Wow – I made it!

I reached the Undiscovered Voices 2018 final lineup!

Well, firstly a big thank you to Working Partners Ltd and especially to Chris Snowden. And many, many thanks to everyone at SCBWI and especially to Sara, Sara, Patrick, Loretta and Anne-Marie (who’s helped me get my portfolio into shape!) [I’ll have to edit this post as I add in names of people whom I’ve forgotten in my excitement].

The portfolio review in preparation for the launch event was certainly an eye-opener, especially in regards to seeing the incredible work of my fellow finalists – it’s certainly humbling and rather intimidating to be in such heavy company.

What was good was to have some objective analysis of my work – and it was nice to know that there is the option to focus on my black and white work. So many of my other reviews and attempts to get agented have been about my colour work, and I’d lost sight of how I’d become sidetracked into thinking that colour picture book artwork is the be all and end all of children’s illustration.

Of course, now the real work has begun! I’m putting new drawing projects on hold as I’ve until the 22nd February to retouch the pieces that I’m having printed for a new A4 folio. It’s dawned on me that this is the first portfolio in years that hasn’t featured artwork that’s predominantly digital, so I’ve over a dozen ink drawings that I need to ensure are as crisp as possible after being scanned. I’m also having to catch up with things that I hadn’t considered, like business cards and also other social media platforms (I’m now discovering the ‘joys’ of Instagram inadequacy – that existential angst and expectation related to numbers of ‘likes’. Not helped by the fact that apparently most publishers and art directors scout talent via Instagram these days. Guess I’ll be doing more sketching).