Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Previously on... The Creative Life.

It's been a while since I've posted anything here, huh?  Fall is a crazy busy time at work and that can mean my art falls by the wayside for a little bit. But my creative self hasn't been entirely dormant.  A quick round-up of creative world goings on...

My aunt has a professional organizing business called Managed Chaos, and she commissioned an illustration for a brochure she's using to advertise her business. You can see the brochure at the link above-- it was truly a family undertaking, as my sister (with a new business of her own) designed it!
I had a lot of fun with this one since it's a bit of a departure from my usual work.  Makes me want to play around with lines more and see what happens.

Also in October some friends and I busted out the old acrylic paints (seriously, these were leftovers from college... and I just got an invitation for my 10-year reunion, sooooo....) and snazzed up some papier-mache skulls for Day of the Dead.


I miss painting.

Two weekends ago I attended my second Mid-Atlantic conference for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Some notes (and sketches from the margins of my notes).  Leave it to a room full or book people to turn a phrase / speak in fun little metaphors.
  • One of the agents in attendance (I didn't mark down who, shoot!) referred to the problem of starting a story in the wrong place as "throat clearing."
  • Stephen Mooser quoted Sid Fleischman in describing a character's dramatic introduction into  the story as a "grand staircase."
  • Keynoter Linda Urban refers to the essential essence of a story as its "spine," what you should hold onto.
  • At one point, author/illustrator Pat Cummings said it was harder to be an artist than a lawyer, then later indicated that adventuring was even harder than art.  Which led me to pen a mini infographic: 
In general, I had a great time at my second Mid-Atlantic SCBWI conference!  I pretended I was an extrovert and talked to many people.  And between the conference planners clearly going out of their way to provide more learning and networking opportunities for illustrators (yay, thanks conference planners!) and the fact that I've been writing more since this time last year, I felt like there were more nuggets of wonderful helpfulness than ever before.

Now it's November, and I'm all in on another round of Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo, the brainchild of Tara Lazar). 
Out of last year's 30 ideas, I now have three (very, very early stage) manuscripts, another close to complete story that's still in my brain until it discovers the perfect ending, an idea that I think might be an early reader or middle grade instead, and a character just begging to feature in a series.  Here's hoping this year is just as successful!

And of course, I still draw from time to time...


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