I spoke to Illustration students at Cal State Fullerton yesterday. It was at the invitation of my friend Mac McCool. Mac is a wonderful illustrator of comics and is branching into graphic novels and children's illustration. Check out his site at http://www.macmccool.com/
Mac introduced me to several of his students who are particularly interested in Picture Books. Their work shows wonderful potential and their enthusiasm was inspiring. I'm truly impressed by the University's program which emphasises work ethic and professionalism. I can see why their graduates are doing well.
The talk went OK. I was asked to speak about how I got into children's books. I described the various avenues for getting your work in front of artdirectors (postcards, websites, networking). Many questions dealt withhaving an agent and the differences between the various sectors of thechildren¹s publishing business (libraries, trade, and educational). I don¹tknow that I stressed enough -- though I mentioned -- persistence, beingwilling to try new things, and taking rejection and criticism as challengesto improve one¹s art. However, I emphasized being professional, meetingdeadlines, and following up on contacts. I guess I rambled a bit aboutbeing lucky. (Probably not what a group of college kids needs to hear). I believe I have been lucky of course.. but being lucky never completes assignments!