This past weekend I had the privilege of being on the faculty for the Mid Atlantic SCBWI Fall conference and Intensive. What a wonderful time of teaching, sharing and as always, learning. A most creative time for all. And boy did they treat us well! Wonderful time.
My Friday afternoon title was DOWN AND DIRTY: The basics and beyond. Hopefully we hit on lots of the topics artists, new and older in this industry, wonder about. I shared words from the buyers mouths… many fortunately are very good about sharing. Over all I’d say buyers (AD, editors, designers who assign) want PROFESSIONALS (ask questions, honest, team players, meet deadlines), consistent style, great characters, samples sent on big POST cards so they can KEEP them on walls and attach to ms as they think about ways to go with the art etc. (some hints for all!)
Then I did a fast “first look” for all those participating artists who dared! It’s a great tool to see and understand how a buyer might VIEW your art given the “10 second rule.” Truly, those of us who see SO much art for the industry can determine if we can use your style in generally 10 seconds. We’ll want to see more or move on. I tried to share some of the intuitive thoughts that go through our head when we view art…instantaneously. I was kind, but honest. OH course you can tell given this ‘rule’ that you need to show ONLY your very very best art, and a sample that shows a lot of what you are capable of for THIS industry’s needs.
Sat. was the more general conference and other than some portfolio reviews, I was on a AGENTS PANEL with three other reps, all more Lit Agents. (Brooks Sherman from FinePrint, John Cusick, Greenhouse Lit, and Susan Hawk from Bent Agency ) We have different hooks but look for very much the same sort of unique talent and ‘voice’… this and talking during the weekend was my learning point. Love that. Frances Gilbert from Doubleday/Random was a speaker and on the Editors Panel too. Loved seeing her as we hope to be working on a two book project very soon together. (with one of our CAT artists obviously…more on that) . We might look a little fuzzy…that happens at these conferences! lol
I got to chat a bit with Annie Stone from Harlequin Teen, Emillia Zamani from Scholastic, and Melissa Miller from Katherine Tegan (HC) Books as well. I also enjoyed the author speakers, Keynote Cynthia Lord and Mary Quattlebaum… and other talents attending.
By husband had driven me to Sterling for this and then nicely ‘low profiled’ it so I could work and visit. He rode the bike trail both days along the Potomac River from DC to Alexandria and south to Mt. Vernon…in wind and cool temps! On our way home we visited both George Washington’s birth place at Pope’s Creek (his mothers maiden name) and then Robert E. Lee’s family estate just down river… the Big House and Gris Mill and more. Both are on the Potomac and so very peaceful and special to just walk around. Do visit if you are in area (Northern Neck of VA south of DC) Enjoy some peace…..
this first is the BIG HOUSE at the Lee estate…3 generations of outstanding VA family…and the Gris Mill down closer to the beach area. ALL in all quite the weekend of adventures…both educational and teaching moments…both I love and cherish.