Saturday, January 23, 2010

Call Me McGonagall

... cause I'm a professor! Well, kinda! I taught my first workshop at Pacific Northwest College of Art today, and I think it went pretty well! Children's book folk are such kind people, though, it could be kind of hard to tell. Here is a picture of the PNCA building, in the uber-trendy Pearl district:

Just hanging out in that area makes me feel all hip and trendy- and for me, that is saying something. The workshop today was a 2 1/2 hour deal called "Children's Book Publishing 101". I built upon two talks that I have given before at SCBWI conferences & modified them to fit the program. The first half of the class included a breakdown of the different genres (mass market, middle grade, teen, picture book, etc), and a brief rundown on terminology (gutter, f&gs, bleed, etc). Then on to my beloved Powerpoint! 

The first bit was about molding your idea for a picture book into an actual, real-life book, from early dummy stage through publication. Included a heartfelt reading of "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!", and many tellings of rejection letters.

After a 15-minute breather, on to part 2:
Wherein I described how, back in my days as a high-flying, high-rolling designer at Greenwillow (think Don Draper from Mad Men) we would choose illustrators for different projects. I dove right in to the basket of promotional postcards we'd receive daily:

and I outlined which postcards I'd set aside, on this particular day, as keepers. 

I think I know what question is burning on your brain at this moment: "Vicki, tell me, on your first day as a 'college professor'... whatever did you wear?!?!?"

Good question! I mulled this one over for a while, too! I wanted to strike the important balance of mature, but still artsy, but not too young, but still stylish and bestowing an air of knowledge and know-how. This is what I came up with:

Wait, it looks less frumpy in the "after" picture:

"After" because, I felt like I deserved a new haircut after my exciting day. Sharon can't believe it's really me, despite the fact that- as a friend once observed- my hair is much like Kirsten Dunst's (sp?) in that vampire movie, when no matter how she cuts her curly locks, they always grow back the same. I had a heckuva time finding a new stylist to replace my Louisa, but I really liked Marina right off the bat. And I'd say the salon is even as cute as the old Beehive in Brooklyn!

After a few months of sporadic postings, look at me now- I can't shut myself up! But if you're still hanging with me... Any suggestions for topics you wish you could see covered in a children's book course??!? My 8-week class in Children's Book Illustration begins in March!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Messy Sketchy

I fielded some complaints from loyal readers (read: friends and family) on my recent goodwill tour to Florida about my lack of posting on my blog. Friends and family, rejoice!! Although I am not a fan of the New Year's Resolution (I like to make resolutions all year 'round- in that way I am a real "resolutionary"), I hereby resolve to revert back to my frequent-posting days. And just in time- there's LOTS in store for Victoria Jamieson Illustration... 2010!! A sampling of what you'll see:

1) Olympig! Fever! 
Text (& some sketch) revisions are due at the end of the month for my next book. Walk with me as I lead you on a journey through the creation of my new book!

2) The Student is Now the Teacher
I am proud to say that I will be teaching some Continuing Education courses in children's book illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art this semester! Why, as a matter of fact, I am teaching a 2-hour seminar this very Saturday! I'll give you the skinny on what's going down in the classroom.

3) My first reading!
I'll be doing a reading on February 20th at Green Bean Books (on NE Alberta, for you Portlanders!) Yes, my very first, and I'm very excited.

4) Messy Sketchy
A new feature (not really- this is actually the usual running feature) on Victoria Jamieson Illustration: random recent sketches if I have nothing else to add as a visual.

I'll leave you with your first installment of Messy Sketchy for 2010- and I'll be seeing you soon!