Conference - The Illustrator's Angle #scbwicon15

There was an impressive array of activities for illustrators at the recent SCBWI Conference in Winchester, with some fantastic presenters and workshops, supported by portfolio one-to-ones, the annual Showcase exhibition, competitions and a sketch crawl. Here some attending illustrators give their experiences of the weekend. 

Illustration themed activities began in earnest the moment attendees arrived in Winchester. First up, before the Conference opened, there was a sketchcrawl around town led by Paul Morton

Conference Fringe Sketch Crawl (Report by Paul Morton)

This year saw the Friday afternoon Sketch Crawl elevated to an ‘official Conference Fringe Event’. It was well rewarded with 9 enthusiastic early arriving sketchers. We met at the Buttercross and made that our first ‘target’ whilst being entertained in the biting cold by an excellent busker.

Katherine Lynas, Clare Tovey, Mary Skertchley, Jeannie Waudby, Kate Eggleston Wirtz, Julie Wilson, Jackie East and Sally Rowe all duly arrived and so we moved on into the Museum to thaw out a little.

From the Museum to the Cathedral grounds and wonderful Christmas Market and then back to show and tell over coffee and hot mulled cider at Stable Pizza where we swapped tips on materials and made plans for the weekend.

(photos: Paul Morton)

A most pleasant and satisfying warm up to the conference proper.

Illustration Showcase

As in previous years, the opening of the Conference signalled the launch of this year's  Illustration Showcase. The Showcase is an exhibition of printed images selected from 26 SCBWI illustrators, from seasoned pros to new faces, published and unpublished. The show is now viewable online in the web gallery here! Over the year the exhibition will travel the country and go on show in various cities across the UK - planned venues so far include London (Timberyard), Newcastle (Seven Stories), Southampton and Edinburgh. Congratulations to everyone involved!
This year's Illustration Showcase once again displayed a broad range of styles. Many of the illustrators participated in selling prints, profits from which are donated to charity. (photo: Paul Morton)


As has already been reported, SCBWI welcomed some wonderful keynote speakers to the Conference who gave fascinating talks to a packed auditorium.  

Jonny Duddle keynote (photo: Paul Morton)

Illustrator Jonny Duddle was the very image of a pirate as he ran through his  swashbuckling career, opening a treasure chest of his work for children's books and film.

(photo: Paul Morton)

Not to be out-done, Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve were in characteristically flamboyant style for their joint keynote on school visits. 

(photo: Paul Morton)

But what of the Breakout Session workshops? Mike Brownlow was at one....

Comic Strip Art Workshop with Sally Kindberg (Report by Mike Brownlow)

Sally Kindberg Workshop on Comic Strip Art (photo: Anne-Marie Perks)
Below are the two pages I completed in Sally Kindberg’s Comic Strip class at the Conference. It was a great exercise which began with a fascinating trip through a selection  of Sally’s favourite cartoons.

After a bit of loosening up, we were all asked to dip into the Hat Of Wonder, and choose a piece of paper. On each piece of paper was drawn a character which we were asked to adopt.

Our neighbour then had to ask our character four questions. We drew out four rectangles and illustrated the answers as best we could. Next Sally said that now we’d all explored our character a little, we should go one step further and try to mould the answers into some sort of narrative, this time over six frames if we could manage it.

This is what I came up with, (with a bit of added blue tone.)

It was the perfect way to spend the last couple of hours of the Conference. Thanks Sally!

 Here's another comic from the same workshop, courtesy of SCBWI Ireland's Colleen Callin Jones: The Three Wise Men
Snapshots of some of the other Breakout Sessions....

Jonny Duddle again during his Q & A workshop session (photo: Anne-Marie Perks)
Picture Books, Fables and Fairies session with David Lucas (photo: Anne-Marie Perks)

The Picture Book and Illustrated Fiction Industry panel discussion (photo: Paul Morton)

The Competitions

The overall winner of the Re-Imagining Roald Dahl competition was Rikin Parekh. The prize is a free spot of Rikin's choice at an Illustrator Masterclass and an invitation to be a Featured Illustrator, time to be arranged.
Rikin's winning entry. (photo: Anne-Marie Perks)
There was a runner up to this competition at the judges request, Katie Dynes. Katie's prize is a free spot at one Illustrator Masterclass of her choice.

Katie Dyne's Runner Up submission (photo: Anne-Marie Perks)
The winner of the Best of the Portfolio Display was Alina Surnaite. Her prize was a free spot at one Illustrator Masterclass of herr choice and an invitation to Featured Illustrator, slot to be arranged. 

Alina's winning portfolio (photo: Paul Morton)
Some of the selection of portfolios (photo: Paul Morton)
 Congratulations to all the winners!

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