Maple Lam was the recipient of the SCBWI Mentorship Award at the 2012 Summer Conference. The Kidlit Artists Blog would like to officially welcome Maple as a contributor to the blog! Today we ask her a few questions about the Mentorship experience and about what she is up to these days.
Kidlit Artists: Have you seen a shift in your work since you were mentored?
Maple: Absolutely. A feedback I received was to be "aware" of the black outlines I have around both my characters and backgrounds. I mentioned "aware" because different mentors separately pointed out the black outlines, and all of them suggested ideas for room for improvement.
I have since started exploring a better solution to my black outlines. This included switching the brush, switching the paper, switching the medium, etc. My goal is to bring my artwork to the next level without losing my style of illustrating.
Kidlit Artists: What kinds of projects are you working on now?
Maple: I am currently illustrating a short storybook with an educational publisher called Teacher Created Materials. I also freelance as an exhibit and event designer, and am wrapping up some concepts for a sports event in San Francisco.
For self-projects, I am finishing up two dummies and am updating my portfolio to include a few more strong pieces for chapter books / junior-series / middle-grades.
Kidlit Artists: Is there any type of illustration (or other work) that you're hoping for in the near future?
Maple: I have always wanted to do a series of graphic novels on history-related subjects, so I hope to work on those ideas as I continue my children's book illustrator journey. Also, as I was once a full-time exhibit and event designer, I would love to one day illustrate for an exhibit. I don't mean an art exhibit (although that would be very cool too!), I mean an exhibit using children's book characters as a medium to introduce an educational topic. After all, a strong exhibit is just another form of storytelling, and I would love to have an opportunity to design and illustrate one in the future.
Kidlit Artists: Last, please tell us where we can find you online.
Maple: Thank you for having me today, Kidlit Artists! My blog and portfolio are at www.maplelam.com, and I am @maplelam on twitter.
Thank you, Maple!