Martha Rago, the art director from Harper Collins Children’s came out from New York for the Utah/Southern Idaho SCBWI Illustrator’s Conference. The inversion had lifted and it was a beautiful fresh aired, Salt Lake winter day. I picked Martha up at the airport and gave her a ride to Little America.
She wanted a room with a view so we got her a great room on the second floor.
She got plenty of fresh air and exercise. Every time she wanted a bit of breakfast or a cup of coffee she could just dash across the parking lot to the lobby.
She hadn’t been skiing for 8 years so I took her up on some great hills.
She must have enjoyed it because you could not wipe the smile off her face.
She had plenty of time to prepare for her presentation while she waited in the parking lot of the Sons of the Utah Pioneer Building as a huge snow storm blew in. The lady that was going to open the doors for us, took her daughter to the hospital at 3 a.m. with an allergic reaction to a spider bite. She had been bitten while spending time at their ranch.
Martha’s presentation and intensive were very informative. She showed with pictures, or illustrator speak, what and why great art works in books and and what grabs her as an art director. She loves picture books and cares deeply for the art and how the books are made. Participants in the intensive were able to get some first hand critiques. We also heard from Mark and Caralyn Buehner. Mark showed us his great illustrations and talked about the art of picture books. He talked about a match made in heaven and snowmen that move at night. Caralyn talked about the art of writing picture books. Caralyn said to remember your audience, the children. The illustrators that attended, left with a great deal of helpful information. It was a great day to network with other illustrators, get inspired and informed.
I drove Martha back to the Salt Lake Airport with a full moon shining in an early morning dark sky. She was off to New York. Some where back in New York, I feel like I have a new skiing buddy. Any time she wants to hit the blue green squares, I’m in.