Saturday, April 28, 2012

THE SCARLET LETTER - Revisited

Been working here and there on a book (re-covered) project for the DoeDeMee cover project for illiteracy. Below are some of my sketches rendered as I read through my book choice, The Scarlet Letter.

As of a few nights ago, I had my poster looking like so:


... But something was missing. I picked this novel for the sake of the story's message on identity. Upon looking at other covers throughout time, there were a couple recurrent themes: Hester & Child (Pearl) and the big red "A". These characters actually become what the "A" symbolizes and I wanted convey with the cover. I think I did this rather successfully transforming these two characters into an "A". 

However, there's another character that's typically ignored for cover art, and I really wanted him to have at least a subliminal presence, because without him, there would be no Pearl and thusly no evidence for the need of that adulteress mark: Reverend Dimmsdale. He too was afflicted and writhing in guilt. In the end of the novel, he tears oven his shirt to reveal (allegedly) a wound/scar of an "A" etched into his chest, covering where his heart lies. 

The original cover has implied fleshiness, but I really wanted Dimmsdale's chest:


Quiet, but illustrative, I even managed to slip in a little nipple!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

SCBWI New England Chapter Conference

THRILLED to have gone, but a little bummed I couldn't attend the entire weekend. With work, travel and a tight-tight budget (so that we can attend the LA conference,) I was only able to join for the Saturday workshops. Though I take away a lot from my single day on site, I still wish I could have stayed for the full conference. "C'est la vie!" To really get the most of the conference my advice to myself and other potential goers:

1. DO the poster contest (illustrators)
2. DO the portfolio/manuscript review, especially that quick-query. I didn't meet a single person who felt it was money wasted
3. Don't get the chicken (lunch)
4. Do the portfolio showcase (illustrators) - ALWAYS show that folio when an opportunity presents itself
5. Take more pictures for more visual interest when you go back to Blog about your experience so that you don't just end up hoisting your business card up on the site for recognition

The only real negative I take away from this years conference is the general feeling of being rushed. Every faculty member made a comment of having such limited time. Each shot through their presentations in order to make room for questions. However, there was limited Q&A on all the workshops I attended. There was no time.

The highlight of my day was when I went to check out the free-promo table to see how my postcard packets were doing and found them all gone! Though I had a few left on me, I'm saving those for future mailers. Since I was toting around a some pieces, I passed a couple out to my table buddies. Their reactions were delightful ranging from gasps, to "How CUTE!" and "Precious!" Those positive reactions are the little confidence boosters everyone needs every now and then. I should also mention that I will be hoisting up a printable version of the postcards in the Play Ground section of my blog very shortly.

The entire conference was refreshing and inspiring. It's exactly what an illustrator (or author) needs for a little jab in the back to keep working. I'm really looking forward to the LA Summer Conference and I'll keep my eye on the New England chapter bulletin for other local workshops throughout the year.