I have now been focusing on illustration for just over two years. I look back at the portfolio I submitted at the first KidLitVic 2016 and am so grateful for the feedback, and encouragement, I received from Suzanne O’Sullivan (Hachette). The following year I returned with a new portfolio under my arm, a better understanding of what to expect during the conference, and a second portfolio assessment, this time with Maryann Ballantyne (Black Dog).
With my debut picture book as an illustrator published, I built on the invaluable feedback from 2017 and felt that this year I had a folio that is beginning to show that I am an illustrator and not some imposter.
After registering and signing in my precious red portfolio, there was time to briefly chat with old friends, smile at familiar faces and quickly glance at some of the amazing illustration portfolios. Then it was time to find my posse for the ‘Welcome and Introduction’ by Coral Vass and the brilliant Leigh Hobbs. He was funny, honest, encouraging and brilliant! (I know I said that already but LEIGH HOBBS!)
The first panel ‘What to expect when you are expecting’ (a book baby that is) covered topics such as the collaboration and relationships between the publisher, author and illustrator. How the illustration process works and emphasised the need for authors, and illustrators, to trust that the publisher, editor, sales & marketing team, are all there to maximise the success of a book. It also briefly touched on payment types and how many books make it through to the acquisition process.