Bologna gets the spring fever going, for kids book people at least.
Publishers are gathering dummies, books, figures and worrying about flights and stands, illustrators might be polishing off a final pic to show, the Italian fair organizers are doing their best to keep calm and organized...
I'm off on Saturday from Paris, to meet SCBWI Bologna keynote speaker and friend Leonard Marcus off his NY plane. I'll be carrying a pile of stuff for the SCBWI Symposium on Monday, as well as a few books and illustrations for my own showcase at the SCBWI Stand (Hall 26, stand A 66) on Tuesday from 1-2pm.
Still caught up with SCBWI emails and powerpoints, so haven't finished my story roughs I was hoping to show.
So hard to get the balance right but when you've been dubbed International Illustrator Liaison you can't procrastinate. I have to think about the group first - a lot of expectations to fulfill the day before the fair opens, moderating panels, helping it go smoothly as possible. And there's an incredible energy in a group of creative people planning together online from many corners across the world, and then converging or a day's conference and a night in the old town.
Then comes the Fair, and work for the SCBWI stand. Last but NOT least, I tell myself, my own work for my own Showcase. I have some cards, and books to show. Do I need to put a small portfolio together at this point? Do I have time? Will I have the energy to paint with my favourite gouaches in the Duelling illustrator event at 3pm ? And where to go next? Well I want to see Shaun Tan at the Illustrators Café at 4pm for a start.
The Fair is first and foremost for publisher to sell co-editions of their books to other countries. I've never been one to push my stuff. Some people manage to do that so well. But it's painful to see young illustrators hugging portfolios like camp beds, looking in vain for a shelter. But who knows what I'll see and who I'll run into? I'm looking forward to exploring Korea and China and Slovakia and....And I can't wait to see the final mock-up of the book I've just done for Bloomsbury. Here's to them selling lots of co-editions of Mini Racer -a whacky race with an ecological twist.
Here's the final final rough cover with a better road colour and another spread.