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!