Make your Storybook Dreams come true!
This year I went to my first Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI for short) conference in Winchester. The weekend was filled with amazing talks, seminars, discussion panels, competitions, as well as fun parties (in a medieval guildhall, at that!), sketch crawls, and lots of new friends.
In order to make the most of my first conference, I entered every competition available. I got carried away with my submission for the "best promotional postcard" competition. The brief was:
design a postcard based on a minor character from a fairytale; 100mmx150mm.
I chose the Frog Prince, and put the little amphibian in a pop-up kissing booth. When folded, the card matches the exact dimensions, but it can be unfolded into a shadow box featuring this little green fellow.
Any kisses, only 50p. Make your Storybook Dreams come true!
And my dreams did come true, because I won the competition! The judges comments were, "The postcard is beautiful, and imaginative, and has many layers of narrative significance. Plus, it would look lovely propped up on an art director's desk."
But more importantly (and long lasting), was all the inspiration, affirmation and motivation we all received. We all left the weekend feeling buoyed up by all the positive critiques and discussion. For myself, I realized that I'm going in the right direction. I've been muddling along, trying to improve my illustrations and writing as best I can, but you never know if it's "right" until someone else sees it and says, "Yes, this is lovely, keep going." And that's what happened.
Now I have so much motivation to keep working, and to finish those projects that have been living in my head for so long.
Tell me: how does one keep that motivation and enthusiasm long after the conference is only a dim memory from months ago?
I've decided to keep my Frog Prince on my studio desk, so that I can see him every morning and remember the affirmation I received.
What are you planning to do to keep the SCBWI conference energy alive?
In addition to the postcard competition, I was also included in a juried exhibition showcasing the best illustrators of the British Isles. Below you can see my illustration.
Thank-you SCBWI for making this all happen!
You can see the other conference winners here: