What I learned at Illustrators Day

  • I was very nervous to start with. I had to drive to San Francisco and that is not my favorite thing to do but it turned out I got there early and got free parking by the boats so, that was cool. All the illustrators were very nice but I found that I stuck to myself most of the time. I talked to a few people. So, I discovered that I am more introverted than I thought but I was okay with that.

    When I went in to the display room to set up my portfolio I almost took it back to my seat to shove it back in my backpack. There was so much beautiful work there and I felt very embarrassed by mine...I need to get over that. But, I set it out on the back table anyway and I put copies of the two books I have illustrated for children even though I know that they aren't perfect (btw, I just listened to Jake Parkers video on just that subject today which made me feel better. At least I finished a project or two! So, I learned that I have courage because I didn't put it away. Others have gone to thise Illustrator Days for years and still haven't put one out. So, I made a portfolio and put it out accomplishing two scarey things πŸ™‚ The speakers were great. It was Marla Frazee and her buddy Allyn Johnston. I was encouraged because Marla doesn't know how to do digital but she is still successful. Allyn and the rest of the team and Simon and Schuster give her lots of feedback and she isn't doing it all on her own, as I have been. I learned that it's really nice to have someone that can help you succeed. I learned that I need to allow more people to see my work and critique it before I put it out there for the whole world because I only have two eyes and one view. This forum has been very beneficial to me for that! I learned that you want your action to go left to right in a book. That Marla Frazee uses 500 series stathmore paper and a black verithin pencil. She soaks the paper in water to make the pencil indelible and then staples it to a board. It will hold a lot of washes. I'd like to try that. Allyn Johnston said she was open to submissions from the group there and so I am deciding whether or nto to send in my next dummy when I am finished-even if it isn't accepted I will learn from the process. I learned that it is good to just do things sometimes (Jakes youtube video confirmed this to me). I learned that I still have a lot to learn and I want to view a lot more classes and maybe take one at the local CC in January when I will no longer be babysitting my grandson-design and figure drawing and more water color classes too. I learned how to better use scbwi as a resource. Part of the tme I felt awful and not talented but I also felt hope at times. Just have to push forward and let myself at my level with the promise of improvement if I put in the time and effort. So, that's it. It was worth it (but the drive to find my daughter after the conference was a bit crazy πŸ™‚ I found her and all was well). Have a wonderful

  • I was wondering how you got on at the Illustrator's Day @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen - sounds like it was really worthwhile! Well done on putting your work up there with the rest, even though it is a scary thing to do, it's something in the 'just do it' category and next time it won't feel scary I'm sure... It's great that there was a traditional art speaker there giving advice and encouragement that you don't have to be digital to be successful, that must be really motivating to listen to. Glad you had a good time overall πŸ™‚

  • @Dulcie Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Hi Marsha, I was there too. Sometimes, I find that even a friendly crowd makes me want to run away. πŸ™‚ However, it was a very laid back event and I enjoyed talking to several new people.
    The insight to the Marla-Allyn-Ann (Bobco) trio's working process was indeed interesting. My takeaway was put more story-telling illustrations to my portfolio. And, yes you are right about the eyes. Actually, when it came to displaying my portfolio, I was standing casually (at least I tried) by the wall for a while and watched people browsing through my works. I wished I could see what they were thinking. Probably it went like: "who is that creepy woman and why is she staring me?". πŸ˜ƒ Anyway.
    Congrats to your finished projects and good luck with the new book.

  • Thank you for sharing your experience! You demonstrated a lot of courage and I can relate to so many of your thoughts and feelings! I need to constantly remind myself to stop self-deprecating, keep on learning and trust that my work cannot do anything else but improve if I stick to it. And yes, showing stuff to others constantly is very important - one has to detach his/her sense of worth from the work in the instant it is finished, so that one can be pro-active in searching critique and feedback. SVS is a really great resource for this!

  • Way to go! I felt the same way attending my first SCBWI conference, waiting to be discovered as a fraud and kicked out. Thankfully they were lovey (most of the demons I know reside in my head), but I did have two bad experiences at conferences two years ago. Felt really low when I came home, burned all my stuff, took down my website...and got back to work. Thankfully along came SVS and the monthly subscription! I have a way to go yet but I'm at least on the right path. I like Will Terry's slogan - "Fail Forward". I have failed multiple times since I started this but I learn from it and keep going. Good for you for getting out there, keep it up!

  • I can not even begin to tell you how proud of you I am Marsha! You took a huge step on so many levels here and I just know it will continue to lead you to new and exciting experiences in the future. Big huge THUMBS UP to you!!!!

  • @Susan-Szecsi Ha! Ha! I wish I woudl have met you. Maybe I did πŸ™‚ I was standing by the wall a bit too. Where do yo live in teh Bay Area?

  • @smceccarelli But you're so good! I am surprised to hear you say that but, i tmakes me feel better. I guess we're all self conscious about our work. Thank fo rthe good advice. I appreciate you!

  • @Rich-Green Thanks, Rich! That means a lto to me πŸ™‚

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen Believe me, no artist is so good that he/she does not struggle with self-doubt and overcoming the fear of exposing oneΒ΄s work to critique!!! Even very famous and successful illustrators share those feelings! Somebody once told me it is because artists expose a piece of their soul in every work they do - this makes them very vulnerable.
    I think this makes them very special too - and I am very proud to be able to push beyond that fear over and over again - like everybody here does!

  • @smceccarelli πŸ™‚ Thanks πŸ™‚

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen Yes, it would have been nice to meet. Maybe next time? I live in Berkeley. Where are you located?
    I am planning to go to the Laurel Bookstore October 15th.There will be an SCBWI illustrator meeting with Amy Novesky. Also, probably I will attend another event called Social Sketching. It is in San Francisco next Wednesday, September 7th 6:30pm-9:30pm.
    They advertise the event on FB it is at the Chronicle Books' space. I am really curious about it. https://www.facebook.com/events/1061948583901540/
    Let me know guys if you are coming.

  • @Susan-Szecsi I'm in San Jose. I won't be able to make those two. I really don't liek to drive to SF if I can help it. I need to get over that, pronably πŸ™‚ My husband works in Berkeley at NERSC in Berkeley Labs. It might be that I could drive in with him for an event in that area at another time. It's always nice to have the carpool lane πŸ™‚ One of these days we'll be in the same place! πŸ™‚