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Thursday, October 08, 2009

2009 Southern Breeze Portfolio Workshop



...was this past Saturday and it was a HIT! We had two speakers, Donna German of Sylvan Dell Publishing as our Publisher/Art Director and Mark Braught as our Pro-Illustrator.
     Mark assigned a homework project to those who signed up early and they dove in and took it very seriously. Mark was so generous with his time, I received rave comments on how much people learned from him.
     Donna gave an impressive power point presentation on how Sylvan Dell works, what she looks for, and her relationship with illustrators. Sylvan Dell is one of the more forward thinking publishing houses when it comes to technology. They are almost entirely paperless, accept submissions electronically, and their new eBooks are becoming enormously popular in schools. (Here I am showing off one of their eBooks.)
     We held the event at the Decatur library and it was absolutely perfect. Joe Davich of the Georgia Center for the Book stuck around to be tech guru during the presentation - thank you Joe!!! Donna Bowman worked her magic and made the otherwise bare room come alive. (she's the one who makes Southern Breeze look GOOD!)
     So, between our two speakers and all the background support we had quite the line-up! Each speaker gave informative talks and then homework assignments were shown.

     Donna G. did a quick overview of the artwork and portfolios on hand. (We do this quickly on purpose to give an idea of how little time illustrators have to make an impression.)
     Many of the illustrators balked at adding their work to the tables when they saw some of the more professional portfolios but we all said "That's why you're here!" (Including Donna G. who was extremely supportive.)

     We didn't have anything like this when I was starting out. I had to go make my mistakes in person during interviews - gads. So it is a pleasure to make this opportunity available to others through Southern Breeze!

     The illustrators left with a better idea of how to prepare and present their portfolios, how to advertise themselves, and how to fine tune their own work for their desired market. In other words, they left smarter than they came in. The feedback has been outstanding and heartfelt and I couldn't be more pleased.

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