A Thank You

Over the weekend of April 19-21 I attended the SCBWI Western Washington regional conference in Redmond. I could talk about all the fun stuff I did and the cool things I learned, but there was something different this year. For the first time since I started going to these conferences (six years?) I put my portfolio on display.  My excuse (whether valid or not) was that I didn’t have enough pieces worth showing. But at the 2011 conference, I got hooked up with an illustration critique group and it’s safe to say that if I hadn’t, my portfolio would not have been there.

So as a thank-you to these wonderful folks, they get the spotlight today. Their websites/blogs are listed in the side bar. Please check out their work.

In alphabetical order here’s my fab five:
Amanda Sartor does amazing digital and traditional work with sometimes a dark twist. Well, perhaps more than sometimes. She’s been doing covers and some interior illustrations. And recently she found out that two of her pieces will be in Spectrum 20, a collection of top-notch fantasy/sci-fi art. Let’s hope for more good things to come her way. Oh, and here’s her blog.

Kathryn Dennis has co-written (with Melissa Mahle) a middle grade adventure novel, ‘Lost in Petra’. It just received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. As the subject line in her e-mail to us said…OMG. You can read the review at the book’s website. She also does delightful digital art that you can see at her blog.

Liz Wong got her certificate in Art for the Children’s Market in the same class that I did. See won the best portfolio award at last year’s regional conference and she is also one the instigators for putting this group together. Because of connections made at that conference, she came to the attention of Alexandra Penfold, former editor for Paula Wiseman Books at Simon and Schuster, and now a new agent at Upstart Crow Literary. And now representing Liz.

Susan Pope, the gracious host of our gang, will soon be receiving a certificate from the University of Washington in Natural Scientific Illustration. She intends to put it to use illustrating non-fiction books for kids. Check out her art and stay tuned.

Zack Rock, an egregious punster who also happens to do fabulous watercolor illustrations, had two pieces selected to be on display at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair. To be selected takes beating some pretty long odds, and his stuff is worth it. Read about it on his blog and see it on his website.

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3 comments on “A Thank You

  1. anntjones says:

    am flirting w/ the thought of joining a critique group… sounds like it was a good move for you!

    • kecain says:

      Do it! The only other place I’ve found this kind of support and inspiration is in a good classroom setting. And that was…(ahem)…a long time ago.

  2. Liz Wong says:

    Aw…I love our critique group! And I’m glad we pushed you to enter the portfolio show!

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