A day I always look forward to every year is the SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators Day 2015. It is indeed a very special day for children’s book illustrators. This year’s event was held at the Decatur Public Library in Decatur, Ga,, just outside downtown Atlanta. The guest speakers for this year’s event were Neal Porter of Neal Porter Books, Giuseppe Castellano, art director for Penquin Random Publishers and Bill Mayer, artist and illustrator.
The first event for illustrators after setting up their portfolios for display in the outside foyer was the opening speech by Neal Porter on “How I Choose An Illustrator”
This was followed by Giuseppe Castellano with his presentation on “A Children’s Book Department: An Inside Look” Both presentations were very helpful providing information on what type of illustrations are being sought by publishers, how to submit your work and the importance of having you own website. A question and answer session followed each presentation.
The Mentorship finale was next. Lorraine Joyner, art director for Peachtree Publishers had mentored a group of illustrators with an illustration project that had spanned about two months. The final work was shown and critiqued. It is always very interesting to see different illustrators visual concept of a few words of text.
After lunch, we resumed for Bill Mayer’s slide presentation of his art and illustrations. His career as an artist and illustrator has spanned decades with a wide variety of work. His website provides a panorama of his realm of creativity with his artwork.
Next was the quickfire portfolio review. The speakers were assembled in a panel and reviewed each illustrators portfolio with in two minutes. The images are projected on an overhead projector so the audience can share the visual illustrations they are commenting on. They also each marked with a sticker what they choose as the best illustration in the portfolio. This has always been one of my favorite segments of the workshop, not only for insight into my work but also to hear the comments on other illustrators artwork. There is never a lack of talent year to year and it is very interesting to see the progress that some of the illustrators have made from the previous year.
The conclusion to this wonderful and insightful event was the illustrators questions to be answered by the panel of speakers. It was most informative and a great conclusion to the SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators Day 2015.