scbwi SF South Illustrators Day Report
Marsha Kay Ottum Owen
Had a great day at the event. I had a dummy critique and got reat feedback. Mainly, I need to cut out a lot fo the text as it was dragging on too much and I need to remove a lot of unecessary parts of the images. I am looking forward to looking at it with new eyes.
Dan Santat was there and had some great points to make. One was that design is equal or even more important than drawing skills when creating a book. I do want to improve my drawing skills but I really want to improve my design skills. He said also that he doesn' follow trends. He doesn't have a style. He does what will serve the book to make it the best it can be. He gave examples of how his books have been designed. Why he did certain things to increase tension, etc. He actually illustrates and then adds teh story which isn't common.
Serve the Story
1 Show, don't tell.
2 Art tells the story
3 Text delivers extra emotion
4 Color used to iterpret mood/feeling
5 Pacing in final scenes to build tension.
- Artistic Style
- Pacing-the page turn
Clarity of communication-Strip all unecessary parts.
Symbology-words attached to an icon. You can draw simple symbolic pictures (ex. lollypop trees) and still get a message across. They are recognizable.
My Dummy Critique
(I know these are all things that are well known but sometimes you just have to hear them more than once :-) )
Brian Bowes was my critique guy for Uncle Carl Has a Chicken on His Head
Take out anything that isn't necessary to the story. (Do 50 1 minute thumbnails for each composition).
Find books that I really , really like from the library and copy them.
Cut the story to it's simplest form.
I can crop out a lot of information.
He gave me his post card and told me to e-mail him if I had any questions. I'm going to take him up on it.
He saw the book I made and my dummy and said that the fact that I have done books and don't give up shows that I can handle that part so, that made me feel good.
The girl to my right, Jung Chen, (Lulu) came for the first time. She won the portfolio show so that was cool! She did some beautiful gouache paintings, very colorful. She had a small sketchbook full of them. I was very happy for her.
As for the First Look Prompt, I did much better than last year. I had more than I needed in those too. I definitely need to learn to simplify but, I felt really good about what I learned. I will never be as good as I want to be or the best illustrator, and that's okay. I do know, however, that I will improve. I'm glad I went!
Thanks for sharing Marsha! Very informative :)
@nowayme You're welcome :-)
That's awesome. Glad you got to go! Thanks for sharing your notes, they were interesting.
@tessw Your welcome. I feel pretty good about the day. Lots to learn still!
Thanks for sharing that. Perhaps you could elaborate on what he means when he said he illustrates then adds the story.
@tombarrettillo Well, he does exactly that. He does all the illustrations before he writes the story! I guess he must have the ideas for the movement fo the story but he doesn't write it until the illustrations are done!
ok, I see. For stories he is writing. I just found it hard to believe he would do illustrations without reading a manuscript, but that scenario makes more sense.
Very helpful, Marsha! Thank you so much for sharing!
@laurie You're welcome. Glad it was helpful :-)