Christmas is almost upon us and therefore it is that time of year when I can promote my little children’s picture book called The Jersey 12 Days of Christmas.
I am giving away a free copy to Jersey residents only. All you have to do is comment below and wish me Happy Christmas in Jersey French or Jerriais! 🙂
Colouring in is very fashionable at the moment and very meditative, so why not escape the mad Christmas shopping season with a bit of theraputic colouring in. Go to this post for all the printables and a clue to the giveaway answer: http://ramonadavey.com/?p=535
As a home mum, I have no end of year work social doo to attend, no staff meetings to chat with colleagues and no lunches to natter over. To top that, writing and illustrating is a solitary hobby/ career. This is why being part of an organisation like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is essential for your well being. The best thing about SCBWI is that it has regional chapters all over the world. I belong to SCBWI Australia East & NZ and am proudly the ‘new member coordinator.’
So yesterday, I met up with recent newly joined members for a ‘Meet & Greet’ session. This is a great way to network, get to know like minded people and catch up on industry news. I love talking and meeting new people, therefore this is the best role for me. By the end of the session the new members no longer felt shy to attend the Xmas party that was starting up straight after, because they now had a group of familiar faces to enjoy the food and fun with. Here we are:
So here are a list of reasons why you should join your local SCBWI:
the latest industry news
conferences where publishers, editors and agents share their knowledge – check out this year’s conference here
Before I had cats, I had no interest in them whatsoever. But now that I have Merlin and Storm, a ‘mad cat lady’ phenomenon has taken over me and my art!
Here are Storm and Merlin. I even use words like ‘fur babies.’ Oh the shame of it! But as you can see, they are rather gorgeous.
Someone once told me they thought Storm the grey cat was a Prussian Blue cat. But after a bit of research I don’t think he is but that did give me an idea for this week’s theme of Blue.
Week 41: Island
I was born on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, UK.
Week 42: Dog
Week 43: Rainbow
Lots of digital practice this month so it seems. Which is good as I need to really develop my skills in this area. It is also the perfect thing to preoccupy myself with while I am waiting with fingers crossed for replies from manuscripts that are out there in the publishing world.
Today is also #PBPitch day on Twitter. I have entered a few, have you?
Overall this month it looks liked I focused on developing character drawings. Each month I wonder if I should do a course on picture book illustration or Adobe photoshop as I feel amateur in both areas still. Some illustrations I am happy with, like the pencils and others not so much, like the penguin. I played around with line drawings of cats. Trying to simplify their shape as much as possible. I can tend to get hung up on detail.
Sunday night I attended the pre-conference networking dinner for #SCBWISyd Conference 2016. Boy, did I have a lot of networking to do. I was one of a great team of Roving Reporters as well as being New Member Coordinator for SCBWI Sydney. So if I came across anyone standing alone looking lost I went up to them, introduced myself and had a chat. If friends walked by I would grab them and introduce the newbie to them. It was fun. It was exhausting. But luckily I am a sociable person so this was the perfect role for me.
I had booked two editor consultations from different publishing houses. The feedback I received from both editors about two different manuscripts was invaluable. Fresh eyes on your work is so important. Especailly from experts in the children’s book industry. I could not wait to get home and rework my stories.
On the final day, there was a choice of two masterclasses and I have to admit, I always feel torn as to which one to attend. This time I chose the class for illustrators with the uber talented Sarah Davis. I love learning new tips on how to illustrate.
I tweeted quite a lot about the event and you can check out my Twitter feed here: @RamonaofJersey
I also bought books written by two friends that have recently been published. I am lucky enough to have Penny Morrison as a critique buddy and Elizabeth Kasmer I met at the CYA Conference in 2015.
But the best thing about the conference really is the great writing community you become a part of. Here I am on the right of the photo with new and old writer and illustrator friends:
I have to confess that I found this months themes a bit too abstract and therefore struggled until the last minute to come up with somthing for most of them.
Week 31: Realism
Digital using Tayasui App
Week 32: Hairy
I did enjoy sketching out these yeti characters in pencil before colouring them in on my ipad in the digital art .
Week 33: Father
I used gelli printing for their bodies and posca pens for the detail.
Week 34: Intricate
Week 35: Grandfather
Collage, gellie printing and pen
This weekend is the start of the #SCBWI Conference 2016 held in Sydney. It is a big event for children writers and illustrators and I am really looking forward to it. As New Member Co-ordinator I wil be on the look out for any newbies that look a bit lost and hope to make them feel comfortable at their first writers conference. Look out for me if that is you!
I have a couple of editor consultations to go to and hear feedback on my manuscripts from two experts in the industry. Fingers and toes are crossed that at least one of them likes my writing. I will be also be a Roving Reporter at a couple of the workshops or speaker sessions. But don’t worry, if you couldn’t attend there will be plenty of us blogging about the event.
Wow! We are half way through the year and I have managed to keep on going for another month with my illustrations. Which is certainly a good thing. When my writing seems to be getting no where I have my illustrations to focus on, otherwise it can get a bit depressing wondering if you are pursuing something you may not ever make a success at. So here are this month’s illustrations:
Week 27: Canberra
gelli printing using 3 colours
Week 28: Knitting
Digital art using Tayasui App on ipad
Week 29: Collage
scrap bits of paper and fineliner
Week 30: Vintage
old photo scanned and placed in to Illustrator Adobe with digital art added on top
I always feel a sense or relief at the end of each month when I can look back at the illustrations I have completed. Any little bit of achievement is important to your well being and keeps me going during a time where my writing feels it may never be good enough to be published.
I’m really looking forward to the event. It is a great time to catch up with old writerly friends, make new ones, network with publishers, listen to established authors and illiustrators and their success stories as well as getting feedback on your own work. I highly recommend attending or joining. If you are a new member and feel nervous that you won’t know anyone, come and find me. I am SCBWI Sydney’s New Member Co-ordinator. I’ll look after you. 🙂