More from AFCC

There was much happening on Day 2 of AFCC, with Shaun Tan skyping in from Australia being hugely popular. The country of focus this year is Japan and there were many beautiful presentations from this delegation. For me though it was super to see my SCBWI partners in crime Holly Thompson and Avery Udagowa – although we barely shared two or three words through the whole festival. A huge delight was to discover the programmes in Japan that are being delivering to babies, as well as the information about intricate Japanese picture books. The Japanese delegation have also provided a beautiful selection of picture book art that is hanging in one of the exhibition areas here at the library. I spent quite a while looking over all the beautiful art (there weren’t a lot of people around so that was super. I could just look!)

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan

My session this afternoon was another SCBWI favourite – First Looks, where the panelists and the moderator (me) discuss a series of related images submitted by illustrator, often from a book under development … and as the name implies these have not been seen before. This is an invaluable session for illustrators – especially as many are beginning the long and winding illustrator road, and for authors too it is invaluable to hear how an illustrator approaches and develops their work. Today we completed 7 sets (some years there are more and I don’t know how you ever get through more than this Kathleen) so here is the take home from this session:

  • composition; white space, full colour, can both work together – sometimes, rarely;
  • colour or black and white – depends on the text, difficult to do both in the one;
  • positioning and balance – critical to the flow of the work;
  • establish the character early in the art;
  • take care with mixing styles;
  • work styled like Mo Willem’s Knuffle Bunny books is great but it has to be of the highest of quality – the photoshop needs to be as precise as the art;
  • see the hero in the image;
  • placement of text on the page and stylised/handrawn text – the text will tell you which to choose;
  • and try different styles according to what the story tells you – the one that you will eventually choose will shout at you.

And then there was the SCBWI dinner gathering. What a superlative night feasting with SCBWI folk who are attending AFCC. Members from all over Asia (and a bit further afield) are here and I was able to shimmy around and talk to many over the chorus of ricochetting voices in the restaurant. We occupied the whole room so we could be as loud as we liked – although folks did respond to the Oi! when required for silent attention!! It really is a thrill to meet so many and just to talk about kids books and our crazy lives.

And did I mention that we had a bit of a feast too?

Leave a comment