Monday, May 16, 2011

NESCBWI Conference 2011

Jane Yolen, Richard Michelson, Nancy Garden on the panel for Library of the Early Mind
Jane Yolen and part of Steve Withrow's head

This weekend my inspiration battery was recharged by another brilliant NESCBWI conference. The 2011 conference was the 25th for New England and so the theme was Celebrating Milestones. (You can see my poster submission here.)

Keynote speakers Jane Yolen, Tomie DePaola, Stephen Mooser, Lin Oliver, and Harold Underdown delighted the audience with their ribbing and teasing all the while celebrating this anniversary and encouraging us to persevere through rejections and industry shifts.

Stephen Mooser giving a keynote speech on Sunday.

Harold underdown acted as Mr. Optimist and Mr. Pessimist

I attended many excellent workshops that will keep me savoring my notes. The highlight of my weekend, though, was the Intermediate/Advanced Illustrator Academy. In this workshop a panel of four: Dani Jones, John Lechner, Kerry Martin, and Nicole Tugeau gave feedback on each participant's web presence. Casey Girard facilitated the workshop. I loved that the panel was diverse in areas of expertise. Dani and John are both tech savvy illustrators. Kerry is a designer for Clarion Books and Nicole is an artist/author agent. Getting their input on my own site and blog was extremely valuable. Also, it was helpful to see how other participants presented themselves on-line and to hear tips from the panel.

So I have a couple of things to change on my site for now, but I have lots of art to make.

Jane Yolen is known for the phrase, "Butt in chair" (BIC). In other words you must sit down and do the work. This idea was echoed by other presenters. It's probably because the nature of creative work seems to require fending off distraction a lot of the time. Even Tomie Depaola talked about doing everything but what he was supposed to when faced with a blank sheet of paper.

The weekend was busy. I have a pages of notes to digest, quotes to ponder, and lots of work to do!


  1. Thanks for your insight and observations on the conference! Much appreciated. Nice sketches as well. (I feel like I was there).

  2. Sounds like a productive time! The book cover contest must have brought out alot of amazing interpretations! Wish they'd post those on line.

  3. I didn't make it out to the conference so thank you for posting this Ann Marie! Glad that you got so much out of it including lots of inspiration and solid feedback.