The Picture Hooks Conference

Saturday was the Picture Hooks Conference in Middlesbrough! Happily, Hollins University sent me to be their international representative for the MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating program - a win-win for everyone since I'm already on the UK side of the pond, and Hollins is looking to increase its international enrollment. Here was the amazing line-up:
The reference room was transformed for the event - that's Viv introducing the day.
I put Hollins' brochures on all the chairs, and set up a hub from which to talk to everyone at the entrance to the room.
I wore my Hollins' lariat and talked to folks about the program all day. I also added a flip-chart where all those illustrators could draw 'thank you' to the library for so kindly hosting us (we had the entire library to ourselves! Here's speaker/illustrator Chris Mould adding his artwork.
I also got to hang out with old friends, which is mostly why I love to attend events like this. Here are Boris and YiVon with the completed art board.
Of course, the conference itself was amazing. Here was the cast of speakers.
Vivian French, of course, and: Jonathan Gibbs (my professor at ECA), Maisie Paradise Shearring (author/illustrator, and member of Orange Beak Studio), Chris Mould (illustrator), Ness Wood (Book Designer, David Fickling Books, and member of Orange Beak Studio), Pam Smy (former Professor at Anglia-Ruskin's MA in Children's Book Illustration and member of Orange Beak Studio), Deirdre McDermott (Picture Book Publisher and Creative Director, Walker Books), and Marie Moser from the Edinburgh Book Shop.
     All of the talks were wonderfully inspiring and expertly giving. I learned lots - despite years of conferences, I still do! My biggest take-away is that I should be posting more of my sketches online via Instagram. I'll set that up soon - watch this space!
     After the conference, several of us went for cocktails alongside that lovely view of the library and the museum and fountain. I love these opportunities to hang out with folks who share the same passions as mine, so I love, love, love conferences!

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