Picture Books at Blackheath

Banksia in the snow
On Saturday I attended the Picture Books at BlackHeath workshop run by Margaret Hamilton and Dee Huxley.  Margaret, who is an illustrator and retired from owning her own publishing company, MargaretHamiltonBooks, and Dee who is also an illustrator both provided a huge wealth of experience to learn and inspire from.
Margaret talked about the author and publisher’s side of picture books, whereas Dee talked about the illustrator’s side.  Dee re-iterated what I have been previously learning through Franki’s course, but she also showed her amazing portfolio of completed artwork and a variety of design sketches which helped to better understand what publishers are expecting to see from an illustrator and their own portfolios.  However, it was interesting to hear from Margaret the other side of the process with which the authors go through, and then the general collaboration between the author, publisher and illustrator which is all valuable knowledge to know.  Margaret also showed some manuscripts that she had from which she previously published, which were great to see for which starts the ball rolling to create the picture book.  So now the bigger picture can be seen of how a picture book is created from initial manuscript idea through to final artwork.  It seems an amazing exciting venture.
At the end of the day is ‘show and tell’.  I showed my portfolio.  I was happy to receive some laughs from my Possum cartoons, and the feedback that Dee provided has confirmed the direction with which I need to focus on. 
Whilst we were there, it snowed.  Yes, snowed!  And in Australia’s Spring time!  So when looking out the window at lunch break I saw a Banksia in the garden which quickly gave me the inspiration to create the above image of a Banksia in the snow, which is the wrong extreme for this plant, as it requires a bush fire to happen before the fruit will appear!

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