Monday, June 27, 2011

SCBWI Wisconsin Illustrator's Intensive

{Oil on Board, 2011}
This past weekend I headed up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for an illustrator's intensive with Simon & Schuster art director Laurent Linn. When I signed up for the program, it came with an assignment. Participants were given two stories to choose from and each person had to choose a scene to illustrate. We sent sketches to Laurent a few months prior to the event and he responded with comments to make it better. This is the sketch I initially sent to him:{Sketch on Cardstock, 2011}
Some of his comments for improvement were that that characters were too crowded and that the point of view seemed too high. This is how I fixed that:
{Sketch on Paper, 2011}
Laurent didn't get to see our revised sketches but he was pleasantly surprised to see the final had changed so much. (it's often hard to break away for your initial vision and I think it can be hard to admit that something isn't working and that you need to rethink a composition.) Overall, it was very affirming to hear that Laurent liked the solution I had arrived at. He also liked the period details and color choices I had made (yay!). Overall, the intensive was really interesting. We got to see how different each artist's style was and their interpretations of different scenes. I took a lot of notes as Laurent critiqued each piece. He has so many nuggets of wisdom and was so nice! He has a really genuine respect and passion for the art of children's books and I think everyone in attendance got something out of his visit.


Daniel Chaffin said...

You are so right about Laurent. I met him at a SCBWI Carolinas event. It was fascinating just to watch him go through our illustrations and talk about what was working and what could be better.

I didn't get to do an Illustrator's Intensive so I'm glad to see that you made the most of yours. The scene you came up with is great! You know, for all those reasons that Laurent mentioned.

Fay Akers said...

thank you for showing us your developmental phase.