Want to be a children's writer or illustrator, or both? Drive, fly, bike, or blast off to a SCBWI conference. The recent conference for the Western Washington Chapter was out of this world! Wait no, it was really in Redmond, Washington. But I felt transported to another planet for two whole days. I spent the first day with David Wiesner and a fabulous group of aspiring illustrators, like me. We brought along a character sketch and our favorite medium. My character was a little greyhound I'd been playing around with, seen here, and my bin of colored markers and a fountain pen.
We made clay models. Note to self: skinny legged dogs don't stand well with soft clay. So I made my model lay flat out. I embraced the simple shapes created in clay, letting go of my drawn image. See the first pen drawing above. How fabulous to have a model I could hold in my hand and turn around. Since the feet were like glue dots, it got me wondering, what if this character could stick to anything? Where would he go? All of a sudden, he could scale brick walls like super hero. Race down telephone poles like a squirrel, and how about outer space? No problem-o! Somehow he also acquired spots. Spots just appeared out of the blue, well, blue ink pen that is, so no erasing. A great challenge I like to give myself. This character is going to find new places to climb. Trees, ferris wheels, the flag pole.What a great way to stretch my mind and mine stories by creating character.
Thanks for a great day, David Wiesner! And a great conference Western Washington SCBWI!