Here are my notes from day 4 of the SCBWI summer conference in LA:
I went to a workshop by John Parra. I did not take any notes but I was struck by his talent, kind nature, pragmatic approach to his career in illustration and it was easy to see from his work and personality why he is successful in illustration. See the link below to his website:
I also went to a workshop by Loren Long where walked us through the creation of his book “Otis” and talk about the children’s book industry as well. Here are some notes I thought were worth sharing:
Get your work in front of the people who have the power to hire you.
Own your manuscript. Be fully invested.
If you are illustrating someone’s else’s words you need to believe in it and love it or at least some part of it that will inspire you and your best work. Doing it just for the money will show in your work. This can be hard for a first time illustrator because you want your foot in the door but this is very important.
Tackle huge task (like illustrating an entire book) one bite at a time.
Try to look for the grand design and mood first; not the details. Set up the emotion first like a movie.
Your relationship with your publisher is a 3 way relationship; you, the AD and the editor.
You can sometimes ask for the Editor to break up a manuscript for you page by page if you feel you need help.
You can start to break up a book by dividing the text into 16 or 17 pages as a start and or let the flow of the book come out as you do your sketches.
Developing the character is more about posture.
Worry about how your pages are going to layout in the final book later after you get your drawings down. The size, portrait/landscape etc can be determined later. Sometimes your sketches will help to determine this.
Some links Loren mention:
William Low’s work:
Willam Low’s YouTube videos: