I'm not going to lie- I don't play it cool when I see celebrities. I cried when I saw Julie Andrews in the lobby of my office building back in New York. My husband (equally un-cool) saluted Conan O'Brien when we passed him on the street. So imagine how un-cool I was during my week-long intensive course at PNCA! Celebrity Guest Speakers every day of the week!
On day one we had an embarrassment of riches and welcomed TWO Celebrity Guest Speakers. Celebrity #1 was Carolyn Conahan, author and illustrator of the recent release, THE BIG WISH...
... and illustrator of Bubble Homes and Fish Farts.
In the afternoon, we were visited by Ward Jenkins, who unfortunately did not arrive dressed like a chicken.
He did, however, DRAW some chickens.
... some surprisingly scientifically composed chickens.
These chickens are, of course, the stars of his wildly successful new book, CHICKS RUN WILD.
Both Carolyn and Ward were extremely generous in sharing their working procedures and dummy-making habits with us. Ward also generally blew everyone away with his mad Photoshop skillz, not to mention the pile of vintage books he uses for inspiration.
On Tuesday we welcomed Deborah Hopkinson, author of approximately 2 billion books.
It was tremendously interesting hearing things from an author's point of view. For example, when asked if she was ever surprised or disappointed by the choice of illustrator for her books, she replied, No. She saw her books almost like children... you may have hopes and dreams and plans for your children, but eventually, they grow up and they are what they are.
Our last Celebrity Guest Speaker was the tremendously talented David Hohn, pictured here with a few of his titles.
(oh, and I apologize for only photographing 50% of our speakers. I had my camera... I just... forgot.)
David was kind enough to share his promotional postcards- two of which I've posted below. He had the very smart idea to create a series of 6 mailers that, when seen together, tell a complete story. Verrrry clever.
A big Thank You to all of our speakers. It's so helpful to hear how other illustrators work, and to see that even wildly successful authors and illustrators go through the same frustrations and worries as everyone else. Hopefully, more Celebrity Guest Speaker features to come in the fall, when my classes at PNCA start up again!