Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: A Summary

The Illustrator Intensive format at the 2011 SCBWI Summer Conference was brand new: seven established children's book illustrators doing live demonstrations of a work in progress. What an incredible experience! I learned SO much and was SOOOO inspired.

Here are the links to my posts on each:

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Paul O. Zelinsky
(Moderator: Pat Cummings)

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Marla Frazee
(Moderator: Priscilla Burris)

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Richard Jesse Watson
(Moderator: Priscilla Burris)

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Kadir Nelson
(Moderator: E.B. Lewis)

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Denise Fleming
(Moderator: Pat Cummings)

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: David Small
(Moderator: Cecilia Yung)

SCBWI Illustrator Intensive: Jerry Pinkney
(Moderator: David Diaz)

The last panel was a Q&A session with all the illustrators:

Some takeaways:

David Small: Instead of stressing about a difficult project/task, take the attitude "Oh, what FUN!"

Richard Jesse Watson: If you get frustrated, take an hour-long walk.

Marla Frazee: Every illustrator works at their own speed. Take your time.

Jerry Pinkney: Think about what you're most passionate about and work on that project. --> Commercial success.

David Small; Don't change your drawing style for trends.

Denise Fleming: Work toward writing & illustrating your own books rather than just illustrating other people's books. (more control)

Kadir Nelson: If you do art, make it meaningful to you. Art is only art if the artist paints with his/her heart.

I wasn't the only illustrator blown away by what I experienced that day. Every Illustrator Intensive attendee I talked with felt the same way. SO much practical info can be conveyed by just watching these pro illustrators at work and comparing their different approaches. We all knew what a rare opportunity this was. Fingers crossed that the convention decides to do it again!

Thank you to the participating illustrators for being brave enough to do these live demos in front of an audience (and cameras!).

Kudos to the SCBWI Illustration Board for coming up with this unique format and kudos the SCBWI for letting it happen at the Summer Conference.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Debbie, for these INCREDIBLE photos and the recount of such a fantastic day. I am really hoping SCBWI will do this again, it was so much more than I could have expected - the energy of the whole day was charged with positivity. Thank you illustrators, for sharing! ~Eliza