The Fall Folio Feast of the Maine Illustrators’ Collective went off without a hitch. About 42 illustrators and 15 art buyers attended and enjoyed casual company, fabulous food and a super speaker.
Melissa Sweet spoke about the process of creating her marvelous book Carmine: A little more red. She talked about carving out studio time as a building block in her day. She goes into her studio each day and makes it a standing committment. If she draws, or naps, or reads, or organizes her papers, at least she is in there and allowing the process to work. I loved seeing her early character sketches for Carmine, Grandma, and Rufus the dog. Her power point presentation was great and she used a technique that made it look as if she was turning the pages of her book. Sooo cool. I’d love to learn that. It was a relief to me and many other artists in the room when she explained that she completes work in the early part of the day and says, “Wow, this is pretty good.” Then she goes back at various later times through the day and revises and critiques her own work. She is sure that it looks worse and worse to her throughout the day until she is sure, by dinner, that she will never create anything good again.
In addition to the buyers who had pre-registered: Houghton, Candlewick, Charlesbridge, Sundance, Islandport Press, Family Fun, Curious City Books, Dinardo Design, and Montgomery Design, we also had a few who just showed up. Ronnie Sellers Productions and Palomar Medical. Of course, everyone wants more art buyers for next year and I’ll work at that. The best promoters are the people who were there, so talk it up! I hope all the art buyers would just tell one more art director, editor or creative director to come. Then we’d double the buyers!
As far as participants– we had a talented and interesting bunch of illustrators from various fields including children’s, medical, editorial, and gift and stationary. We will not increase the size of the event in this respect. Forty seemed just right. More portfolios would be a little overwhelming. This means you all need to watch the mail for the Fall Folio Feast 2007 information. And if artists who were there get jobs from the event, please alert me so I can use your story in the promotional materials for next year!
The day after is a little bittersweet. I spend six months or more of my year coordinating the event and then it is over so fast. A little like a wedding I suppose. More about my portfolio feedback and next steps tomorrow.