Guest Blog by Kjersten Anna Hayes: An Illustrator's Perspective of SCBWI LA

Katherine Longshore 2 Tuesday, August 09, 2011

As I said just a short while ago, the amazing Kjersten Anna Hayes was one of my roommates this year at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles.  And though writers and illustrators attend all the same keynote events, the same parties and many of the same breakout sessions, I wondered if their experiences would be any different.  So I asked Kjersten if she would give us the rundown of her own highlights of the conference and she kindly agreed.  Please join me in welcoming Kjersten to the blog!
Peacock Juggling by Kjersten Anna Hayes

1. The Portfolio Show:
It seems like it would be impossible to be a children's book illustrator or aspiring illustrator and not be in awe of the work and heart  poured into the nearly 190 portfolios that were on display during Saturday night's portfolio show. It was a joy to participate in and a joy to have a chance to browse through so many of my peers' works. 

2. Salley Mavor's workshop, The Joys and Challenges of Dimensional Illustration: 
While I don't work in three-dimensional art (I work in collage), I'm fascinated by Salley's embroidered fabric relief technique. Seeing the slides and videos of her craftsmanship at work was a rare and special treat. 

3. The Illustrator Intensive: 
Monday was an entire day of WOW. It was a day I think few illustrators who were present will ever forget. We watched legends of our field, Paul O. Zelinsky, Marla Frazee, Richard Jesse Watson, Kadir Nelson, Denise Fleming, David Small and Jerry Pinkney, demonstrate their craft. They shared bits of their inspirations, their hearts,their joys and their weaknesses. It was the rarest of amazing moments -- to be present while artists were at work and to have a peek-a-boo view into genius. 

Kjersten Anna Hayes is an artist and author-illustrator who works primarily with paper collage.  She also creates useful works of gorgeous art (handmade books, picture frames, albums and journals).  She currently lives in Malaysia, but you can find her at


Okay, Kjersten, why didn't you mention the awesomeness of the pj party in your wrap-up, huh? Cause, you know, I could've danced all night ;)

Yes, indeed Stasia! The PJ party was for sure a blast. There's nothing quite like a bunch of reluctant dancers dancing their hearts out in ridiculous attire. Hoot, hoot!

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