Well, my postcards are stamped and ready to go out. I'm going to cross my fingers.
Thought I'd let you know about an interesting exhibit going on at the Smithsonian National Portrait Galley. Retratos looks at 2000 years of Latin American portraiture from Pre-Columbian to Contemporary artists. I think I'm going to head on down there and check it out.
Well, Harry Potter's out at the movies, but I have a confession:
I have never read one of the books.
EEEEEEK!! Harry Potter fans everywhere are screaming right now. I know, I know. Blasphemy, right? It was one of things for me where I missed the first one and it exploded into this phenomenon. I mean, I like wizards and the fun stuff that goes on in it. I would've normally been all over it. Great thing is, they are books soooo I still get to read them anyway.
Besides, aren't the books always better the movie anyway?
I've been sitting down addressing my new sample postcards. I sent out a different batch of them...wow...a year ago now. I also sent some with color copies and cover letters as their guidelines requested.
Didn't hear a thing. Not a peep. Not even one rejection letter. Ouch. I don't know what the heck that means, lol.
Question is, Do editors and art directors really pay attention to them? How many illustrators do they really pluck from the slush pile of cards they must have? I'd be glad to hear from other illustrators with their experiences with this.
Much has been made of the demise of traditional animation. Tonight I went to see "Chicken Little" and my husband and I got into a big discussion about how computer illustration has truly become the norm now. We joke that we have to thank the Japanese for keeping that alive in anime, but it's becoming true. Sure, even many of those are done with computer animation too, but it doesn't have the "look" of 3D computer animation. I must sound like a Luddite unwilling to brace new technology--which isn't true at all. I'm quite the opposite. I'll admit that I enjoy it, but a part of me is starting to miss the artistry of well-done cel- or cel-style animation.
My friends and I loved to rollerskate. We're talking, why walk when you can skate? So the 4 of us could be found at any moment skating around the neighborhood, laughing, doing tricks, chilling.
One day we were skating through a part of the alley that was more like a nice street and came across one of our friends, T. Now T. had a brand-new bike that we thought was pretty nice. Bad thing is the bully of the neighborhood thought so too and was standing there trying it away from him. He wasn't your stereotypical bully--all bulk and brawn. Nope. This one was rangy, a little devious and a lot crazy. Fearless 10-year old girls that we were, we knew that if we didn't do something he'd take our friend's bike, so we rolled over to him and surrounded the bike. We threatened the bully, telling him that if he tried to take it all of us would kick him with our skates. We're talking quads, not rollerblades here. He took one look at those heavy things and decided it wasn't worth it.
I sometimes wonder what became of the bully. Did he change his ways? Or, sadly, knowing the neighborhood, is he even alive now? I wonder.
You know, I'm still pretty new to this kid illowriter gig. I've been a member of SCBWI for about 3 years now, but I'm just starting to really get super-serious about writing and submitting my work. I'm kind of mad that I missed this year's conference in L.A. I had so much fun there last year. I mean, who knew kid's writers and illustrators could get down at a party like that?! All partying aside, I had a chance to attend some really great workshops and speeches and rub elbows with others who loved what they do--published and unpublished, known and unknown. It was great.
On a local level, I'm a member of the Mid-Atlantic chapter. A recent trip to Europe really threw me off for the main L.A. conference and Mid-Atlantic's Fall conference this year--which I usually always go to. Last year I had a great critique w/Emma Dryden, now of McElderry. She really enjoyed my manuscript. That made me feel pretty good. SCBWI is a great organization if this is what you are interested in and trust me, it's worth it.
I tell people I'm a D.C. native and they're usually like "Really?" Being born and raised in this city seems to be a rarity of sorts, since the government creates a kind of transient nature for many of its residents. Yet, I grew up in "inner-city" D.C. in neighborhoods that could be alternately called "colorful" or "somewhat dangerous", take your pick. However, as a kid, those things didn't bother me. I just did my thing. No matter how idyllic or desperate-seeming a neighborhood, you can rest assured you'll see kids playing. It was no different for me and I'd thought I'd share some of the crazy stories I have from being a kid. Everybody's got one, ya know, so let's go:
I was in the 3rd grade and our elementary school's field was surrounded by high hills. My best friends and I lived across the street and if we were sitting at the fence at the top we were at street level. We'd sometimes get lucky and see a family member or neighbor going by and wave, but mostly we'd sit and share secrets and talk and talk and talk. At the end of recess, the bell sounded and we had to go line up. I was wearing flip-floppy sandals and decided to run down the hill and tripped. I rolled head over heels down the length of the entire hill and when I hit bottom, I sat up and had to go to class with dried grass in my hair. My best friend laughed about that for years and years.
I was playing around with a new style and had some sample postcards done of this one. I did an event with the Illustrators Club and was surprised when most of the art directors picked up the card with it on there. It's a departure for me, but I enjoy it. Maybe I'll play around with more illos like it...
Read a great article about a local boys literacy group at a middle school in this area. Educators are finding a great gap in literacy levels between boys and girls. Why? Most books boys have to read don't speak to them and they don't relate as well to the female protagonists in them or those involved with reading in their lives. Hmm. I can see that. I mean, reading about girls and "girl" things just isn't as much fun as reading about burping and other gross weird things that could happen. No, really. I think boys really do have a different idea of what's fun to read and what's not. I'm all for anything that'll get them excited about reading!
There's a great website called Guys Read, that also talks about this issue and is pretty fun to look at. Started by Jon Scieszka of Math Curse and The Stinky Cheese Man, he knows a thing or two about that touch of twisted humor that dudes love! Enjoy!
Well, you've found me. I am a children's book writer-illustrator. Just trying to get published and spread joy and fun and good stories with the world. I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and the Illustrators Club of DC/MD/VA.
Ooo...you've got all sorts of crazy kid illowriter goodness to look forward to!