnesota (Go Garrison Keillor!). Besides meeting so many talented illustrators, one of the other best things was meeting Lin Oliver... Twice! I didn't set out to conference-stalk her- purely coincidence. Her speech about co-founding the SCBWI and her path to a successful career as a writer was inspiring. Look, I even took notes! That porcine fellow at the bottom has been popping up in my next story idea...

Her tips for a smoother road to publication were as follows:

1. Define yourself as a professional ("Hello, I'm Victoria Jamieson, and I'm a children's book illustrator!")

2. Write or draw before you're published. Use any opportunity to practice your craft. (Thank you, 8 months of working as a portrait artist!)

3. Set goals with deadlines.

4. Be brave about getting your work out there (Thank you, soul-crushing RISD crits!)

5. Be part of a community.

6. Have the courage to stay with your own voice and vision.

7.-- and this was my very favorite, which she said she heard from Bruce Colville (whom I met at the Nashville SCBWI conference):

FOLLOW YOUR WEIRDNESS. I think that is such a great motto!

8. Do market research as if it were your business.

9. Enjoy your creative life on the road to publication.

10. Keep a success chart.

11. I know there were 11 points, but unfortunately my list somehow ended at 10. Ah, that's why I always stunk at taking notes.

Anyway, both conferences were very inspiring to me, as always. If you're interested in becoming a member, check out the SCBWI website here!


Al said...

Excellent pigs! I find myself drawing mice everywhere. Besides, notes are always much better with scribbles around them.

Kristi Valiant said...

I think Lin Oliver gave that same speech last year at the Midsouth SCBWI conference. It would have been funnier if she had been at this year's Midsouth, and you would've seen her 3 in a row!
Fun pigs.