|Me (totally awestruck) with Russ Cox!|
I chose the word wonderful to sum up my very first SCBWI conference because it also contains the word wonder, and I truly was just awestruck and inspired by so many of the talented folks there. For many of my friends, near and far, they knew I was prepping for this and had a bit of nervous excitement going on... but as I drove down to Springfield last Friday it was like all the nerves left and I just became downright excited. All I really wanted out of my first conference was to soak it all in, be mindfully present, meet some talented people, see some great art, learn a few things, and (hopefully) sleep in. And man, it did not disappoint.
It is hard to summarize all that happened over the weekend - my best comparison would be art school. That great energy that comes from being with all sorts of creative individuals who share a love of art (and writing), specifically for children. I enjoyed many serendipitous meetings, friendly conversations, inspiring talks and fantastic workshops... plus met my "Conference Rock Star".
|Me with Nicole Tadgell (doesn't 'she have a great smile)|
I also enjoyed a workshop by Sarah Brannen on creating compelling postcards. She had some great examples and shared her experiences with us, which certainly gave me a new perspective on my own mailings. My other favorites of the weekend were two workshops given by Carlyn Beccia. She is just an arty/techy/history phenom and quirky fun to boot. If you enjoy digital painting or want to try it out, she has a great digital painting book available, so look her up!
|Keynote Speaker, Grace Lin|
A final note and a recurring theme at the conference was simple yet true... you need to take risks, you need to persist and you really need to do what you love. Find your own voice and not give up. That is important to remember in art, as well as in our daily lives.
“You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored and therefore tired of doing nothing . . . . Get interested in something! Get absolutely enthralled in something! Get out of yourself! Be somebody! Do something . . The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” - Norman Vincent Peale