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To finish up our posts on the SCBWI conference, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the illustration track.  Since I’m quite positive that most of you are probably more interested in the writing aspects of the publishing world, I’ll keep this short, and to the one post point.

For this track, we heard from Simon and Schuster’s Art Director, Laurent Linn, and from John Hendrix, a published illustrator and picture book author.  Some of what they talked about is the difference between illustration and art, the main differences being that with illustration the art has to tell a story, there must be an emotional connection, and that everything in an illustration is a character (clothing, hair, table, chairs, ect.).

Rapunzel - Ninja

The hair and clothing in this one has more “character.”

They also talked about getting your art out there.  If you are looking to illustrate books you need to start sending postcards to different art directors every 2-3 months, and you must have a website and a blog with your sketches.  To find different art directors we were told to check out the SocietyofIllustrators.org.

(A tip that was given to help get your foot in the door: redo a book’s cover art and send that for your postcards.  Just don’t try to redo any books that are too famous…<cough> Harry Potter <cough>)

The part I enjoyed most about the conference was the ending workshop where we had the homework assignment to draw 10-20 character sketches and bring them in, then we laid them out on tables for Laurent Linn to go around and give feedback on all our sketches.

Rapunzel - 7

The start.

He asked where you started with your sketches, and where you saw yourself going with them.

Rapunzel - Vampire Slayer

Vampire/Witch Slayer

And then he pointed out whether or not your characters fit the age group you were going for, if the clothing, hair, and everything else had enough character, and all that fun stuff.

Rapunzel - Office Chair

Office Worker

Can you guess which character I drew?  😉

There was some other really great information given, but to keep this post from dragging on too long, I’ll end it here.

If you could redesign the cover to one book, which one would it be?