Thanks to the RMCSCBWI illustration coordinators, Bobbi Collier-Moralles and Karen Windness, regional illustrators had the opportunity to take an Illustrators Intensive with Will Terry (yes, the REAL WILL TERRY!) this past weekend on the RMCAD campus – and the price was right! I missed the opening talk, also open to RMCAD students for free on Friday evening, but was there bright and early Saturday to catch every word and catch up with illustrators I had met at previous regional conferences. (any text in red – click for more info!)
We spent the first part of the day learning about the importance of good composition. Simple but important takeaways: start with very small thumbnails and use the 33 rule – the thumbnail should have an interesting composition at a distance of 3′ and 30′, as should the finished piece. Next, through Photoshop, Will demonstrated the use of underpainting, the importance of emphasizing points of interest, and multiple techniques to achieve a captivating piece – including creating texture brushes. After lunch, Will’s son Aaron gave us the 411 on creating apps: he was very frank about the ‘dark side of digital’ and the learning curve, but also inspiring. Believe me, we were at the edge of our seats! Aaron encouraged us to create products that people will want to turn around share.
Participants could put forward up to two of our own illustrations for an anonymous review, (no, Will did not wear a mask for this, silly!) which was a great method of reinforcing all we had heard earlier in the day. The workshop was invigorating! I just wanted to rush home and work – and that after a full day in a dark room!
On Monday evening I was back with my local SCBWI Schmooze group for a 2hr session on social media and online marketing with Mary Walewski (socialmediaexpress.biz), a former librarian turned marketing consultant. Our Schmooze coordinator, Teresa Funke (teresafunke.com) works hard to bring us great presenters for our bi-monthly meetings. Quick takeaways: Make a plan! Social media profiles are the center of an author/illustrators online marketing strategy, and the proper maintenance of a blog is the best way to get information to your audience. Don’t just make goals, check your progress! ‘Insights’ on facebook pages, your status data on your blogs should help you to determine where you can maximize your efforts.
Tonight, Tuesday, I will meet with my local picture-book writer’s critique group. We all met through a Schmooze or a regional conference organized through – you guessed it – SCBWI!
Before signing off, here is a logo I recently designed for our Schmooze group… “Let’s go fly a kite!”