I have been a member of the SCBWI for a little over two years now and I just can not say enough about the local Chicago-area Illustrators Network.
It is coordinated by Terri Murphy and Janet McDonnell and they both do such a fantastic job of running the monthly meetings. Coordinating guest speakers and presenting on all different aspects of illustrating for the children's book market, it is really amazing all they do for us.
And my fellow illustrators who are all so uniquely talented and willing to share their experiences and tips and tricks along the way too. It really is a great group and I am so glad o be part of it.
This month guest speaker Jacob Grant spoke to us all about how he found his way into the industry and has since been published a few times and recently was recognized for his portfolio at the SCBWI NY Conference held earlier this year. He passed around his book dummies for Scaredy Kate and Little Bird's Bad Word - and it was so interesting to see how much of it made it into the final published books and where changes were made along the way. It was also interesting to hear a bit about his process of doing charcoal drawings of the shapes in the illustrations and then he scans them in and uses them in layers to give his illustrations a more traditional feel.
After he participated in some critiques of folks who had book dummies they brought in for input from the group. So it was great to hear his feedback along with everyone else during that process.
So if you are from the Chicago-area and interested in illustrating children's books you should consider coming to a future meeting.
I mean look who is going to be presenting in May!