SCBWI and Stories Unbound


Elephant March

At the beginning of my journey into the world of Illustration, I didn't really know where to begin. I had spent the last several years getting savvy with the animation world, how to connect with other animation artists and even giving advice to younger artists taking their first steps in the animation world after graduating.

Then suddenly, I felt like I was just graduating! I had some skills that I'd picked up along the way as a character designer and art director but I had no idea how or where to use them!

When I moved from London to Canada in early 2016, I pledged to myself that I would make more time to figure out how I was going to start this illustration thing.

Through listening to many podcasts on iTunes, I came across the Stories Unbound podcast, via the Oatley Academy. I was familiar with Chris Oatley's site and ArtCast from working as a character designer but it seemed I had missed Shawna JC Tenney's one! It was, and still is, a fountain of knowledge and inspiration for me starting out in this new world.

It was through Shawna's podcast, that I first heard the letters S-C-B-W-I.

What the what?!

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is a one stop shop for everything children's book illustration! Shortly after I heard of the organisation, I Googled them to see if there was a group in my area. Lo and behold, there was a meeting in a few weeks time, in my city!

So I went along with some of my early 'What's In The Box?' artwork and the reception I got was one of great generosity and positivity! The group were kind enough to look through my work and encouraged me to send it off as soon as possible!

But I didn't...

It was great to have that boost of confidence from artists and writers who had been in the industry for some time but I still wanted to take some time to finish off my dummy book and create more art for my illustration portfolio, to create something separate from my character design portfolio.

So that is what I have been doing over the last few months.

With the resources provided on the SCBWI website and in 'THE BOOK' I was able to find the answers to all my questions (or a lot of them). I even sent out my very first submission to a real life agent last week >.<

It's been great taking part in the competitions and hashtags SCBWI promote through social media and their website.

Today I sent off my first entry into the #SCBWIDrawThis competition! The prompt given was 'MARCH'.

See image at top of this post!