Takeaways from Debbie Ridpath Ohi
The first Keynote speaker at the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York was Dan Yaccarino. I had already seen Dan speak at the LA conference last year (I think it was last year), so was looking forward to seeing his presentation.
Dan Yaccarino is a NYC artist who work has been featured in books, television, magazines and newspapers worldwide. He's written and illustrated over three dozen children's books, created and produced two animated series for kids, illustrated for hundreds of magazines.
Dan showed us clips from his past and current projects as well as entertaining us with some visual puns (I love his sense of humor). Here are some of my takeaways from his talk as well as interesting info from the Q&A section:
- Focus on STORY and CHARACTER. Don't worry about digital technology changes -- it's all still about good story and compelling characters. The medium is secondary.
- On a "good day," Dan says that half his time is spent illustrating: about 4-5 hours. The rest of the day is spent doing writing, promotion or other projects. He tends to write in the morning, illustrating in the afternoon.
- Have a website is better than having just a portfolio. It's important for illustrators to have a website! A website can include multimedia, something a regular print portfolio can't.
You can find more info about Dan Yaccarino at: