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.


1 comment:

  1. Ladies! What a wonderful post. You captured so much of the inspiration that filled the air that day. It was truly a treat to spend the time together learning and being inspired by the panelists, the amazing Melissa Sweet, and all of you. I always look forward to this event each year and you both make it so much more fun and exciting..your love of this profession and industry is contagious!

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