Thursday, October 30, 2008

What I SHOULD be worrying about

...instead of those last two things I said!

1) MY WEDDING. It's in February! I got to get on the ball! I DID start on the invitations this week (which I am illustrating & designing, natch):

So this is going to go on the front of the invitations- Well, I'll post the finished invitations when they're done, there will be a few more "designy" things going on. My fiance complained about the pudginess of his bird, and I had to point out, gently, that THEY'RE BIRDS. And I am just as pudgy ("feathery", I call it). I'm surprised we're not breakin' the branch! We're some pudgy budgies.

2) THE MARATHON! It's on Sunday!
If you're in the NYC area, why not c'mon down to the marathon? It's always a fun time as a spectator, and I'm sure you'll see me easily amongst the 40,000 other runners. I'll be sure to give a little recap of the race afterwards-- if my wet noodle legs will carry me to the computer, that is.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Me Mind's been Elsewhere!

You know, I really miss having a book to work on! It's becoming increasingly (and surprisingly!) apparent to me that I have a somewhat obsessive personality. Without my Daily Dose of Sheep to keep me on the straight and narrow these days, I've been completely obsessed with 2 things:

1) POLITICS. I've been more politically active this year than I have been my whole life! First I wrote to my congresspeople about the Orphan Works Bill. Then, last week I went door-to-door in Pennsylvania for my candidate, another first for me. Not wanting to make this a political blog, I will refer to my candidate by the code name BARACK OBAMA. I was partially inspired by this posting by Cheryl Klein, and sufficiently pleased with the canvassing to do some phone bank work before the election!

2) ROLLER DERBY. Another obsession shared by a pillar of the YA/KidLit community, author Maureen Johnson. Check out her post on the subject here. (her blog also has some fantastic political pieces, including this great one on teen pregnancy, making it the perfect trifecta). I am going ahead and making my announcement to the world here, first: I have signed up for the Gotham Girls Roller Derby tryouts on Dec. 6th. I am attending a skating lesson tonight, and have signed up for their official Skillz Nites- first one next Tuesday! It is all I can do not to pull my lovely new helmet out & look at it all day long. I'm preparing myself for both the physical bruises of body checks, and the mental bruises of probably not making the team, both sure to come in my near future.

Despite the abundant time that I have spent worrying about these two things, I DID manage to paint an author photo for Bea Rocks the Flock:

This was the me of 3 weeks ago, of course. My new author photo would be of me, with matted fleece, hunched over

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!