Showing posts with label conferences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conferences. Show all posts

Thursday, July 9, 2015

ALA San Francisco 2015


This year, the American Library Association held it's conference near me in San Francisco. This is the conference where they hand out their awards. Though I didn't attend any of the workshops or events, walking the floor felt like a celebration of publishing. How could I miss that?!

ALA is completely overwhelming. Luckily, one of the first people I ran into were Debbie Ohi and Hazel Mitchell.

Photo by Debbie Ohi

Hazel and Tracy

I finally got to meet Dan Santat's wife, Leah. 

I was on my own for the first day, but luckily, met Cindy Derby! We hung out all day and had a blast. Later I finally me Meg Fleming in person!


Cindy Derby, me, Lea Lyon, Meg Fleming, Pam Turner

We found Renee Kurilla, too!!!


Tracy has been swamped in deadlines lately, so she wasn't able to go the first day, but I wore her down and got her to go the second day. How could she not visit her books on display at ALA?

Here we are on a very loud and celebratory train full of gay pride partiers.

Not the Quitting Kind, illustrated by Tracy Bishop


Pipsie illustrated by Tracy Bishop

I thought the SCBWI LA conference was like being in a live version of Twitter, but the ALA conference is even more so. Every time I turned around there was someone I know, follow, or have heard of. I talked to everyone! Half the time I made no sense, but I really didn't care. It was wonderful.

I finally got to meet Judy Schachner in person!!!!! She is the sweetest!! You must get your hands on her newest book, Dewey Bob, when it comes out!!! I love it so, so much.


Arree Chung of Live in a Story and author/illustrator of Ninja!

Did you see this pic on Publisher's Weekly? I loved meeting Salina Yoon!!! She's the best!


And how cute is this guy?


I pretty much lost my ability to speak when I met my idol, Mary GrandPré and Barb Rosenstock.


I was a blithering idiot upon meeting Alexandra Boiger.


How adorable are they? Philip and Erin Stead.

And I met Linette Kim from the Bloomsbury marketing team. I have an announcement coming about this soon. She had me in tears!










Friday, October 4, 2013

San Francisco Illustrator's Day 2013

Tracy's Report

Cool venue for the day, just steps from the bay.
Last weekend Laura ZarrinJoy Steuerwald, and I made our annual trek to San Francisco to attend SCBWI SF South’s Illustrators’ Day. This year’s main speaker was the fabulous Melissa Sweet.

Melissa Sweet was the first person we saw as we all signed in for the day. I’m afraid to say that all of us lost all sense of dignity and squealed as we introduced ourselves to her. (Joy Stewy even exclaimed, “You’re so TINY!”)




Our view during breaks.

All of the presentations focused on the theme of how creating a picture book is the result of teamwork between everyone involved. It’s so easy to forget this simple fact when we’re all so focused on our slice of the work (in my case, illustration). I loved the format of having Melissa Sweet presenting with the art director and editor of two of her books. You can see how an exceptional picture book was created because everyone trusted each other’s expertise.

Another part of Illustrators’ Day that is always fantastic is to connect with other local illustrators that I don’t get to see regularly. I loved seeing old friends (Hi! Brian Bowes and Shirley Ng-Benitez!) and making new ones (Nidhi Chanani, Susan Rankin-Pollard, Alina Chau, and Alison Farrell).


As much as I love the conference itself, my favorite part of the day is always the drive home with Joy and Laura. Every single year we’ve always hit awful traffic while trying to get out of San Francisco to head south but we don’t mind. We all talk about what went on during the day and share what we learned and what we need to do next. I always come away so inspired to take on new challenges.



Laura's Report


Kristine Brogno, Design Director at Chronicle




Melissa Manlove, editor at Chronicle talking about the making of Little Red Writing by Joan Holub & Melissa Sweet.

Melissa Sweet reading a note from Melissa regarding a spread in Little Red.

My favorite part was meeting Melissa Sweet. She's always been a favorite of mine. I seem to have a section of my personal library dedicated to her books. (Shhh…don't tell my husband!) She spoke about her Sweet Squares project which she started as a way to observe nature. There were a lot of ooo's and aaaah's when she showed her gardens and studio. John Clapp, Associate professor at San Jose State, spoke about our work needing 'obsessiveness' like Melissa's has.

Isabel Warren-Lynch spoke about emotional connections in illustrations. Tracy and I were both lucky enough to have a portfolio review with her. She gave us both lots of ideas for improving our work.

I especially enjoyed getting to talk children's books with Kristine Brogno and Melissa Manlove. Their passion and dedication is contagious. I also enjoyed Melissa Greenberg's presentation with Isabel and Melissa Sweet. It was a day of Melissa's. I learned so much and left inspired.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

20 Seconds of Insane Courage


Movies can transform you. They can change the way you see yourself and the world. One of my favorite movies is We Bought a Zoo. I love this movie! There’s a scene where the son is afraid to tell a girl he likes her and the father tells him, “All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it”. So simple, so profound!




I’ve used this mantra at conferences and bookstore signings. It’s so difficult to approach art directors, editors, and successful illustrators at these events. You desperately want to talk to them, to connect in some small way, but the hurdle of shyness looms large. I literally have to recite this phrase to myself before I take the leap. It works! Anyone can muster 20 seconds of courage. Remember that those people you’re afraid to talk to are just people. Most of them are incredibly friendly and generous. They share your passion for children's books. I urge you to just go for it. You can’t make connections if you never try. Be brave! And for goodness sakes, please rent this movie!