Jan Brett Book Signing Event - Go if you can!

  • Hi! I just wanted to share that I went to Jan Brett's book signing event last night. If she is going to be in a town near you, try to go. She spoke for 30 minutes and her talk was aimed at children, but as someone pursuing writing/illustration, I found it very inspiring.

    She was very animated and entertaining. I had never been to a book signing or talk by an author/illustrator, so it was an educational experience for me. I am not trying to promote my IG in any way, but if you are curious, I streamed a lot of her talk live and it's still in my IG story.

    Her big tips for illustration were (remember, she was addressing a bunch of kids sitting right in front of her):

    1. Eyes. To make a character interesting, pay attention to how you draw the eyes. Make sure you put a white spot - it's the sparkle of the eye.
    2. If you are feeling stuck with a drawing, look at it in a mirror. She said she feels like that is like looking at it for the first time and uses this trick herself.
    3. Keep working and don't get discouraged. Artists often get hung up on perfectionism and to not let that get in the way of creating.
    4. Use your artistic license! You have the authority to use your artistic license to change things how you want them to be. For example, she adds eyebrows to her hedgehogs and hedgehogs do not have eyebrows - this was her example.

    It was so fun to see one of my childhood art heroes in person. She introduced her husband too, who has played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 57!! years. She travels with him when he is on tour and she said that listening to the orchestra is one of her biggest sources of inspiration because when one listens to music it allows your mind to go to places it can't go on its own.

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