I’ll keep it short and incoherent. For those of you who don’t know SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (British Isles). Last weekend they held their annual conference in Winchester (and have lots of other exciting and interesting activities the rest of the time).
This was the 2nd time I’ve been to the conference. It’s so fabulous I just have to tell you about it. It’s also very intense, and fabulous. I’m still mentally digesting all the wonderful fabulousness and remembering odd bits of fabulous stuff at odd times, so this is a very garbled account of some of the bits I did.
The Sketch Crawl.
Drawing out and about in Winchester with a bunch of other illustrators and non illustrators. I drew skaters, buildings and other things. Then we met up to compare sketches and chat over a mulled cider. Here’s one of my sketches in progress:
Roman glass in Winchester Museum
Being inclined towards art the best thing about the conference for me is the opportunity to listen and talk to proper illustrators with books out in the real world…
This year Leigh Hodgkinson (she’s @hoonbutton on Twitter) was one of the keynote speakers and I also attended a break out session with her. It’s completely fabulously fabulous to find out what goes on in the head of another artist. I love all her making different things and ideas, and came away with ideas of my own about collaging things and ways of working to try.
Viviane Schwarz gave an amazing picture book workshop. Lots of fast drawing, cutting up, stealing other people’s drawings and making a group picture book. I learned a whole new way of thinking about ideas and creating characters. You can follow Viviane on Twitter.
One of the other things I did was to dare to put my portfolio out on a table where people could see it. That won’t be scary next time. It was brilliantly educational just seeing my work alongside other peoples.
And there was so, so much more. So many people, opportunites, interest, books, pictures, cake.
The weekend was a lovely bubble of talking about writing and illustration. I learnt so much and met so many lovely people. I made friends.
You can visit the website of the SCBWI here.
Thanks to Dom Conlon for letting me steal some photos.