Apr 27, 2007

Remember: Old Becomes New, Again

Two weekends ago, I was in Baltimore visiting my family. Before I got there, my parents took on the daunting task of cleaning out their basement after more than 20 years! So they handed me a very large, very heavy Rubbermaid bin filled with my old stuff dating back to when I was about 10 years old. I spent a whole afternoon sorting through treasure and trash. A good third of it went to the latter, but the rest was great for sentimental reasons. Among the loot I found a Hello Kitty journal, travel receipts and brochures from my first trip to New York, scrapbooks, and ten years of sketchpads. It was fascinating to decipher where I was in my life through pictures. One little treasure I was inspired by were a few quickly sketched fashion figures (from my 3rd semester in fashion design) inspired by Gustav Klimt. Who isn't inspired by the great Klimt? It's almost cliche to admit it.

So here it is. Thought I'd share it. Coincidentally, Illustration Friday's new theme is Remember. I know it's not a new piece, but I couldn't resist posting it.

Apr 24, 2007

Post Show

The SCBWI holds a conference for children's illustrators every spring, organized by Frieda Gates, president of the New York Chapter and wonderful lady. Too bad these conferences don't happen more often. Anyone who knows about freelancing can attest to the need to get out, talk to peers, and fill up on some creative juice before heading back to the board. It goes something like this: we drop off our portfolios for review by about 30 editors, art directors and agents. While the reviews are going on, we sit through a few panel discussions about the children's publishing business.

This year, the speakers were writer/illustrator Emily Arnold McCully, a literary agent (Andrea Cascardi), an art agent (Lori Nowicki), and a couple panels about the graphic novel. My other half, Dennis, was one of those experts:-) I might be partial, but it was clear from everyone else's reaction that he was largely entertaining and informative (as indicated by the many laughs and rigorous note taking). The two people sitting next to me were trying to figure out who he looked like--I heard Keanu Reeves and the guy from 30 Something...hee hee...old reference!

Writer/illustrator Emily McCully was very inspiring. She talked about intelligent writing for children and her disciplined approach to illustration. She said she draws her ideas largely from history, creating fictional characters around specific historical events or people. The result is timeless and fresh. Her characters are usually strong, female personalities that grow and learn through certain conflict. Her pictures are lovely and tell alot about the characters in their visual cues. I really enjoyed her lecture.

A couple of my old friends attended which made the conference that much more enjoyable. Could've done without my nasty headache. Nevertheless, it was a good time. Afterwards, Dennis and I had dinner with my friend Tatyana and two illustrators who were new to New York. Got home around 9:30pm to a mess of a house after a hectic weekend. And today, my desk is left completely cluttered. In the pic, you'll see a clear, acrylic pen holder half-filled with promotional buttons--totally useless objects that look like candy, so they're completely irresistable! Got a lot of nice comments about them.

Now it's back to the board -- refreshed and inspired.

Up and Running

It's about 1:50 am Tues. morning. Don't know why I'm still up, but got back from the conference pretty late after a nice dinner with old and new friends. Just want to report that despite my splitting headache throughout, it went well. I'll check in again at a normal a.m. hour but I'm happy to report my new site is up and running and I collected a small batch of business cards. More about speaker highlights later this morning. G'night for now.

Apr 22, 2007

A new day, a new site

A cleaner, more simplified version of my site should be posted tomorrow. My old college friend, who is a master site builder, worked on it. His name's Ryan Anderson (see his site at ryanworksathome.com). I'm already thinking about all the stuff I'd like to add to it. More variations of the kind of work I want to show and the variety of media I've played with.

Tomorrow is also the Illustrator's Conference hosted by the SCBWI at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. It's always a nice intimate event. I hope to garner lots of interest from art directors, buyers and editors from my updated portfolio and site. In the meantime, because of all the time I'm taking to prepare, my dog's not really happy. He's all stinky and feeling neglected and desperately wants to play. Poor thing. Because of my working late nights, my mornings are pretty slow going and so is the dog. He sits in his favorite chair which I purchased from a 2nd hand store for $25. It's located in my studio right next to the window. Very comfy.

Anyway, I'm putting in some extra hours to finish my book proposal. Maybe my delirious state will enhance the whimsy and wacky in my story. It's about 10:30pm now, which means dinner. Until tomorrow...