Oh my goodness oh my goodness! I cannot believe that I am a mentee! For those of you who aren't sure exactly what this means (this includes you, Great Auntie Alma) I thought I'd share specifically how neat this is. (Pssst. It's pretty neat!)
I submitted my portfolio to the annual portfolio showcase. I remember just before entering the showcase I saw the editors, agents, and art directors looking around at the portfolios on the patio. It was pretty intimidating. Somebody turned to me and told me they were nervous about the competition. I told them that I wasn't. I wasn't going to win. Last year there were two Disney concept artists at the showcase, whose work was salivatingly beautiful, and they didn't win. There were too many talented people this year to even think I would be in the running. So I was in complete shock when they called my name. To be honest, I'm still pretty shocked.
|Lots and lots of portfolios - Photo taken by Laurent Linn|
|All the tiny people - Photo taken by Candace Camling|
Here are my fellow Mentees and their websites. (Prepare to salivate.)
|K-Fai Steel, Molly Ruttan, Nicholas Huong, Anne Berry, Me, & Kisoo Chai|
|(She also won an Honor Award for her Porfolio.)|
The the best part of the award is that we got to be mentored by these industry giants:
Brenda Bowen - Agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Inc. She represents a lot of movers and shakers in the publishing world including Rosemary Wells and Hilary Knight.
Peter Brown - Author & Illustrator of 7 books that are loaded with awards including the Caldecott Honor he got for his illustrations for Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds.
Pat Cummings - Author/Illustrator of over 30 books that are smattered with a variety of awards. She is a professor at Parsons and Pratt and has so much insight in the craft and process of creating children's books.
Paul O. Zelinsky - Author/Illustrator creating over 30 books, winning many awards including a Caldecott for his Rapunzel book, and has also received 3 Caldecott Honors.
So we had the privilege of being critiqued and to received personal career advice individually and as a group by our 6 mentors. I basically wrote a novel of notes and have a big fat "To Do" list. I feel super blessed to have received such a wonderful opportunity. There have been several Mentees, from the past, that had careers launched from this award. So hopefully I can capitolize on the momentum of this. I feel like my compass is now pointing to true north, thanks to this lovely experience.
|Kisoo Chai, Nicholas Huong, Me, Molly Ruttan, Anne Berry, Priscilla Burris, Laurent Linn, K-Fai Steele, Pat Cummings, & Paul O. Zelinsky. (Peter Brown and Brenda Bowen were signing books.)|
...and there was much rejoicing!