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Showing posts from January, 2013

How to become a Giraffe in 7 Steps

In a couple days I'll be heading to New York City for the Annual Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Winter Conference, where my portfolio will be on display during the Friday evening showcase. I should be able to exhale at this point... or at least after I've collected my book and any remaining postcards.
I feel confident approaching the SCBWI conference than I did last year. I'm not going to lie - it took a lot to get here. It's hard becoming a giraffe! At least it's hard to make one's portfolio into a giraffe, but here's how I did it:
Step 1: I planted an Idea seed late in the year 2011. The seed was for marketing materials. Yes. Postcards. Step 2: The idea flourished into "Aww's" and other kudos and encouragements to "turn this (postcard concept on right) into something." Step 3: The "Something" became a story.
Step 4: The story became a (mild) obsession.  Step 5: The obsession became sketches …

Validation

My job as a Graphic Designer is relatively faceless. I am the purveyor of cute craft projects, copy writer, photo re-toucher, and a package assembler. I make something - we agonize over the details - then it's off for print, manufacturing and sales. Next project.

Luck would have it that I occasionally get to dabble into children's crafts, which are incredibly fun. Working with pom-poms, jumbo pipe cleaners, and wiggle eyes just entices nostalgia. It's also inspired  me to return to my interest in picture book illustration. Only in the past year have I re-activated my pursuit to become published. Though I met my publishing goal recently, I am trudging alone with my passion for the picture book audience. When the strain of trying to start-up (and get nowhere) has overwhelmed me, I have to remind myself of why I must to keep going.

Until recently, my "why" is that I feel like I owe something to the community. Reading did not come easily to me. In fact, my struggle …

Portfolio-izing

I'm starting my 2013 with a made up word. Portfolio-izing is the act of "accessorizing" or enhancing one's portfolio. By "one" I mean my own. As you can see in my snippet above, I've transformed my portfolio into a giraffe pelt. The WHOLE portfolio looks like a giraffe now. This is just a close-up of the finished patterning:


Lately I've been playfully gussying up my portfolio for the Annual SCBWI NY Conference. I'm beside myself with giddiness to get back into the city to show off my collection. I'm spending my weekend deciding on the interior pages and assembling my dummy book. This is what it looks like for me to "plot" out my portfolio pagination:


I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm confident with the pieces I have completed. I can hardly wait to have my completed giraffe portfolio. Some of the "interior" bits can be found in my online portfolio. A few more pages will be making their way into the final book.