Setting is a powerful tool. When authors describe setting, they often use sensory descriptions and figurative language to bring out the story world. But when illustrators need to translate those descriptions, what do we do? We can’t draw how something smells or feels. Or can we?Continue reading
Working from home is the new reality for many. It’s also a privilege that I am certainly grateful for. After all, even though events have been canceled or postponed and book launches are being impacted, for a lot of us in the writing and illustrating industry, we’re likely the best equipped to work from home.
For the last three years, Emma Trithart, an L.A.-based illustrator, hand letterer, and graphic designer, has been with a digital agency that is primarily “work from home”. Just before the stay-at-home orders were announced in California, she posted her illustrated guide So You’re Working From Home (Very Specific Tips From One Person’s Individual Experience] on Instagram.
“Being used to office life, it was a bit of an adjustment… but now I love it,” Emma said. “I figured I could impart this little chunk of experience from my own life on others who might be struggling to get used to working from home.”
Whether you’ve gotten used to working from home or are still adjusting to the New Normal, here is Emma’s guide: Continue reading
New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Grace Lin won the Newbery Honor for her middle-grade novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, the Theodor Geisel Honor for her early reader Ling and Ting, and a Caldecott Honor for picture book A Big Mooncake for Little Star. Her new middle-grade novel, Mulan: Before the Sword, is an original prequel to Disney’s live-action Mulan story.
CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! On the West Coast, changes to our lives and livelihoods have been happening at an ever-increasing speed. What’s life like on the East Coast? Continue reading
by Lisa Saint
For over twenty years I have been a fine art painter, card designer, and have taught book making classes for children. But my deepest desire has been to write and illustrate children’s books. I’ve attended SCBWI conferences, workshops, and retreats – and created some nice, even well-received work. But that’s where it all stops. Jobs, family, friends, and numerous commitments continually take up my time and attention. Year after year. The sad revelation is that this pattern could go on forever.
When the most recent Illustrators Day was announced, I made a pledge to commit to my dream. I registered for the one-day conference. Gathering my 10 strongest illustrations for a mail-in portfolio review, I sent them off to be critiqued by an industry professional. Continue reading
by Jessica Chrysler
Fall brings fond memories for me. Even though I grew up in sunny Southern California, there were a few special trees in the neighborhood that would change color and drop their leaves. I’d dreamt about how endless forests of these trees would look and had read fairytales about how spirits would change the colors of the leaves. I’d wonder how they’d lived with all the other creatures in the wood, and if they would all gather into little caves, sleeping together through the long, cold winters. For a kid that never experienced the seasons, this magic seemed so real, even if just beyond my reach. But I was able to capture some of that magic when it came time for Halloween. Continue reading
Author/illustrator Cassandra Federman was born and raised in Massachusetts, where she spent her childhood reading comic books, playing action figures, drawing superheroes, and participating in all things nerdy (before that became cool). She is also the SCBWI Los Angeles 2017 Mentorship Contest winner. Her book This is a Sea Cow hits shelves on September 1, 2019. Today she’s here to share some of her recent experiences and takeaways on her path to becoming published.
SARAH PARKER-LEE: What things do you wish you’d known/learned before you started this new chapter of illustrating? Continue reading
In SCBWI-L.A.’s latest Twitter Banner Contest (a bi-annual event), illustrators were asked to submit their most creative response to our prompt: EXPLORE. The winning contestant’s artwork is featured on the Los Angeles Region SCBWI Twitter Profile until the next contest with a feature article published here on Kite Tales. Illustrator Gela Kalaitzidis won! Read on to learn more about Gela, her tips and tools, and her own illustration prompt for anyone looking for some inspiration.
By Joie Foster
You work toward a goal for ages, but when you finally achieve it, it feels like nothing more than a checkbox to be crossed off on your way to the next thing. Your sweet victory suddenly tastes so bland. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Today I’m going to share three tips to help you stop moving your creative goalposts and celebrate wins! Continue reading
By Bethany Barton
Editor’s Note: Award-winning author/illustrator Bethany Barton spends her days working in film and TV, currently in the prop department at ABC’s Black-ish. Her newest book, I’m Trying to Love Math, hits stores this July. And Bethany is not only making herself available to chat with you this Friday (3/22) for an hour beginning at 12PM, but she is ALSO SCBWI-LA’s mentor! So if you’re an illustrator or author/illustrator, you can apply to be her mentee! And no matter what you’re writing, today’s chat topic about day jobs will encourage you, make you laugh, and start a lively conversation! And now, take it away, Bethany…
I hear it all the time from authors and illustrators: “I wish I could make books full time… but for now I’m JUST (insert self-deprecating tone) a bartender/teacher/accountant/etc.”
We’re all wonderfully complex human beings and that “day job” is a part of our story….so why do we feel the need to apologize for it? Maurice Sendak did toy-store window displays. JK Rowling worked as a secretary and translator. As long as there have been authors and artists, they have had day jobs and side hustles.
And I’m here to suggest we stop apologizing for them.
Consider this a call-to-arms to embrace our day jobs and, dare I say, even celebrate them?! Here are some quick reasons why:
I’m always grateful for the community and connection that comes from being a member of SCBWI. There’s no shortage of people willing to share advice, tips, and knowledge. And lucky for us, so many in the kid lit community have shared their stories and wisdom on the Kite Tales blog.
Whenever I need a creative boost, I like to reread Kite Tales posts for nuggets of inspiration.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Kite Tales stories this year. Hopefully they’ll inspire you too as you set your 2019 writing goals. Read on and click the links to see the full posts. Continue reading