Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2021 Virtual Fall Conference – Illustrator Track

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Illustration Track

The Illustration Track will be led by Patti Ann Harris. As Creative Directive at Scholastic Inc., Patti oversees the art and design for Orchard Books and the Cartwheel Books imprints. With more than twenty-five years’ experience designing children’s books, she has worked on many award-winning titles spanning a wide variety of formats, including novelty and interactive books for preschoolers and Caldecott Award–winning picture books. Patti Ann enjoys mentoring newcomers to the field as much as collaborating with the many talented and experienced illustrators and authors she’s had the pleasure of working with over the years.


Patti Ann will lead attendees in two craft-intensive, hands-on workshops:


Creating Memorable Picture Book Characters

As illustrators, how do we convey an emotional connection with our readers through the picture book characters we create? In this workshop, participants will be given a choice of 2 manuscripts as a source of inspiration to begin to explore their own paths to that solution. Sketches of two scenes from that manuscript (featuring a character) will be submitted prior to our meeting and feedback will be shared to the sketches. One of these sketches will be taken to final art, which brought to our workshop for a group critique.  This assignment will also be used in the second workshop. More information about the assignment here.  A presentation and Q&A will follow the group critique


Pacing and Page Turns in Picture Books

Picture books can be seen as a form of dramatic art. Like the storyboards that are utilized in animation, the spreads of a picture book move the story forward through their visual action. Using the same assignment mentioned above, in this workshop, we will explore the importance of sequencing and how establishing a rhythm between the pages of the book can enhance the action of the story. Again, more information about this assignment may be found here. A presentation and Q&A will follow the group critique.

But wait…there’s more! Live one-on-one Critiques

As an exciting bonus, Patti Ann is offering a limited number of critiques. Add one to your registration before they sell out! You’ll submit your portfolio by September 17th (the day before the conference) and then meet with Patti Ann on Zoom for a one-on-one look at your work. Critiques will be scheduled the day of or the week after the retreat. Critique submissions must be submitted to by September 17, 2021.