I'm a member of SCBWI, an awesome organization in the children's book publishing world. If you are trying to break into kid's lit, as I am, then this community of artists, creators and gate keepers is an incredible resource. I have been to a number of SCBWI events including an info session about Twitter Queries at the insanely cute River House Books in Carmel (incidentally this was the meeting where I first met my idol Eve Bunting, the Irish-American queen of children's literature), Illustrator's Day 2019 in San Francisco (where I had an extremely helpful & encouraging critique with Susan Gal AND met my favorite illustration professor of all time Julie Downing), and the 2020 Summer Spectacular. Please excuse all the hyperlinks in this post- it's becoming clear that I should probably write a few posts just on how fantastic SCBWI is!
Anyway, SCBWI has a few ongoing contests and opportunities that kid's lit creators can take advantage of. The illustration in this post is the for Art Spot and Bulletin submission. These spot illustrations head articles about all kinds of content including legal news in the Children's Literature world, advice on how to create beautiful illustrations and so on. I came up with "Bunny Journalism" to hopefully head the "News & Notes" section.
I'd like to do a shout out to Lee White, one of the illustration instructors on SVS Learn and the fellow who inspired me to look into doing art contests. SVS Learn is another organization that I'm a member of and focuses pretty much exclusively on developing the skills of illustrators in visual storytelling, with an emphasis on children's books. Along with Will Terry and Jake Parker (of Bonaparte and Inktober fame respectively) he hosts the podcast 3 Point Perspective. This is an amazing podcast, full of PRACTICAL knowledge about how to structure your career, work flow, the psychological challenges of being a working artist, etc. One of the development tools that Lee is always talking about is how important it is to enter art contests. Believe it or not, this is not something I had thought of doing. I thought, "meh, I'll just work on my own projects and query and see what comes of that." Fast forward a few months and I constantly find myself at loose ends between projects and casting around for topics to do portfolio pieces on. So I thought I would take Lee White up on his advice and behold! Art contests are so awesome! They give me a deadline (yesssss), a specific topic (thank you), a ready made goal (TO WIN!) and a resolution on that goal (rejection or glory). So thanks to Lee White and the SVS Learn crew for such helpful advice and thanks to SCBWI for offering the opportunity to apply for a bite sized contest. "Bunny Journalism" was fun to make and another positive stepping stone.