Summer SCBWI Los Angeles Conference – Part 2

The world of picture books has been such a creative balm to me. I am thoroughly in love with the entire process of creating these little gems. Even though I have focused a lot on the writing process, my roots still lie in the illustration. The recent Summer SCBWI conference was filled with incredible talent and an awe-inspiring illustration faculty. Take a peek at who makes up the illustration faculty who was just introduced here at the illustrator social which was held on Friday night of the conference.

Swoon, is right! E.B. Lewis, David Diaz, Cecilia Yung, Priscilla Burris, Paul O. Zelinski and the amazing Pat Cummings were all at the social ready to answer questions. It was a wonderful evening with the opportunity to meet fellow illustrators. Just look at the many artists that I got to chat with:


Actually, this was not everyone that was there, but just a smidgen of the talent that was present. Take a look at this lovely button from Kathryn Ault Nobel, whose portfolio actually won her a mentorship spot at the portfolio showcase.


What a talented lady! I did tell her that next time she needs to add her website or at least her name to the button, don’t you think?
Saturday evening was the Portfolio showcase. Have a peek at what this looked like:

There were over two hundred illustrators with their portfolios on display. Rather overwhelming and intimidating, but very inspiring at the same time. We were able to provide up to 100 promotional postcards for interested parties. Personally, I was excited that I only had four postcards left after the showcase was over. The faculty (consisting of agent, editors and art directors) was able to look at the portfolios before the doors opened to the attendees. What great exposure to have your work seen by so many industry professionals. Fingers crossed.
As a final note, here are some of the illustration tid-bits that I took away from the various keynotes and break out sessions:

  • Become the character you create – Judy Schachner
  • Illustrate to the story you are creating – Justin Chanda
  • Need more middle grade Illustration and stories – everyone
  • Picture books are unfiltered story telling whereas middle grade illustrations support the text – Laurent Lin
  • Contrasting Emotions build the story telling – Laurent Lin
  • Put yourself in the kid’s mindset when illustrating kids. – Laurent Lin
  • Characters need to have a likability factor even if they are bad guys – Netta Rabin
  • Avoid stereotypes – Netta Rabin
  • Wordless picture books are all about the page turn – Aaron Becker
  • You need to provide surprises in wordless picture books because you have to involve the reader more – Aaron Becker

Have a splendid day and happy creating to you.

10 Responses to “Summer SCBWI Los Angeles Conference – Part 2”

  1. kathalsey

    Tanja, You just woke up more good memories to me with today’s post. I still have to type up my notes and transcribe them soon. Love Kathryn’s bear and your work, it is getting out there to the folks that matter. Thank you for the tidbits…good info for writers only, too.

    • TBauerle

      Hi Kathy, I’m glad you like. 🙂 It was a great weekend, wasn’t it. Hugs. T

  2. Susan Simon

    This a wonderful blog. Really captures the conference, Tanja! I want to find out what Netta said. I missed her and Eugene Yelchin and particularly wish I had not–but there was so many wonderful things going on all at the same time. I wished repeatedly at the conference that I really could be Superman and be at two places at once. (Well I’ve wished that before. And no doubt will wish it again.) Thanks for this wonderful revisit.

    • TBauerle

      Thank you Susan. I’m so glad that we could enjoy the conference together. I too missed Eugene Yelchin’s breakout. There were simply too many to choose from. I still have not typed up my conference notes, there were so many.

  3. Laurie L Young

    Happy memories!! (And I see my business card in your sample photo!!)
    So glad I got to meet you in person! Looking forward to the next time. 🙂

    • TBauerle

      😀 It was awesome to meet you in person too. Definitely looking forward to next time. Hugs.

  4. Patricia Toht

    So fun to revisit the conference through an illustrator’s eyes, Tanja! Thanks for the write-up.

  5. Charlotte

    Bringing back wonderful memories of a fabulous conference, Tanja! Your words describe an experience that was too short to attend all the breakouts. I did get to attend the Eugene Yelchin breakout and he blew me away! You are going to get calls, Tanja 🙂 You are an incredible artist. Wishing you well as you build your career. Hugs!


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