Thursday night I spoke at the Willamette Writers meeting in Salem. It was a good time and I had an opportunity to meet lots of new Oregon writers and artists and discuss graphic novels.
I attended the Oregon SCBWI conference on Friday and Saturday and spoke for a bit about Graphic Novels again. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. And what do illustrators do when they get together? They sketch. I did a lot of frogs for some reason. I think I sat too close to Carolyn Conahan. She draws some great frogs (and fishes and horses, which I still don’t draw well!) and it just took over. David Billings was there, another excellent Oregon based illustrator/animator whom I hadn’t met before. If all the Oregon animators, artists and writers ever showed up at one event at one time, I think we’d fill the Rose Garden. There’s a lot of productive, talented people up here but distance and business (and giant trees and rain and Sasquatch and the threat of volcanic eruptions) keeps us from bumping onto one another too often. Less fisticuffs that way I guess.
Good speakers and reviews and critiques of work and a chance to step back and think about the bigger issues of story, plot and structure in your work. Can’t ask for more than that from a writing and illustrating conference.