October 3, 2013

Fall SketchCrawl 2014

For this month's SketchCrawl, we finally headed to Houston's Museum of Natural Science. 
I do not know what took us so long! We started our day in the Egyptian wing: 


Egyptians appreciated line art!
After a while we all realized it was impossible to draw well in the tomb-like exhibit. We headed downstairs to hang with the dinosaurs for a while. 
In the hall of dinosaurs.

At one point or another, we all drew a bust of Nefertiti! Clockwise from upper left: Kathy Farr, Joel Cook, Brittany Jacobs, Diandra Mae, Daniela Weil
Each of us picked our favorite sketches: Daniela's antelope, Brittany's skeletons, Joel's Giant Sloth's skull, my triceratops shin bone, Kathy's armadillo.
We had a great time and can't wait to go back! 
From left: Joel Cook, Daniela Weil, Kathy Farr, Brittany Jacobs, Diandra Mae

September 9, 2013

September Sketchcrawl

Who: Open to SCBWI members and non-members
When: Saturday, September 28th. 9:00am-12ish

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
We will be focusing our attention on the new Egyptian wing.

What: A morning of drawing what you observe. No rules, no restrictions, any level of ability welcome.

Why: To sharpen those observation and drawing skills and socialize with other illustrators

How:   Bring all sketching materials: sketchbook/paper, pens, pencils, watercolor pencils, erasers, etc. Consider leaving watercolor kits/brushes at home as the museum probably won't allow liquids inside.

We will meet at the entrance to the museum so the Groupon tickets can be distributed. Please RSVP Diandra Mae to ensure you get a ticket! (Also, bring your $8 to cover the cost.)

Once we've finished our sketching, the plan is to head over to Bodegas Taco Shop for lunch and a sketchbook swap session. I hope to see you there!

May 20, 2013

Spring SketchCrawl 2013

Our Spring SketchCrawl was another great day of sketching and studying. We chose to work at another of Houston's fantastic downtown locations: Hermann Park. Hermann Park is a location with dozens of optimal sketch spots. We discussed how we all really enjoyed the options available to us, and how more than likely, our Fall SketchCrawl will take place here.

Getting started. The variety of trees meant lots of opportunities to study shapes, textures, and the play of light.
Inside the Japanese garden.

Working inside the pagoda.

Our collection. Working clockwise from the left: Diandra Mae, Felicia Lilley, Loni Lilley, Arlene Graziano, Daniela Weil, and Brittany Jacobs in the center.
It was wonderful to see familiar faces, and become acquainted with new ones. Discussions ran the gamut of family, craft, materials, conferences, and technique. It was a lovely day spent in lovely company.

We will be skipping the worldwide SketchCrawl in July as many of us will be busy with family plans, but we will pick back up in September for a late Summer SketchCrawl. Most likely we will be working inside the Museum of Natural Science. (The Egyptian Wing is calling to us!) Rules regarding allowed materials need to be checked, as well as possibly using a group rate. Once the date is set, the information will be announced on the list-serve, and in the FB group. Happy Sketching!

April 28, 2013

Spring SketchCrawl 2013

Who: This event is free and open 

What: A morning of drawing what you observe. No rules, no restrictions, any level of ability welcome.

Where: Hermann Park Conservancy. 
Meet at the entrance to the Gibbs-Jones Reflection Pool on Hermann Park Drive.

When: May 18th, 9:30am-12:30ish 
(Discussion for lunch together following the event have started)
(We can continue to sketch after lunch, if enough people stick around.)

Why: To sharpen those observation and drawing skills and socialize with other illustrators

How Bring all sketching materials: sketchbook/paper, pens, pencils, watercolor pencils/portable watercolor brushes and kits, erasers, etc. Also consider bringing a snack, water, and be sure to dress for the weather. 

See you there!

April 23, 2013

SCBWI Houston Conference 2013 Recap

Once again, SCBWI Houston pulled off a fantastic regional conference! 

A cake made with titles of our speakers's books.
How could we not with speakers like these? 

(L-R) Peter Brown, Josh Adams, Paul Rodeen, Lucy Cummins, Stephanie Hedlund, Dani Young, Sara Sargent

Peter Brown's CREEPY CARROTS book trailer
Author-Illustrator Peter Brown was our keynote speaker, and he shared insights into his creative process, his inspiration, and how he works on each story that comes across his desk. He was honest and funny, and many of us could relate to his struggles as a creative.

Lucy Cummins' speaks during the Illustrator Breakout Session

Simon and Schuster art director Lucy Cummins was energetic, smart, and sharp. She gave wonderful insights with her group critiques, and every illustrator who spoke to me after said they came away with so much from that experience. Many of them also appreciated her presentation on how to market themselves as illustrators, and seeing how she as an art director looks for talent. 

I unfortunately failed to get a photo of our fantastic portfolio showcase. We had the most portfolios ever shown at a conference, and the talent level was wonderful! Everyone really enjoyed getting to see the work of other illustrators. Lucy & Peter were our Showcase judges, and our winners were awarded with gift certificates for art supplies.

Grand Prize Showcase Winner was Austin's own Alicia Traveria

and Portfolio Showcase Runner Up was Takako Fisher:
Both illustrators have unique, colorful work that many enjoyed viewing.

And of course, we had our Silent Art Auction! Here's a peek at the rest of  the wonderful houses donated to raising funds for illustrator events:

Alice in Wonderland
Don't Dress the Pigeon!
Jules Verne-inspired spaceship
Another Alice
Which Witch
Faery Garden
(You can see the other amazing birdhouses that were at the conference here.)

It was a wonderful experience, and I hope all of the illustrators who attended came away inspired, motivated, and ready to take their craft to the next level! 

April 8, 2013

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at just a few of the one-of-a-kind art houses decorated by some of our talented SCBWI members! Be sure to get a bid in early. You never know, your house could be decorated by a future-Caldecott winner!. There can be a lot of competition over these little beauties, and all proceeds go to help fund SCBWI illustrator events. A win-win!

The Cat in the Hat! Completely hand-made by illustrator  Debbie Meyer 

You might have an idea of who lives in this shoe! Created by Cheryl Pilgrim
"Oh The Places You'll Go" by Rae Bryant

"Take me to your...reader?" Crafted by Ky Adams
"Bye-Bye-Birdie" by Karen Smith

"Daily Life" by Tatiana Escallon

"He sailed in and out of weeks..." Entirely handmade by Roberta Baird
This is just a handful of the houses we hope to see decorating the conference tables on Saturday. Happy bidding!

February 21, 2013

Portfolio Preparation Workshop

Saturday, February 23, 2013


JH Reagan High School
 413 E. 13th, Houston, Tx 77008

Anyone wanting to be sure their portfolio is up to snuff for the conference will be sure to attend. We will discuss pacing, presentation, and promotional materials. 

Be sure to bring your portfolio case, your portfolio pieces (copies, not original work if possible), any ideas you have for promotional materials, and a brown bag lunch.  
Email Illustrator Coordinator Diandra Mae with questions.