SCBWI was a huge part of Mike Curato's success, the author-illustrator proclaimed today on a Success Story Panel. In 2012, Curato submitted his artwork to the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase and won. "After that, everything seemed to happen all at once," he said. Since that time, he has gone on to write and illustrate several award-winning picture books, including Little Elliott, Big City and Little Elliott, Big Family. Here are a few tips he offered on success:
• Enjoyful the process. Bring the joy to your work.
• Create the kinds of books that you wish existed. Don’t worry about fads or what’s hip, worry about what you like.
• Celebrate small successes along the way. For example, “Hey, I drew an awesome hand today, it doesn’t look like a bag of hotdogs,” Curato joked. "Break things down into small wins."
• Do your homework. Learn how the industry works. General knowledge about the business will take you a long way.