I grabbed my carry on out of the overhead bin and hurried down the aisle of the plane. The man in the seat behind me was trying to make the same connection to Laguardia. He was muttering, “I have to make my flight. They are boarding right now. I have to get home.” That put a certain rush to my step. If I didn’t get on that plane, I might miss the SCBWI Illustrator Intensive in New York and I didn’t want to do that.
New York City
I searched for flight information and started headed down the long terminal of the Denver Airport. Walk fast, don’t run. Walking faster, don’t run over the little old ladies. Wow it was a long terminal and no gate in sight. When I made it to the gate, no one was sitting down. They were all on the plane. I made it on board, out of breath and a bit sweaty and made it to the big city. Once again I had the opportunity of attending the SCBWI New York Conference.
Brett Helquist, illustrator
I love making sketches of the presenters. I jot down what they say and try to capture their faces.
Paul O. Zelinsky, illustrator
Elizabeth Wein and Lin Oliver, writers
Linn shared some great olympic jokes written by those who attended which brought her to tears.
There was a great panel of illustrators that was moderated by Arthur Levine.
Shadra Strickland, illustrator
Oliver Jeffers, illustrator
Peter Brown, illustrator
Marla Frazee, illustrator
Raul Colon, illustrator
When you hear Jack Gantos and Kate Messner talk, you can become so mesmerized that you forget to sketch.
Watercolor by James Armstrong
I made a few new friends like James Armstrong from the Boston area who taught me about clams and the night sky. Here is a watercolor he painted of a clam.
There were a few great friends that I got to hang out with at the conference and a few more that I met in person.
Illustrators Sherry Meidell, Bethanne Andersen, Manelle Oliphant and Shawna Tenney
I got to have my Strega Nona Does it Again by Tomie dePaola autographed by Tomie. I ran into Bailey and he slipped into a picture with me and Tomie and Lin Oliver. They worked together on “Little Poems for Tiny Ears” Tomie did the illustrations and Lin did the poems.
Bailey, Tomie de Paola, Sherry Meidell, Lin Oiliver
And with a bit of good luck when I flew home, the gate I got off in Houston, was the same gate I had to get back on to catch the flight home so no running around the airport. The children’s book writing and illustrating community is filled with some very nice people and I met many of them.
Paul O. Zelinsky