Conference Re-Cap through Octo-Pus in Boots!

This weekend at NESCBWI Conference ’12 was incredible. I had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. Reconnecting with old friends and getting to meet a few folks face to face for the first time after being long time twitter friends.

Some of these wonderful people kindly gave me their interpretations of Octo-Pus in Boots check out the contributions received at this conference!

Ruth Sanderson


Sean Bixby


Andy J. Smith


Dan Yaccarino


Ernie D’Elia


Jane Yolen decided she needed to show the illustrators how it’s done. She broke in with a poem about Octo-Pus in Boots.


Nina Crittenden


Kristin Sorra


Jennifer E. Morris


Hazel Mitchell


Harry Bliss


Russ Cox


Greg Matusic


Brian Lies


Dan Moynihan


Thank you everyone who drew and Octo-Pus in Boots for me! I love them all. You rock!

Next time I will be sure to bring a better camera than my phone.


Jarrett’s Choice

The community of kid lit illustrators in New England has always impressed me and warmed my heart. Everyone is so helpful to each other with fantastic support.

This past weekend I was very happy to be able to help with The River’s Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash! near Northampton.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is the main force behind bringing in Children’s Book folks for the Meltdown 2012. This year he called in illustrators to help the event through a Sketch-a-Thon. For each sketch, a donation was given to a local library in need.

Here is me working on a caricature of a family.
Meltdown - Sketch-a-thon 2012

I took the hot seat after Eric Wight, whom I requested an Octo-Pus in Boots from:

And what a treat Lisa Yee was in town! I grabbed one of her cards because it is just so cool to have a photo of Peep!

In between bands, authors and illustrators took the stage to read their books, including, Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, John Bemelmans Marciano and everyone above mentioned! It was the perfect event for families. We had a great day at the Meltdown.

Also just a little over 1 day more of my sale going on at Get them while the sale lasts!


What a weekend!

My trip to NYC started Wednesday and ended Sunday night. I was able to visit friends, have a portfolio review in a publishing house and spend intensive time at the National SCBWI Conference. Every day was packed from early morning until late or even early morning, every night. I seem to have survived on mash potatoes served up in a glass and jamba juice smoothies, with perhaps 23 hours of sleep in total. My body is telling me how it feels today about my weekend choices. However, I am telling my body to suck it up because this Monday does not bring me relief from projects due. That is another story, lets get to the good stuff from the weekend.

Wednesday: I visited with friends, Alison Morris and Gareth Hinds. I got to see the inked pages of Gareth’s latest graphic novel, Romeo & Juliet. They are stunning! He goes all out for every project. I can’t believe the task he has put himself to. For the evening we stayed up watching Jim Gaffigan, talking about the books we love, and postage stamps.

Thursday: I had a portfolio appointment at a publishing house in the afternoon. So, I took my time in the morning making one stop at the Society of Illustrators to see the Illustrators 54: Book & Editorial Show. It was great to see illustrations from Sophie Blackall who I would hear speak over the weekend. During the evening I was able to meet many of the SCBWI Illustrator Coordinators and Regional Advisors. Everyone was extremely welcoming. I am very happy to be a part of the SCBWI family. It is wonderful to be able give back through my position as Illustrator Coordinator of New England.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the conference. It was more than incredible as always. As I look back at the faculty there was such great representation for illustrators. The topic I want to showcase is the Book Maker’s Dozen Panel on Sunday. Moderated by Laurent Linn the answers given by the illustrators provided helpful tips about their work, their process, and how they get it done while still having a family. It was inspiring and encouraging to know it is possible to get everything done; you really do just have to give up sleep.

After the panel and wonderful final keynote by Kathryn Erskine it was autograph party time. My search for more Octo-Puss in Boots continued. I failed to bring my book with me but, after a smart suggestion from a friend I realized I should use my current sketchbook. I could secure the pages into the real book with photo corners. They are now safe and sound in the tome.

I love the new entires! With one that is a totally new concept on the idea. Octopus tentacles for whiskers from Roxie Munro. Check out the incredibly creative entries from the illustrators themselves.

Ryan Hipp

Leeza Hernandez

Brett Helquist

Roxie Munro

David Gordon

Aileen Leijten

Sergio Ruzzier

Peter Brown

Thank you to all the illustrators that gave my a sketch!

My weekend ended in calm. I made sure to give myself a few hours between the conference end and my train ride home. I was able to get dinner with friends AJ and Lumi. We discussed what happened over the weekend and talked about the plans for their wedding in Romania.

I had hoped to work on my train ride home but, with so much having happened over the weekend I needed time to reflect. Four hours of quiet to myself was a perfect end to an amazing weekend.

These are my personal views and do not reflect the views or opinions of the SCBWI.

Octopus in Boots the Sketchbook

For those of you that remember this prompt started with David Hyde Costello last September. He was offering a small painting with each of his signed books at the Carle last year. I told Matt he should pick what we got and he loves to come up with something outside the usual. Octopus in Boots was his idea.
Six months later we went to MoCCA where we learned our friend gets a drawing of her dog or a dog made by all of her favorite artists. The idea hooked us and our goal is to fill a sketchbook with as many artists interpretations as there are pages.
I feel pretty lucky because I was around some AMAZING artists all weekend when at the LA SCBWI National Conference. Check out what they drew!

First to make some lines were my two fabulous roommates
Diandra Mae
Diandra Mae

Angela Matteson
Angela Matteson

My favorite doodler!

Ruth McNally Barshaw

Then Ms. Kathy and Ms. Kelly my fellow conference gals.
Kathy Blackmore
Kathy Blackmore

Kelly Light
Kelly Light

Winner’s from the portfolio showcase!
Christina Forshay
Christina Forshay

John Deiniger
John Deiniger

Eliza Wheeler
Eliza Wheeler

A lovely illustrator all the way from Australia!
Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis

Yep that’s right, I asked Kadir if he would draw one for me. He was all alone at his signing table. . .
Kadir Nelson
Kadir Nelson

Another fellow conference gal!
Linda Silvestri
Linda Silvestri

The most patient illustrator I’ve met, hand building through stitching, felting, and gluing each illustration over 2 weeks to a month!
Salley Mavor
Salley Mavor

A very hip chick with the same hair cut as me and a talent for woodcut printing.
Erin O'Shea
Erin O’Shea

Thank you, you talented people you! I love my sketchbook of wonderful!