In the summertime, I need to rest. I usually like to step away from the computer (and other glowing screens) and use my time to paint, write, catch up with friends, go places and look around. Sit under a really big flower. Do whatever I need to do to recharge my batteries.
One of the results of my happily splashing about in stories and paints was the image above. Part of an ongoing series, it emerged in the usual ways — cut paper, monoprint and oils ...first the character and the sketchy background:
And a few quick tests for tonal values and color choices:
And then (as it is summer), I left all methodicalness behind and waded in with my arms flailing. Trial and error, intuition, exploration— a great pleasure, but they are things that I sometimes can't afford when the meter's running and the deadline's looming. Of course the result is never guaranteed, but I liked this one so much I made it into postcards:
Just in time, too—I wanted to mail them out and give them to people I see at events. Which brings me to the SCBWI Conference: the other thing I do to recharge my batteries in the summer. I went to my first one out of curiosity a year ago — with unexpected, life-changing results! And ever since then, I've been going every chance I get. Each time I come away exhausted, happy and inspired—seeing old friends and new, questions/answers/feedback swirling around. Learning learning learning! And above all, the workshops and the talks leave me motivated, stimulated, challenged, and encouraged. And apparently incapable of choosing a single adjective.
My batteries are now recharged — bring it on!!
PS. You can read more about it on this piece from today's Publishers Weekly, and on the SCBWI Blog (don't miss the clip from the gala party — thousands of illustrators and writers poolside, celebrating Tomie de Paola's birthday!) ... and especially on the SCBWI Conference Blog (where you can find quotes and photos). Enjoy.