Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The 2011 SCBWI LA Conference was absolutely amazing. I've never experienced anything like it. I think that's why it has been so hard to summarize. It was 4 full days of events from 8am to 6pm and beyond. For now, I thought I would list some favorite ideas from some of the speakers. I think these are my favorites because they made me feel like I was headed in the right direction and although some are about writing, I found them to be interchangeable with illustrating. (The lack of quotation marks around most is because they are from my notes and I may have paraphrased here and there.):

Bruce Coville -
Art is dangerous. To stay poor is supposed to be doing your job correctly. Hogwash!
Don't be afraid to show your heart.

Libba Bray -
Make it better, not perfect.
Writing holds our DNA, our bones, our blood. It is a part of ourselves.

Laurie Halse Anderson -
Your muse is you and she deserves a lot of love and tender care.
Art disturbs the Universe! We are here to continue the revolution and make it grow.

Steven Malk -
Be 100% serious about working in the children's industry. It's a career. Be committed and proud.

Kadir Nelson -
A good painting is a conversation between the artist and the painting. A great painting is a conversation between the viewer and the painting.

David Small -
An artist's duty is to surprise himself.

Jerry Pinkney -
Discomfort is part of the process of making it work.

Judy Blume -
It is determination as much as any kind of talent that’s going to get you there.

This last one is my very favorite and most definitely a quote:
E.B. Lewis - "If you love what you do, they will find you." (It was my understanding that when he referred to "they" he was referring to publishers. Hopefully I was right and he wasn't referring to someone ominous...)