I know I've been going on about all my adventures at Hollins University this summer. But the main reason we were there was to educate some dedicated students on the craft of creating picture books.
This year we had three graduates from our Certificate in Children's Book Illustration program. Here they are giving their closing presentations. (Keep in mind most of them hadn't slept much in several days before this...)
Eileen read her dummy of The Owl and the Pussycat:
Laurie read her original picture book:
And Allison also did a version of The Owl and the Pussycat (it was amazing to see how different they were):
Later, their work was shown in the annual gallery show during the Francelia Butler Conference. (Click the image to see a larger version in a new window):
For their actual graduation ceremony, the brilliant Ashley Wolff made them crowns with pencils and brushes, hand printed and painted certificates, and Sharpie pens to save and use at their first book signings. How sweet is that? Again, click to see a larger version.
Here they are with three of their instructors, Me, Ashley and Ruth. (Lauren Mills had to leave early.)
This was a big deal and a wonderful way to celebrate our student's accomplishments. And there are more students in the wings hoping to wear the crowns next year. Here we all are by the signpost (with Tula, the mascot dog of course):
And just to give you an idea of the scope of our program. Here is the entire Children's Lit department at Program Director Amanda Cockrell's house. (Click to see a larger version in a new window.)