Tomorrow I get to wake up bright and early (like I have just about every morning since Small Fry was born) and head down to the Mid-south Regional conference for SCBWI which happily always takes place in Nashville. I was just going through my portfolio, updating it, adding new images, and I remembered how at last year's conference I had the critique that really set me on a new path with my work. A year ago my portfolio had some strong pieces but also a lot with a more "pastel" look that I learned just doesn't catch the eye of editors in the book publishing world. I was doing fine getting educational and institutional jobs with these but, as I stated when I started this blog, I learned I was going to have to step it up a notch and really put some drama in my images. Over this year I have discovered that this is VERY HARD TO DO. Especially when I'm on a wicked tight deadline. But I am happy to report as flipped through my updated portfolio that I can see a marked increase in drama this year. All the images have more movement, more detail, and bold contrast, gone is the pastel look. Of course I have yet to see if the art director at this year's conference notices this, and since she won't have seen last year's work she won't see an improvement, but for the moment I am happy with myself to see the difference.
In other news, looks like Sprout won in my reader's poll for baby sister's new name! While I got a few e-mails emphatically making the case for their vote I have to say this is a democratic blog when I want it to be, so Sprout it is.