Friday, January 28, 2011

PART 1: BEYOND BOOKS: Picture Books and The New Media, SCBWI Winter Conference

Today I attended the 12th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC aptly named BEYOND BOOKS: Picture Books and The New Media.
Here are my notes and related links for fellow children's book enthusiasts who are interested in participating in the revolutionary changes taking place in children's publishing.

First of all, let me THANK all the organizers for creating an inspiring day!


Dan gave a funny presentation about the history of the book from stone to tablet with photoshopped Richard Scary illustrations of lions reading with ipads. He predicts the next step will be the E-helmet.

He showed the audience Alice for the iPad, and said: "This changed everything!"

*Keep your website simple and easy to navigate with lots of white space.
*Promote the work you want to do, don't send out a promotion with an illustration style you don't want to do.
*Dan says a simple postcard can still do the trick because art directors tend to tack up what they like and an email is fleeting. "You will always find your audience."
*No matter what the future holds beyond books, Focus on character & story,
*He talked about taking the characters into the toy realm and extending your brand in other platforms. Most toys only come after a book has sold well.
Showed us this book trailer for Jaques Cousteau he made in iMovie.

Yaccarino hasn't created an APP yet, but is "excited about exploring the possibilities."
Dan has created some fantastic characters for animation including Willa's Wild Life (the idea came from one one his picture books), Oswald and The Backyardigans. Because he already works in animation, when he does produce an APP, I bet it will be really special!
You can follow Dan Yaccarino on facebook.

Suzanne Cruise & Penny Sikalis, moderated by Priscilla Burns

Penny Sikalis & Suzanne Cruise both talked about the value of attending SURTEX, a trade show that focuses on selling and licensing original art & design.
You can sign up for their ON THE SURFACE NEWSLETTER here.

*TARGET is the trendsetter for mass market
*Most manufacturers will do the repeat pattern for you for gift wrap etc
*you need at least 24 designs to get a licensing agent
*designs should be in groups with 2-4 characters per group with related colors and patterns

They both suggested walking SURTEX or NEW YORK GIFT SHOW to get an idea of what is out there and how work is presented to potential clients. They also suggested not approaching licensing agents while they are doing business with clients during the show.

You can see Suzanne Cruise Creative Services website here.

Predictions of future trends, article BETTER YEARS AHEAD by Penny Sikalis
LinkedIn Licensing Group

PART 2: APPS (to follow)

Saturday, January 22, 2011


While I was wandering around the web, WASTING TIME WITH JOY ON TWITTER,
I found: It's Nice That. Who?

"It’s Nice That curate, publish and direct the finest work and practitioners from across the creative industry, online, in print and across a series of events. Future:Content, the first It’s Nice That conference, is a one-day event looking at how we engage with, present, and define content across a number of platforms. Future:Content will offer the opinions of industry specialists and will aim to provoke debate and dialogue between audience and speaker with the hope of sparking further conversation across the industry."

While I was reading their #future:content twitter stream last November, I saw THIS fabulous PLAY MANIFESTO slide (author unknown) via a twitpic from @ivanpope who was tweeting from the event.


We demand the right to make spaces in our life where we can:






Yea, more of that please. It's 2011. Sign me up.
And why not?
We all know how important play is for the healthy development of kids, right?

You can see the slide presentation: PLAY & IMAGINATION by Milda Bredikyte here.

 On his BLOG, Henry Jenkins interviews John Seely Brown & Douglas Thomas about their new book, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. He asks, "what would need to change for formal education to fully grasp and embrace the value of play?" Here's what they said:

"There are two critical things to realize. First, play is not trivial, frivolous or non-serious, in fact, quite the opposite. Play can be the place where we do our most serious learning. And second, it is something we do all the time. When we explore, we play. When we experiment, we play. When we tinker or fiddle, we play. Science is play. Art is play. Life, to a great extent, is play. Every great invention of the past hundred years has had an element of play in its creation. So we are using the word in a very deep and serious way. A big influence on our work was Johan Huizinga's book Homo Ludens, which goes so far as to make the argument that culture grew out of play, not the other way around. So, from Huizinga's perspective play is the most basic and most human part of us."

Listen to John Seely Brown talk about the importance of inspiring kids to CREATE & PLAY WITH KNOWLEDGE.

Play is just as important for adults as it is for kids.
We need to give ourselves permission to play more. We need to challenge what Henry Jenkins calls, "a puritan work ethic which distrusts play." Playing gives us room to explore our imagination and imagination leads to creativity, and creativity can change lives.

Jane McGonigal believes we can tackle the problems facing our world by PLAYING GAMES that are made to harness our COLLECTIVE CREATIVITY and affect social change. And she's pretty darn smart. Watch her TED TALK:

And listen to Steve Krell define THE PLAY REVOLUTION (for adults) and how it can change our world.

Maybe if we all PLAY MORE, we can IGNITE our collective imagination, create and collaborate to get this world out of the colossal mess we appear to be in.

Who's with us?

It's time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011



FACT: When women & girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

Watch this:

For more information, visit the girl effect on FACEBOOK, the girl effect on the web, the girl effect YOU TUBE channel and the girl effect on twitter.

And here's a great post on Geronimocoaching's Blog titled EXPERIENCE THE GIRL EFFECT HERE AND NOW! Well worth the read.