Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Post-Conference Woosh

Color blocking narrative - © Samantha Grenier 2014
A bit of color blocking for a 4-page narrative. Book Pacing workshop
by Deborah Freedman and Frank Dormer.

And *poof* the New England SCBWI Conference is over. Actually it's been over for about two weeks. I'm still working off the inspired energy I picked up from all the workshops. I miss it, but I know it'll always be in my heart… I took copious notes!

Illustrators busy at work in the book pacing workshop - photo by © Samantha Grenier 2014
Other illustrators working-working-working.

I still have a small stack of postcards remaining from the portfolio showcase. Those will be mailed out to select Art Directors later this week. I have to admit I still hold my breath a bit when I'm about to send out postcards. It reminds me of the theme of this year's conference: "Be Brave: Make your mark". Though I've become a lot more confident with showing off my work, it's the ceremonial mailings which throw me. It's been a while since I last sent out any promotions and now I'm trying to build it into a seasonal routine. I'm sure this will become easier with time, but it's tough to let go of the cards. Why does it make me nervous? What's the worst that could happen to the cards or me?

Picture Book promotion cards © Samantha Grenier 2014
1st round of promo cards for 2014.

My biggest conference takeaway was quite a personal one: I am ready for a picture book. Honestly this is the first time I've actually posted such a comment and that I know it to be true. I've been attending SCBWI conferences intensely over the past couple years because I was seeking out the guidance and mentorship. I also go for the friends (both old and yet discovered); but there's also that need for the seasonal pick-me-up which you can't always get from a library/museum/critique visit. Sometimes you can only feel inspired by the words of a live Keynote Speaker, (thank you Peter H. Reynolds), or breakout session "ah-ha" moment.

So now I'm project seeking… and project creating. The cards must be sent so that I can remain relevant in the Picture Book community. I still have to finish making minor revisions to my mailing list, but then it's just a few steps to the mailbox. It may still feel like a big leap to me, but it also feels like success and advancement. And that feels good.

Friday, May 02, 2014

NE SCBWI Pre-Conference Update

Samantha Grenier © 2014 - Portfolio Cover
Portfolio - Spring 2014

We're setting out for the SCBWI New England Conference tomorrow. "We" is me, Sheli Petersen and Sheli's mother/author, Patricia Petersen. I'm packed, updated, and eager to meet everyone.

I can hardly believe it's already time to head down to Springfield again :->; I am really pumped for this conference and I'm ready to let the inspiration vibes strike me.

Samantha Grenier © 2014 - Snippet of some finished art bits from my portfolioSamantha Grenier © 2014 - Black and White dummy-book studies

Above are a few bits from my book assembly from the past week. On the left are some finished snippets from one of my spreads, and the right is the black and white study of my mock mini portfolio. I have to tell you the mock-mini folio helped a LOT. it was great to see the impact of my ills in the small scale and to make sure that my values had enough contrast. Highly recommended. I did a similar study last year for the Infirm Pachyderm poster. This year I combed through my full book in black and white format before taking everything to print.

I'm very proud of my portfolio this year. If you want a peek at the conference, ask and I'll let you poke through my portfolio-baby between showcases.

Hope you all are as excited about #NESCBWI14 as I am. :-) I can't wait to see you all there!