Becoming a Seasoned Traveler


Lin Oliver in 9 ink strokes 

I’ve drawn Lin Oliver at the last few SCBWI Winter conferences at New York. I’ve got it down to 12 lines.


Lin Oliver waiting to take the stand.


Priscilla Burris chatted with William Joyce in the Illustrator Intensive

I learned more than how to draw Lin Oliver with 12 ink lines. William Joyce said he didn’t want to be the old dude always doing the same thing. He wanted to take time to work on his own stuff. You get one chance to get it right.


James Ransom talked about being involved and going places.
Mike Curator talked about how children feel invisible. Paul Zolinsky said It’s not about you, it’s not about them, it’s about the book. Peter Brown said so I’m not the only one with crippling self-doubt.


Rita William Garcia

I love to hear good writers speak. Where I use art to hold people’s attention, they can weave a story with the words. Jackie Mitchard spoke of endings and Gary D Schmidt had us sitting on logs , telling stories to kids.


Sketch of Jackie Mitchard


Gary D. Schmidt, Author

At the illustrators mingle, I talked to Lisa Cinelli who won the Tomie Depoalo Award this year. We both got excited talking bout Charles Reid and his books and my chance to go to his workshop. Michael Hale and I chatted with Fred Harper about UFO’s and his tattooed sleeve that he traded for art work and the caricatures he painted and how the president’s eyebrows kept changing as they got older.


A sketch of the audience


Sketch of Jane Yolen

I stood in a long line waiting to get my book signed by William Joyce. Dave and I had to catch the bus back to Laguardia. I shuffled forward a few steps every 10 minutes and finally could tell that I wouldn’t make it by my self assigned deadline to leave the hotel and make the bus to the airport in time for the flight. Because that’s what you want to do after a conference, you want to get back home to your studio and your water color brushes and a grand kid running up the stairs and giving you a hug.


A sketch of the Food Court down under Grand Central Station. It’s nice to get some quotes down in my sketch book.

They have all these modern conveniences these days and you can instantly tell when a flight is delayed. When it’s delayed again then you know it’s going to be a long night especially if you have to make a connecting flight in Chicago and Chicago’s the problem. It’s snowing in Chicago. We made it into Chicago in time to make our delayed flight connection. We sat on the runway because there was no where to park til we could have made our connection running down the concourses dragging our bags. And then we were delayed again until long after our flight had left.


Sketching at the LaGuardia Airport

Are you seasoned travelers? That’s what the customer service man at the Chicago Airport  asked Dave and me. It’s 11:30 at night.


Are you seasoned travelers? What happened in Laguardia? What was the weather like?

Well it was sunny. Things were backed up in Chicago.

You know it’s not our fault. It’s not your fault either but it’s not our fault. Here is a pink paper. You can call these hotels that we partner with and negotiate a price if they have any rooms available at this late hour. You can wander over to our sister airline, I hear they have cots. I can’t guarantee how clean they are, he scrunched up his face like a third grader looking at canned peas. There’s always the option of staying in our lovely airport. Here is a bag with some deodorant to freshen up in the morning.


Another sketch at Laguardia

Dave and I wandered from Terminal A, down the escalator onto the moving walkway and up the other side to Terminal B. There was food still opened in terminal 3 if we wanted a long walk. Dave was looking for the ideal couch but the three of them in the entire Chicago airport were taken. We decided to walk until we found a nice airport chair with no dividers close to a bathroom. Quiet is relative in an airport at night but we’ve joined the ranks of Tom Hanks. We are seasoned travelers and we’ve slept overnight in an airport. (On Valentines Night.)


This was the view from the plane.



About Sherry Meidell

Sherry Meidell is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society Western Federation Watercolor Society and the Utah Watercolor Society. She loves to paint with watercolor whether she is painting pictures or illustrating children's picture books. She is a member of SCBWI. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
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