Saturday, February 11, 2017

Opening Keynote: Bryan Collier

Award-winning illustrator Brian Collier opened #NY17SCBWI with an emotion-packed keynote. He spoke to the need for every child to see themselves featured in the books they read. As a child, Collier’s favorite books featured characters who looked like him: Peter from Ezra Jack Keat's THE SNOWY DAY and Harold from HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON books. “I loved Peter” Collier said, “he looked like me, and I looked like him. Peter wore my pajamas.”

After college, Collier was inspired to create children’s books after walking into a Barnes & Noble
book store and not seeing Peter. There were no books with brown or black boys—or girls, for that matter. On that day, he made it a goal to create books to fill that need. Success didn’t happen overnight, however. Collier faced seven years of hearing “no-no-no!” Thankfully, he didn’t let rejection keep him from pushing on. “Don’t give up on your dreams,” he encouraged.

The highlight of this keynote was when Collier read from and shared stories-behind-the-story of KNOCK KNOCK: MY DAD'S DREAM FOR ME. His emotion-packed collage paintings drew a standing ovation—and a few tears.

Tips: Hold on to our childhood memories. They are your gifts, the things that make you special.

You are a unique creation. Don’t keep your creations to yourself. Share them with the world, let them shine—and an editor and art director will eventually see that shine.

Show emotion in your work. That’s how you connect with your readers.

Be persistent. Don't leave #NY17SCBWI without getting a “Let’s do it” from someone—an editor, an agent, someone who can advance you closer meeting your goals.

No comments:

Post a Comment