Friday, August 12, 2011

Los Angeles Summer Conference was...awesome!

Hi all,

Sticking my nose in this here blog to do a quick update. This past weekend, I attended the SCBWI's 40th Annual Summer Conference her in Los Angeles and had an absolute blast. I don't have much time for a long post detailing ALL of the great stuff I learned and was inspired by, but here are a few of the key things that happened and impacted me:

1. I got to hang out with know, people that aren't one year old. Or four years old. And those adults were awesome!!! It was a like a weekend of "Author/Illustrator Housewives" mixed with "The (Kidlit) View" and "Dancing with the (Children's Publishing) Stars" all rolled into one! Here are just a FEW of the people I had fun giggling/dancing/talking shop with. Go check out their amazing art:

There are way more people that I should add to the list and there's a ton of people I really wanted to hang out with more, but never got a chance to. Sometimes, since there was a MILLION people there, a wave across a sea of people was all it could be.

2. Laurie Halse Anderson's breakout session flipped a switch in my brain when she said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Not taking the time to fulfill your dreams is teaching your children--especially your daughters--how NOT to fulfill their dreams." I never thought of it that way. She is awesome and I wish I could have a direct line to call her when I'm feeling sorry for myself or feeling "mom guilt" for time spent following my dreams. I'm seriously going to somehow hang that quote above my computer and maybe on the ceiling above my bed so I see it every morning when I wake up. I'm serious.

3. Oh, and there was this. Yes, I won an award! I was one of four picked for the "Mentorship Award". It was awesome and I'm, like, "whoa" and I'm ecstatic and even today, five days later, I'm still trying to sort through all the wonderful information and ideas that have been floating through my mind since meeting with our undeniably awesome mentors. Yes that was a total run on sentence, I know. But that's how it sounds and feels in my brain.

The big take away from the weekend is: Spending time on myself, my dreams and my craft will pay off in SO many ways not only for myself, but for my children. It is so important for all of us to nurture our God-given talents and to not stuff them away for a later date. This idea was a running theme throughout the weekend and it came up and punched me in the face quite a few times.

My main goal for next year? I need to work on not being such a chicken!!! There's no reason that I shouldn't just go up to that big art director waiting behind me in the Starbucks line (i.e. Laurent Linn) and say, "Hi! I'm Christina Forshay! An Illustrator!"

Maybe I should join Toastmasters or somethin'.

Okay, I'm rambling. Time to go!


Kelly Light said...

I didn't go to LHA's workshop- that was a huge thing for me to read. We gotta show our kids the value of following our passions. (esp girls) I was gonna join toast masters here in Long Island! I need to get better at speaking in public-and thinking fast on my feet. My pitch was so awful... I just wanted to hold up art- have to get past letting the art represent me- have to represent myself! - I can see book contracts in your near future.. many visits to NY! You'll have to let me know- so I can take you out for dinner!

Diandra Mae said...

LHA echoed something Marla Frazee said at the closing panel of the Illustrator's Intensive: "Don't feel guilty for being an Artist Mom. You'll be a better parent for it in the long run." I almost lost it right there, because it strikes right at the core of my daily dilemma.

I think we all deserve the right to pursue our passion; just think how proud our kids will be when they're older and they'll say, "My mom is an ILLUSTRATOR." :)

It was so nice to meet you and hang out for a bit! Congratulations to your very much deserved mentorship. exciting things are coming your way, I'm sure of it!

Kristi Valiant said...

Congrats on the mentorship award, Christina! I don't remember if I met you during the weekend, but I remember seeing your name. What a fabulous conference.

Christina Forshay said...

Kelly--Good for you for taking that step even do a pitch! That would scare me and I'd have to really talk myself into not chickening out. I've seriously thought about Toastmasters...I'm an introvert who wants to be an extrovert. Baby steps, I guess! I would love to visit you in NY someday! It was so great meeting you, I wish we could've hung out more.

Diandra--I feel guilty for being an artist mom pretty much every day. It sucks!!! I would've loved to hear Marla Frazee speak about being an artist mom--kinda regretting not staying for the intensives on Monday. Thanks for the congrats--I really, REALLY wasn't expecting it at ALL.

Kirsti--Thanks for the congrats! I think I was standing next to you at one point during the weekend, but I didn't get a chance to say hi because you were speaking with someone. I've been a fan of your work for a long time now.

Wish I could have visited with you ladies more. Maybe next year?

Lisa Thompson said...

Christina, I just discovered your blog today through some crazy trail of links I don't think I could replicate again. But reading the comments on this post I totally understand the mom-guilt and I am just barely starting out! Do you mind me asking a question - how have your organized your days to be able to illustrate and care for a 4 yr old and a babe? I'd really love to figure out a balance that works!!

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