The 2018 SCBWI Summer Conference

Now that it has been a full week, I finally have time to blog about what an amazing experience I had this past weekend!

Technology astounds me, sometimes.
The Atlanta airport had what appeared to be a crystal-covered fishing net. Very pretty!

I arrived in LA either very late or very early, depending on your frame of reference, and got to my hotel around 1:45am. My friend and roommate for the weekend, Cynara, was already in the room and was surprisingly still awake! So, naturally, we decided to stay up for 2 more hours talking and catching up.

The view from my hotel window!

Morning came soon, and we made it downstairs in time for coffee and registration. We went to the first workshop together, where we got to hear Brian Pinkney talk about his creative process. It involved a lot of naps. I wish my creative process involved naps.

I went to lunch with a group of people who were gathering from my region (and some people who came along because they like us). I got to meet my region’s illustrator coordinator for SCBWI and two of my Twitter #kidlitart chat friends!

The Illustrator’s social was Friday night, and I met many people and saw some beautiful portfolios. I was so caught up in everything, I missed dinner!

SCBWI Illustrator staff

So many business cards and postcards of talented people!

Author/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi (on the left) and author and occasional illustrator Kathy Ellen Davis (on the right) were both super friendly and wonderful to meet.

Saturday was busy. I met lots more new people. Tried to find some familiar faces at each session. The portfolio showcase was beautiful, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures. My portfolio has a far way to go to be on par with some of those, but I am trying to not feel too down about it. It was my very first conference, after all. Baby steps!

The Artist and Writer’s Ball was Saturday night! What a blast. The theme was to dress up in homage to your favorite author or artist. I was inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art figures. It made me late to the party, but I felt pretty good about it! They had a variety of sliders, a taco bar, and free dessert trucks! The cupcakes were to die for. I can’t remember the name of the truck, but I do remember seeing something on it that said they had won some Food Network cupcake challenge thing, which won them points in my book! After eating, I proceeded to dance the night away with a new found friend. I hung out with another of my new friends, Guy Kopsombut of 4am Shower fame, and his regional buddies after the party was over. I managed to “catch” the mythical white stag (as seen in “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table” and The Chronicles of Narnia). She granted several of us each a wish. I wished for diligence in improving my craft. She actually gave some very helpful advice!

My dancing buddy, Shawna.

White Stag!

Sunday came all too quickly. We got to have a “luncheon with Lois Lowry” (author of The Giver and so many many other things), and it was amazingly interesting! I added a few more books to my growing list of things I want to read. I am thinking of picking up audio books so I can “read” at work!

When it was all said and done, they had an autograph party where the faculty were set up to sign books they had for sale all weekend long. I spent more than I expected to on books, but I was so excited to bring them all home! My boys already love them all, and I’m loving the YA novel I bought as well! I caught up with a few friends as we were wrapping up and got to say goodbye. I even got to have one last dinner out with some friends before catching a Lyft to the airport,

Me with Guy Kopsombut, comic artist and aspiring illustrator
Chase Woolner, puppet artist extraordinaire and aspiring illustrator
Cynara, my friend and hopefully co-author before long! So excited for our project together!
Amy O’Hanlon, Sandra Salsbury, Rubin Pingk, and Guy at my last dinner in LA.

I wish I could have stayed for the illustration intensive course on Monday. Next time, I will. My main takeaway from this conference was KEEP WORKING, but don’t let it become work. If you don’t enjoy the process, your work will suffer for it. It has made me excited to get back to work!

This whole thing has been such a learning experience. I am already looking forward to the next time I can go!

One thought on “The 2018 SCBWI Summer Conference

  1. Such a good time! I’ve shared our story with several people and everyone loves it! I think we have a possible hit on our hands! So excited about this next chapters in our journey with Penny and Henrietta. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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