Earlier this month, I was able to attend the International SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, CA. It was my 2nd time attending the conference in LA and, as usual, it did not disappoint!  I returned home inspired, encouraged, and excited about creating new work and finishing up projects I have pushed back for far too long. The long weekend was filled with presentations, speeches, and panels with some of the best-of-the-best people in the children’s book publishing world. Here are a few of the highlights:

Wonderful opening keynote from illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton, talking about the need for diverse children’s books.

Wonderful breakout session with Rubin Pfeffer, learning about Picture Book dummies.

Standing with my portfolio at my favorite part of the conference… the Portfolio Showcase! I am always amazed by the range of styles and amount of talent while looking through portfolios. Art directors and agents are allowed to view all the portfolios before everyone else. Most illustrators include business cards or promotional postcards for industry professionals to pick up during the showcase.

SCBWI Silver Linings Gala


My favorite illustrator, LeUyen Pham, took time to sketch me during the book signing event. She is amazing!

So glad I was able to meet LeUyen Pham.

Figure Drawing with Ramon Hurtado during the Illustrator’s Intensive.

Learned so much from LeUyen during her Illustrator’s Intensive presentation on Character Design.

I returned home to Alabama with many new ideas and can’t wait to get back to work on my portfolio utilizing everything I have learned during this amazing conference weekend! Stay Tuned for new illustrations!