Thursday, August 14, 2014

Octobook & HOW Magazine Award

I've been holding off doing a blog post about my collaborative project with Helen Yoon called, Octobook because I've been waiting for the September issue of HOW Magazine to arrive!  Our project was one of the Merit Winners for the 2014 HOW Promotion & Marking Design Awards! 

HOW’s editorial and design team evaluated nearly 1,000 entries and selected winning projects that demonstrated an ideal mix of concept, strategy and execution. Entries were judged by type of work (i.e., Designer Promotions, Client Promotions, Personal Promotions) and also by how effectively the design achieved the stated business goals.

Octobook started off as an idea I approached Helen with - I wanted to try a new kind of pop-up that featured and octopus coming out of a book, but I was so exhausted after engineering it, I didn't feel like illustrating it anymore.  So I asked if she might be willing to take it on for me. 

From there it was a lot of push and pull.  I always approach my pop-ups as a fine dance between the art/illustration and the engineering.  Helen wanted to do some stuff that was simply impossible unless I could change the laws of physics (which I wished I could do) but also pushed me go beyond what I thought I could with previous engineering techniques. 

You can read more about the process here, on Helen's blog. The end product is what you see above - a true labor of love. Check it out, along with all the other winner's in HOW's September 2014 issue (page 42).  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughts on SCBWI

This past weekend was a huge blur of inspiration!  I attended the SCBWI summer conference that was held in LA.  For those that aren't familiar with SCBWI it's the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.

The conference was held for 3 days and featured lots and lots of speakers.  They ranged from agents to art directors to editors to authors.  They had well established and newly established authors and illustrators speak and everyone was just as inspiring as the last. 
Here a few of my biggest take-aways:
  • Find your 'voice'"The only value you have is your individual voice."  - Justin Chanda
  • Tell the story only you can tell - "It's not about knowing what to do; it's doing what what you already know."
  • You can't just be good, you have to be great.  - "It only takes one great thing to be remembered and change the world." - Stephen Chbosky
  • Do better. - "Last year's success is this year's mediocrity." - Felicia Frazier
  • Reject is part of the process. Focus and Persevere.  One author had over 126 rejection letters before she got her first deal and this year she was being honored for an award!  So as Judy Blume said, "Don't let anyone discourage you.  If they try, get angry, not depressed."
I've been to a lot conferences and conventions over the years and I will say the SCBWI community is hands down the most welcoming of the all.  Even though everyone at the conference is competing on another to get the next book deal, everyone was still so encouraging.  The established artists whole-heartily welcomed new artists and made me believe that their is always room at the top.  It was something quite special.

If you ever get a chance to attend, please do.  It's absolutely worth your money and time.  Think of it as 3 day pep talk that will get your motors running again.