In anticipation of Wisconsin's SCBWI Fall Conference, we've put together an interview series as a way to meet the people behind this year's presentations and breakout sessions.
Today I'm spotlighting Andrea Skyberg, an author, illustrator, and artist educator who has a unique method for creating her picture books–collaborating with students to illustrate and sometimes write the story. She has worked with over 15,000 students in the last six years visiting schools around the Midwest. Her books CommuniTree, Squircle, and Snickeyfritz have won national awards. Her newest book Shimmerling will be released in 2015.
Let's see how Andrea answered some questions about the conference and her creative process . . .
What part of the Wisconsin SCBWI conference are you most looking forward to and why?
"This will be my third year attending the conference and it's always a highlight of my year. It's hard to remember going to my first conference, before I ever knew anyone, because people were so friendly and welcoming that I felt like I'd made friends right away. This year, in addition to seeing old friends and making new ones, I'm really looking forward to hearing Dan Santat speak and lead a workshop at friday's Diversity Intensive. I was fortunate to have attended the SCBWI LA conference this August where Dan was a keynote speaker and a presenter during the Illustrators Intensive. Both sessions were very different and very valuable, so I'm excited to hear more from him!"
What is your top conference tip for attendees?
"Don't feel you have to be at the finish line to attend. Meaning you don't even need to have finished writing your manuscript or illustrating a dummy to be a great attendee at the conference. The conference is a place to meet people who share a passion for children's literature, and also a time to learn techniques to make your work better. I can't tell you what a blessing it is to have a place to go where everyone there is on the same page—pun intended." 😉
Do you have a muse? A regimen that gets your creative juices flowing? In other words, where do you find artistic inspiration?
Can you share a piece of advice that helped you along your professional journey?
"The process is the point. I still have goals that I hope to accomplish, but my energy is no longer focused on getting somewhere. Instead, it's about enjoying the ride."
Her breakout session, The School Visit Toolbox, will be presented at the Wisconsin SCBWI Fall Conference on Saturday, October 17th from 4:00-5:00pm:
School visits can help authors and illustrators connect directly with their market audience–children and teachers. It can also help produce additional income. To discover what schools are looking for when booking a school visit, and to find out what to do after you've gotten the gig, join Andrea Skyberg as she addresses some of the following questions: What's the best way to connect with schools to book visits? When is the best time to send out promotional materials? What do you charge? Should you have a contract? How do you handle a Skype visit? How does your program relate to the school's curriculum and standards? What performance strategies can you use to help engage the audience?
P.S. It's not too late to sign-up for the Wisconsin SCBWI Fall Conference! Click here, to download the conference packet.