So, I ventured off to Honesdale, PA via NYC. Yes. They had a van picking up illustrators there, so I opted for a little tour time in the city before being driven out for the big part-ay.
Let me say, the Highlights people treated us like Kings and Queens. I was very taken with their hospitality and generosity.
This was a full-weekend event beginning early Fri. evening at the Founders' House with a barbecue under a tent. We moved on to more eating with great breakfasts and lunches and a pig roast. There was even a square dance, a costume party, (theme: The Enchanted Forest--here I am as an Ent with a hobbit riding in my branches) and an art show of our work. All this against the backdrop of John Sandford's artwork from The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers.
But most important, I got to meet all these great illustrators from the magazine to the other imprints such as Calkin's Creek, Highlights and BMP. We had a fantastic presentation by Leonard Marcus about the history of the Caldecott which led to a great Q/A and discussion. Following, we all laid out our portfolios and took a look around. Wow! is all I can say. A bit humbling.
I met Floyd Cooper and lunched with him, talking about school visits and contracts.
I also finally met my fantastic art director, Helen Robinson, face to face. I told everyone she's a great art director because she let me do what I wanted. But really, she's very secure in her own creativity and role as not to need to thumbprint the books she's working on. I've found that to be the case in the marketing/design field where I've encountered plenty of that.
A near meeting with my publisher/editor, Stephen Roxburgh--but we had to turn the car back in order to make my ride back to the airport. A big disappointment.
But, otherwise, a great time was had by all. ;-)