Kids’ books fit my style so I went to hear some children’s book authors and illustrators speak at the Brooklyn Public Library. I thought the talks would be swarming with aspiring authors but it was just me and several classes of elementary school kids. Can you say, awkward?
While I looked for a Spiderman backpack to hide behind, an announced came that the talk was delayed until the arrival of a tardy school group. I took the opportunity to chat with author/illustrator John Rocco. He was super helpful and suggested that I attend the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators 2011 Winter Conference.
Conferences aren’t my natural habitat. I’m not a born networker. But a room full of children’s book writers and illustrators doesn’t sound like shark-infested waters, more like an enchanted forest.
I’ll be able to display one piece of art at the conference. That’s a lot riding on one picture but I know what I need – a picture that tells a story. The closest I have to that in my portfolio is a giant squid attacking a steamship and a giant gorilla squaring off with a zeppelin. If someone is working on The Big Book of Giant Animals Attacking Outmoded Forms of Transportation, I’m set. Otherwise, I’ll need something with characters, probably human. Looks like I’ll have to create something expressly for the show.
So I ask myself, What Would Howard Pyle Do?