Now that I'm settled in to the new city, new house and the new job in Atlanta, I finally have time to get back to drawing and writing more regularly. I'm using the new year to double down on improving my illustration portfolio, expanding my list of finished dummies and manuscripts, and of course querying, querying, querying! Over the course of the next few months, I'll be participating in a couple challenges, showcases, and events to help me reach my goal of getting an agent and my first book deal. Here's a list of some of the places you'll be able to find me between now and March.
- The 12x12 Picture book Challenge: This online network of authors and illustrators come together to support each other in writing one picture book manuscript a month, all year long. I've signed up and have already drafted my first manuscript of the year. I'm much newer to writing that I am to illustration and this group is really going to push me to develop more (and hopefully better quality) stories.
- SCBWI Winter Conference: I've signed up to attend SCBWI's online winter conference and submitted my work to the portfolio showcase. I'm really looking forward to hearing Brian Selznick's keynote. I picked up a few of his books last year and could not put them down. The way he uses illustration in the chapter book format is truly unique and beautiful.
- SCBWI MidSouth Conference: I'll be attending the MidSouth "Get Lit" conference in person in Nashville this March. I've had to dust literal cobwebs off of my print portfolio book and fire up the printers to get my book and postcards ready to go. I'm so looking forward to seeing people again in-person (even if from 6ft away and wearing masks). I've submitted my book dummy Earth Rover for critique and look forward to hearing what the faculty have to say.
- SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustration Intensive: SCBWI Southern Breeze is putting on a 3-month mentorship/illustration intensive where Art Director Adela Pons, of Peachtree Publishing, is working with a group of 10 illustrators on an assignment to not only help us produce a stellar portfolio piece, but also to learn what it's like to work with an art director. I've chosen to work on a chapter book assignment. I'll be completing a cover design and a series of spot illustrations for Matilda by Roald Dahl. I've been wanting to develop more black-and-white illustrations for my portfolio and this story is one of my favorites (I even have a cat named Matilda). More great work is sure to follow!