This past weekend was the annual SCBWI Winter Conference, a 3-day event, packed with speakers, panels and workshops, that brings authors and illustrators to Midtown from across the country. I’ve always wanted to go, and finally had the chance to attend the Illustrators’ Intensive by
begging offering to help out a bit.
Friday was all about children’s books and new media (more on that later), but one of the most fun perks was getting to see the showcase of illustrators that was set up for judging and industry viewing. As I tried to have fun and not to get overwhelmed by the VIP cocktails and networking, I managed to grab a few cards of my favorites.
I was pleased, but not surprised, that Leeza Hernandez (above) won the Grand Prize at the showcase. She’s super talented, and has a friendly, approachable personality to boot. But I’ve been following her work for some time, so while she deserves much congratulations, she doesn’t count on my list of “new discoveries” . . .
1. Andrea Offermann / It was so lovely to meet German illustrator Andrea Offermann, whose rich, detailed porfolio is breathtaking. Her work is perfect for older, middle-grade readers – book covers, black and white interiors, graphic novels. I won’t be surprised to see her art all over the shelves!
2. You Byun / Aww, how sweet are those characters’ faces? And look at the lush range of texture! And warmth of light! When it comes to creating worlds, You Byun has it down. And I’m seriously gushing over every single one.
3. Greg Pizzoli / Okay, this guy’s silkscreen prints are just too freaking cool. I’ve got major jealousy looking at his 32-page promotional zine, C’mon, Go!, and the hand-bound editions of his books are fine art, but could so easily be commercially reproduced. His website is most effective too, with a fun, in-depth look at his process.
4. R.S. Posnak / We designers made a beeline for R.S.’s Oliver Jeffers-esque line work and letterpress business cards (we’re too predictable). Turns out, she’s also a designer, and has an online portfolio with a healthy mix of sleek commerical projects (for adults) and vintage curios. Hello, animal dioramas!
5. Brian Gerrity / On the other end of the spectrum, Brian Gerrity’s work is made for kids. Fun, bubbly characters, with a smooth digital look, are perfect for little ones. And what a whimsical sense of pattern… you can look back at the picture again and again, and still find something new.