Thursday, February 13, 2020

So, I Recently Talked to Jimmy Fallon.


First, a big thank you to everyone for their support and well wishes on my trip to New York City. Though my flight, and first Uber experiences left something to be desired, the conference itself was amazing. I did not sign a million dollar contract, (bummer) but gained invaluable information on the business of writing and illustrating for children. I also rubbed elbows (quite literally because the place was crowded) with big names in the industry. Surreal.

My first break-out session was to pitch a book idea to two agents in front of about 40 other hopefuls. I am told that Arthur Levine, JK Rowling's editor, was seated in the back of the room. Thankfully, I did not know that at the time. Holy Cow!!! I am awaiting his call. :)

I'm not gonna lie. The trip was scary. Way out of my comfort zone. But in the words of the great Will Smith - "God places the best things in life on the other side of terror." I am so glad I went.

The day before the conference started, I had a few hours to sight-see with my daughter Louisa. (We made it to Times Square together, Baby Girl!) Thank you to my niece, Tara for showing her the rest of the hot spots!


Louisa and I also toured Madame Tussaud's wax museum. For anyone who thought that was the real Jimmy Fallon - sorry. I lied. But someday . . . after Mr. Levine calls. . . . who knows?

So now, it's back to the drawing board. Time to get some more submissions out there, and start my next projects!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Brochure

Here's the interior of my brochure, highlighting my three completed manuscripts.
Below is the other side (image on the right is the front of the brochure):

I doubt if I'll be posting again until after the conference. I'll let you know how it all goes!
As promised, I added to my website, the contents of the portfolio I'm taking with me. You can link to it here: tracyonoz.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Getting Ready for the Big Apple!


      Just three weeks to go, and I'll be leaving for New York City! I've wanted to attend the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) National Conference for years. In April I made up my mind, so with the help of weekly goal setting and daily to-do lists, I'm making it happen!
     My postcards (shown above) are printed. The dummy book for my manuscript The First Pearl has been updated. My portfolio is very nearly complete, down to choosing the last pieces to include. I'll be updating my website within the next couple of weeks to share my choices.
     I'm currently working on a brochure that highlights three of my manuscripts, and hoping to slip it into the hands of any interested agents, editors, and publishers. Cross your fingers for me! I plan to share the brochure with you next Wednesday.
   
     I'm still doing my sketch practice on a somewhat daily basis. Here's a couple of my recent favorites:



See you next Wednesday!


   

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Drawing Practice


     Hi! So far so good with my commitment to practice in the new year! (It's only been a week, Tracy. Don't get too excited.) Among my other projects, I try to set aside an hour or so of practice as a jump start to my day. I'm currently using three books.

This one I borrowed from the library:


An oldie but a goodie. Thank you Mr. Loomis. (And thank you, Misty, for recommending him.) The only thing out of style is the hair-dos.


This one is from my own bookshelf:


This is where I'm getting the faces I'm practicing but as I draw I'm applying the things I'm reviewing in Mr. Loomis's book regarding the understructure.


At the same time I'm working on the realistic, I'm coming at another angle with this, also from my own bookshelf:


An example of my practice: 


And below is an example of what I mean by trying to not just draw but to learn from what I draw.
I drew the first two in a realistic manner. Each of the images takes me probably 10 to 15 minutes.


Then, after playing with some sketches from the cartoon book, I turned around and did this in just a few minutes:


Learning.



Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year from Serenity


     Hello, hello! I'll start by saying how blessed I am with family and friends and beautiful moments throughout the holiday season. But, now that the decorations are packed away, I am grateful to see my life return to normal. I'm getting my mind back into author/illustrator mode and getting ready for the New York City SCBWI conference in February!
     I did well with 2019 goals. I finished 12 illustrations for a calendar (most all of them posted on this blog), I finished a children's chapter book manuscript and designed the cover, and I signed up for that conference! 
     Time to move on to my 2020 goals, and the only one I really have (besides sharing more often on my blog) is to keep moving forward. There are projects I could mention that I want to finish, and projects I want to start. But 2020 is about learning and improving. My main objective for the conference, besides being "discovered" and signing a book deal worth millions, is to soak up information that can improve all I'm doing. (And hopefully make a few new friends).
     The image I shared is my character Serenity and her frog. (I don't have a name for the frog, so if anyone has a good suggestion, I'm open to it.) The character study page isn't bad but if you follow this blog you know I like to redo things, and then redo them again, and maybe even again. You'll probably see the above image (redone) somewhere down the line. It's all about growing. Life's a journey, folks! And I feel blessed to be on this one.
    
 I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2020!
     

Monday, November 18, 2019

Afraid of the Dark

 

   
     I've been working hard at getting my portfolio ready for the SCBWI conference in February. I've kept a couple of articles, I've stumbled upon over the years, on the best things to include in a portfolio for children's illustration. A piece with monsters was recommended, and what do you know? I had one of those from January of 2016. I just thought it needed a little spit-shine, as my skills, (in my humble opinion) have improved somewhat since then. Here's the old one.


Here's a link to the original post.