Monday, February 10, 2020


As part of my "be a proactive creative" goals this year, I had the opportunity to attend the first 2020 SCBWI QLD meetup on Sunday. My motivations were mostly to observe but ever the helpful type, I offered my technological assistance after a callout was made for it in the newsletter.

It's amazing what you can do with an iPad these days, they've come a long way since my first iPad 2 all those years ago. We recorded the entire thirty minute interview between ARA and Sunshine Coast Coordinator, Ali Stegert, and the University of Queensland Press children's editor, Clair Hume, with a very humble setup.

I think it's a great idea to take advantage of the accessibility of the internet in these situations, as it helps get the content out to regional members across the state who cannot be there in person. It is my hope that someone, or several someones, find it useful.

Tech aside, as an illustrator in attendance, events like these can be extremely interesting and useful in getting to know faces and processes from a singular perspective. This understanding goes a long way in collaborative work.

I am a tactile learner and I benefit from both experience as well as empathy when collaborating with others. Therefore it makes sense for me to push social insecurity aside for a while, and just get as much hands on experience and exposure as possible. Meet people, do things, go to events and learn. It enhances awareness and can make the process a lot less frustrating, especially when it's a drawn out process such as working on a film or a book.

Ali did a great job as interviewer, asking questions that pertained to authorship, illustration and publication, and Clair shared her experience and knowledge with confidence and warmth to the crowded little meeting room. A video of the interview will be available to members through SCBWI QLD and details of its location will be shared when available.

As the technological side of things is a new adventure for most of those involved, we didn't record the panel this time (baby steps please). It was an enjoyable and informative talk, however, led by our Brisbane Coordinator, Jacqui Haplin, with the topic for discussion being book launch experience and how-tos from local authors Angela Sunde, Karen Tyrrell, Taryn Bashford and Dave Lowe.

And for myself, it came hot on the heels of a podcast I recently listened to at Three Point Perspective (see link below), so I found it quite fascinating to listen to the different views on planning and timelines. I highly recommend this podcast as, while being American-based, the people who create it are some extremely talented author/illustrator people in their own right.

Side note: they also have an online learning resource called SVS Learn which is fantastic for both the amateur as well as experienced illustrator to draw knowledge from and is quite reasonably priced.

During the panel discussion and mini-workshop I even got time to do some sketching, because when among like minds that tends to happen. A work in progress, of course, I had been inspired from the interview in regards to a question around subject matter that Ms. Hume might be interested in looking at.

She expressed interest in stories about rural and indigenous children and it reminded me of my late father who grew up an only child and was moved about various regional and rural towns for most of his youth.

Speaking of my own art, at the next Brisbane meetup (May 24, same time, same place), I will be sharing some work in the new Illustrator Spotlight. This feels a tad awkward given that I am not actually published, but I am more than happy to shed light on my own experiences which have helped me grow as an artist in general.

There's nothing I like more these days than being involved and collaborating with others to create entertaining, inspiring, fun and creative projects and events for others to enjoy as well. Big thanks to Ali and Jacqui for organising, as well as the guests and members who attended.

If you are a local children's or young adult author/illustrator, aspiring or experienced, and you haven't joined SCBWI yet, I encourage you to look into it, as it may just offer up opportunities for your future. Be brave and come along to a meetup some time!

Useful links:

SCBWI QLD Facebook
SCBWI membership
University of Queensland Press
How to Launch a Book - Three Point Perspective podcast
SVS Learn

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