Thursday, November 29, 2012

I want to update you on some things to see and places to be in San Antonio in the up coming months. I will also add some great places that I am thinking about for our sketch days 2013 schedule.

San Antonio Art events:

Comunidad y Cultura: Struggle to Make a Difference 
Sunday, December 2, 1:00–4:00 pm, Tobin Exhibition Galleries 
-1:00 pm Tour of Estampas de la Raza* 
-1:30 pm Barbara Renaud Gonzalez reads from her newly published digital children’s book, The Boy Made of Lightning, which chronicles the life of voting rights activist Willie Velásquez.
-2:00 pm Sketch a traditional scene from your past with Estampas artist Joe Lopez. 

Comunidad y Cultura: Colorful Characters 
Sunday, January 6, 1:00–4:00 pm, Tobin Exhibition Galleries 
-1:00 pm Tour of Estampas de la Raza* 
-1:30 pm Hear about the adventures of luchadores (Mexican wrestlers) with Xavier Garza. 
-2:00 pm Use color to evoke emotion in a sketching session with Estampas artist John Hernandez.

Sketching at sama
Starting Nov 20 Every Tuesday eve 6 PM $10.

They are also hosting a free event this Saturday December 1 

It would be fun to meet there on a Saturday and sketch during the farmers market.

Wed and Thurs. night 6:30-9:30 Life drawing class $7.
Tues eve. Art class with Bad Braune watercolor artist $20.
Saturday 1-4 drawing with pastel artist Irene Taylor $20.

Art Events
Arts and crafts fairs
Events on the riverwalk

Other Sketching places:
Southwest Arts and Craft Center – during their fiesta craft fair
Pearl Brewery – during farmers market.
King William, Southtown,
Japanese tea gardens

Art Info

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SCBWI winter conference in NY

This was my first time to attend the SCBWI Winter conference in New York. John Rocco started the Friday Illustrator's Intensive on self marketing. John mentioned that it is important to brand yourself online. Make everything you do have a common thread. John also took it upon himself to make book trailers of his books for his website. Later the publisher paid him for the trailers so that they could be put onto their publisher's website. John is part of a group of illustrator's called the Book Maker's Dozen. Besides having their blog, these illustrators work together at book signings and presentations. They feel that their is more power in numbers.

Dan Santat is a great illustrator with a grand personality. He told us to be consistent, build a network of peers, and put your work online where everyone can see it. Book trailers are also the way he markets his children's books. He is a frequent blogger and on face book daily. Dan says we should all be a supporter of independent book sellers.

Sophia Blackall is a lovely lady. She had a book published recently called missed connections. It is about different stories that she had acquired over the course of a year about connections people had made while commenting on the New York Subway. It is very nicely illustrated by Sophia. She said "we must all cross over to the audience in our books."

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Yaccarino. He is the creator of the backyardigans series and the oswald characters on Nickelodeon. Dan also says you must connect with your audience. Know your topic, keep it simple, and create a theme. His best advice for school visits, "don't shake their hands and give them only yes or no questions." Another interesting advice he gave was to market to established mommy blogs.

Roxie Monro told us to market to librarians and independent booksellers. She was on a panel at the end of the illustrator's day. They did a lightning round, which is where someone pitches their story idea and then the panel critiques it. I stood in line to ask questions but they ran out of time just as I was about to talk. Oh well, their is always next year and another story to share.

As an Illustrator Coordinator I was invited to view the portfolio showcase party. It was fun to view all the many portfolios, meet old and new friends. There are so many talented illustrators in our Society. It was amazing to see all the different styles of artwork represented. Not to mention hanging out with the semi famous illustrators and writers.

Saturday morning Lin Oliver introduced the next speaker. She said we must all rely on ourself for discoverability. How do we get our book into the hands of the reader?  Chris Crutcher was the first speaker in the morning on Saturday. His writings have been banned by many. I just loved to hear his stories about how his brother was such an over achiever. And would invite him to do something NEAT, and then Chris would always get into trouble for that NEAT thing that his brother talked him into doing. He says, "You can't be a writer if you don't read." He also quoted from Henry Winkler, "Write what you know and the story jumps off of the page."

Martha Rago presented next and she had 4 points that she believed is what you should have for the perfect book. 1. Characterization, 2. Narrative Quality, 3. Voice, and 4. Skill
She also said "images and text are interconnected."

More to come...soon.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SCBWI_SWTX Ilustrator's day at the San Antonio Zoo!

I am the Illustrator Coordinator for the the Southwest Texas society of children's book writers and illustrators. We held a sketch crawl at the San Antonio Zoo. We spent the morning sketching all the different kinds of animals. Here a few highlights from our day.

(L to R) Illustrators: Akiko White, Leticia Rocha, Catherine Garant and Jeff McDaniel

Taking a break, watching the Hippos


Here are some of my sketches

And a few more


Lety's Sketches


Cathrine's Sketches


Jeff's Sketches

The highlight of the day was having our picture taken with an aspiring artist!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Here are some of what I would like to share from the 2011 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in LA. It was their 40th year for this conference. I met so many incredible writer's and illustrators at the conference. My head is still spinning. Here is the link to the blog if you would like to hear more of what I learned. 

Lisa Medway, Me and Jerry Bennett

I made some best friends also while I was there. Lisa Medway and Jerry Bennett were first time attendees also. Lisa is a professor and a writer. Jerry is an illustrator and the Illustrator Coordinator for the OK-SCBWI. At the 2011 Golden Kite Awards Luncheon, other attendees at our table asked how long we had known each other. We all said, "Only 3 days!" I guess we are kindred spirits, because it felt like we had known each other for much, much longer!

The first speakers that I met were Pat Cummings is and Illustrator, Writer and Instructor at Parsons. Priscilla Burris is the National Illustrator Coordinator for the SCBWI. They both were a wealth of information. Both of them had some great advice; make your characters charming and memorable, send new postcards with your name on the front every 3-4 months and never send the same image to the same person twice. These are things that I will keep in mind as I search for my own "Editor Soulmate".

We all loved hearing the keynote from Libba Bray Author of Going Bovine and Beauty Queens. She is a interesting character, I am sure her books are quite interesting. I bought one for her to sign. A quote from Libba, "We are our stories, successful stories will come from ourselves. Be true to yourself."

Paul O. Zelinsky

Paul drew Emma a Hello Kitty version of Rupelstiltskin.

Paul O. Zelinsky has illustrated some beautiful books. One being the book Rumplestiltskin. His advice, "research all possibilities and find the right person for your character."

Sarah Stewart and David Small

Another Keynote speaker was David Small. He has several Picture books and a new graphic novel out called Stitches. What I really enjoyed was meeting his delightful wife Sarah Stewart when I was getting David's autograph. She is a wonderful soul with an amazing outlook on life.

Our surprise speaker was none other than Judy Bloom of the Judy Moody book series. It was a delight to hear about how she became a writer/illustrator. She was a mother and had done everything right. She had raised her kids, been a good wife and paid her taxes, but felt there was something missing in her life, that is when she began to write. Judy, I can relate!

Jon Sciezska

Other speakers that I had the privilege to hear where Laurent Linn; Art Director most notable for his career designing puppets for Jim Hensen's studio, Gary Paulson; author of Hatchet, Jon Sciezska;  author of Space Heads, Steve Malik; writer and illustrator agent,Martha Rago; Associate Creative Director for HarperCollins and Richard Peck; professor and writer of many books.

Emma with Jerry Pinkney

Even though I missed hearing Jerry Pickney's speech, Emma and I did get his autograph. He even drew a little mouse next to his autograph. I'm beginning to think it is better to be a little person when getting autograph from writer's and illustrators. Jerry has been illustrating for over 40 years. His images are beautiful.

Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Pope Osborn was missed also, but I got her autograph for my little girl. She is the author for the Magic Tree House series. All my three children have enjoyed her books. How wonderful to have gotten to meet her. She also autographed a book for my daughter's preschool teacher thanking her for sharing her books with her class. What a nice lady!

Last but not least, I put my portfolio in the showcase. There were 1500 at the conference, 200+ Illustrators, and 180 showed in the showcase. I am glad that a few people picked up my promotional cards.

What I learned from this conference is that I will have to go above and beyond to get noticed. I am a little neurotic when it comes to my work so I should do fine. I am looking forward to giving it my best and making connections in the children's book industry. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Can't wait for the next conference!

I will close with a quote from Richard Peck, "Unless you find yourself on the page very early in life, you will spend your life looking for yourself in all the wrong places."