SCBWI NYC: Tomie dePaola Takes the Cake!

Tomie looks hungry.
Akiko's winning 'cakilstration.'

No, really

After learning that she was chosen as 2014's Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award winner Akiko White did what any Cakelstrator would do. She baked and illustrated Tomie a cake! And look at me, the official cake cutter!

Akiko was one of the many talented illustrators I met at this years Winter SCBWI Conference in New York. And as with every conference the community that is formed within a small amount of time ads to my arsenal of friendships that I will cherish and continue to cultivate for years to come.

Lin Oliver, Tomie DePaola and myself pose for a candid.

It's about community. 

The talent is abundant, but the most amazing thing is the grass roots sense of community this organization practices. Whether it's your first conference or you're a published veteran, you are welcomed and encouraged.

Tomie dePaola has probably set the grandest example of this. I had the rare opportunity to spend an evening with him. And, he couldn't have been more personable and supportive if he were my own father (not that I'm dissing you daddy)! His passion for life, creativity and genuine love of his craft was evident in his bubbly laugh, his smile and the big wonderful bear hugs, of which I got two! Oh, I suppose there was the interview with Pricilla Burris regarding his 60 some odd year career. 

In addition to Tomie's insight to our craft, other highlights included the evening portfolio showcase and several break out sessions and keynote speakers. To get the best reviews, highlights of each session are available on the Official SCBWI Conference Blog.   Can't wait for Los Angeles. 

Rachel Hamby, me, Connie Krebs
SCBWI's Inland Northwest Representatives
My amazing mentors, David Diaz and E.B. Lewis with Pricilla Burris speaking at the Illustrator's social.


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