2015 Illustrators' Day Wrap-up

This past Friday, I attended the SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Day - for the first time as simply an attendee. I stepped down from the position of Illustrator Coordinator this past summer, handing the reigns over to the extremely capable Prescott Hill. He took on an enormous task and I have to say he did an amazing job.
     I was able to sit back and enjoy the fabulous speakers - Neal Porter of Neal Porter Books (Roaring Brook/Macmillan), Giuseppe Castellano (Art Director for Penguin Random House), Bill Mayer (illustrator), and Loraine Joyner (Art Director, Peachtree Publishing). They all gave fantastic and informative talks about their expectations and industry practices. Prescott enlisted the help of two volunteers for the Quickfire Portfolio Reviews and I have to admit, it ran better than ever.
     In fact, Prescott called me up on stage at the beginning of the day to thank me for creating Illustrators' Day and being a friend and mentor - so sweet. And truly - I found myself quite emotional over the fact that I had created this valuable resource for budding illustrators (some who were attending for the first time and had no idea who I was), that will now grow with new direction and live on without me. Isn't that the highest tribute of all?
      Do you volunteer for the SCBWI? Can I give you an insider secret to improving your career goals as a children's book author and/or illustrator? Volunteer! My years of service put me in an elite position to get to know our visiting speakers in a more casual and intimate way than simply being in their faces during the conferences. In fact, I picked up Neal and Giuseppe from the airport and took them to lunch, so had lots of time to get to know them as people - which was a treat. They're both great guys and I so enjoyed their company. So, VOLUNTEER and get so much more out of your own SCBWI!
Here's Prescott saying "thank you" to me. Pic by Robyn Hood Black.


Dani Duck said...

Helping out the SCBWI is a lot of fun. I can't be the coordinator of my region because someone is already in that position (and is doing a great job), but I help out where I can. It's a lot of fun and a wonderful group. The more I spend with the group, and helping people out, the more I learn. Great advice Elizabeth!

Tracey M. Cox said...

I agree, e!

I volunteer and love the interaction I get with everyone. :)

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Dani - I'm sure your coordinator sincerely appreciates you being available to help out! Despite there being one coordinator, it usually takes a team of generous people to get these great events in place. :)

Tracey - I KNOW you are appreciated too!

Hugs to you both! e

Prescott said...

E, thank you for everything! Seriously, you have given me such a wonderful and important gift to be responsible for. I'm so happy I could pull it off so well and validate your faith in me.

Volunteering is the most direct path to leadership and community-building. You taught me that, and I'm passing that lesson on to my illustrators. :D

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Prescott, I love that you say "my illustrators"! That's what it's all about - Papa Bear taking care of his cubs - and you are a great Papa Bear! When one rises up, we all do! Hugs to you!

Tina Cargile said...

I enjoy being part of this great group of illustrators. Let's keep this going!