Well, I made it back to Oregon in one piece. I was so lucky to fly in and out of New York between snow storms. I can't even begin to tell you how happy that makes me.
The conference was awesome! I loved almost every bit of it. I took the Illustrators Intensive on Friday and loved most of it. The first key note speaker was Dan Yaccarino. He had a really well prepared talk and told us about how he works. The main thing he spoke about was the character. That the character is the thing that will make an illustration. He also talked about promotion and that all serious illustrators need a web site as well as a blog. Then there was a panel of art reps. I didn't love this part that much and had a hard time hearing them talk. So, maybe it was good but I kind of doubt it. Then there was a panel of folks talking about apps. At noon I had to drop my artwork off for the show later. Got a call that I need to call my fabric people. So, I took off the rest of the day to take care of some business. Oh, also went with my cousin to Books of Wonder a most wonderful children's book store in NY. I think that was probably to most fun I had that day. At Books of Wonder I also saw a lovely book by our friend Vanessa Brantley-Newton on the shelf. I was so impressed. I had never met Vanessa but I follow her blog- Oohlaladesignstudio.blogspot.com. She is always so kind with her comments. I'm a huge fan!
The main conference started on Saturday Jan.29 with introductions by Steve Mooser and Lin Oliver. Lin has a fantastic wit and is so funny. Really I could easily listen to her talk all day. Our first key note speaker was Lois Lowry. She was fabulous. I was basking in the glow of her wonderful talk when I looked over to my left and a couple rows in front of me was...could it be? Vanessa Brantley- Newton in the flesh! My cousin kept saying "would you stop staring" I couldn't help it I just knew it was her. So, during a little break I tapped her on the shoulder. To my delight she was who I thought she was and she knew who I was. It was like a little conference miracle. Here we are meeting for the first time and loving every minute of it.
Well, needless to say the conference went on and was better than ever. There was a panel with Jane Yolen talking about creating picture books, wonderful breakout sessions with a wide variety of speakers and subjects. I went to see some art directors, Patti Ann Harris from Little Brown and Lucy Cummins from Simon & Schuster. No, I don't have a book deal but I did learn a lot from these nice ladies, and have a lot of homework to do. We then had a nice lunch and R.L Stine of Goosebumps fame gave a talk. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face. He was great! Later in the day Jules Feiffer spoke. I was just in awe of him. I've only touched on a few things but, it was well worth the money, time and the long, long plane ride. I'd do it again in a heart beat, and if you ever get the chance to attend I highly recommend it.