WOW! You'd think, by viewing my blog, I fell off the earth! I assure you, I haven't! I guess I need to set a New Year's resolution to do better with letting you know about my comings and goings!
I will do my best to review the highlights of my past year, but I won't promise that it will be in chronological order!
- SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS- I submitted a piece into SI's yearly illustrators' competition and was accepted into their show/annual. My painting, The Need For Swimming Lessons, hung in their New York City building over the summer. If you visited SI this summer, you may have seen it!
- SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)- This was amazing, as usual! I attend every year! I belong to the Utah/Southern Idaho region. Each year, they host an illustrators' conference where they have art directors, publishers, editors, writers, and, of course, illustrators that work in the children's book field come speak, teach, and share with us a little bit of their knowledge. Guy Francis, illustrator, (Clark the Shark) spoke to us, along with Kristine Brogno, design director, (Chronicle Books).
- WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers)- I've been trying to hone my skills in writing children's books so I've been attending WIFYR for a few years now. I took the picture book class with Kathi Appelt. It was a week long morning class that focused on the ins and outs of picture books. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet Kathi! What a wonderful lady! If I was to share everything I learned from her class, I think it would take days to read it! And the afternoon sessions, of course, did not let me down.
- UTAH STATE FAIR- I decided to submit an illustration of mine into the state fair. My husband and I attended the fair during the first few days of its opening. I was happy to see a blue, first place ribbon hanging from my piece. Then, my family and I made an unexpected trip back home, to Washington, to visit my step dad. This would be the last time I would see him before he would lose his battle with stomach cancer. It was a memorable trip- one filled with lots of joy but also sadness. While I was there, a friend called me to inform me I had not only won a first place ribbon at the fair, but also the People's Choice Award! I had been awarded it during the last few days of the fair. What an honor! I didn't know about this award. I guess the public could vote on their favorite piece throughout the whole art exhibit. The piece with the most votes won the People's Choice Award. Pretty cool, hu?!
- REFLECTIONS- I was asked to be a judge for the national Reflections competition for a local Elementary school in my area. I was so impressed with the creativity and talent of of these children! The Reflections competition has six different categories (dance/choreography, music/composition, photography, 3D, writing/literature, film, visual art) in which a child can submit a work of art. Each child is judged by age and by school. The finalists progress to region and can go all the way to Nationals! I saw some of the pieces I previously judged in the Utah State Fair. Good job kids!
- WRITING A CHILDREN'S BOOK- I took an eleven week children's book writing course (one day a week) from Ken Baker, author. (Is my year looking full yet?) I told you I wanted to learn the ins and outs of children's book writing! I attended his class after WIFYR. It's interesting to see the things that were similar between the two classes but also the things that were different! Each class was a treasure of learning. And it's never a bad thing to have things repeated!
- AMERICAN ILLUSTRATION 34- I submitted a piece into the AI 34 Annual competition and was thrilled to get the email that I would be included in their annual! I just barely got the annual in the mail, the other day. Here's the piece on the printed page:
- TOUCHSTONES JOURNAL- I submitted a piece into a local journal, as well. Actually it's the same one that was accepted into the AI 34 Annual (above). I won first place!
- WARP AND WEAVE- I submitted a piece into another local journal. My Zombie Babysitter, was accepted into the journal, Warp and Weave, for their spring publication. Later in the year, the editor contacted me and asked it they could use the image for posters, etc. for publicity for their fall publication. Of course, I said yes.
- SCOTT GUSTAFSON- One of my all time illustration hero's! Can't say enough about this guy! I attended a lecture of his, asked tons of questions, and was pleasantly pleased to learn that we use a lot of the same techniques in our painting prep. I had him sign some books of his and had a wonderful chat with him. Amazing work! If you don't know who he is, you are missing out!