Registration Now Open for Illustrators' Day and the Liz Conrad Scholarship

Illustrators' Day has moved to February 22nd - butting up against Springmingle this year. CLICK HERE for details and to go register.

Also, submissions are now open for the Liz Conrad Scholarship Fund. One winner will be chosen to attend both Illustrators' Day and Springmingle for FREE. CLICK HERE for details about that!


Southern Breeze Studio Tour #3: Kristen Applebee

Hi all!! Welcome to our third Southern Breeze studio tour featuring the lovely and talented Kristen Applebee (AKA one of the winners of the recent Southern Breeze Illustrator Contest!!)



Illustration Contest Winners!

Our winners were announced at the recent 2012 wik (writing and illustrating for kids) conferences in Birmingham, Alabama. This year's theme was "PJ tried and tried..." and the judge was Executive Art Director Deborah Kaplan of Penguin Young Readers. Congratulations to the winners!!

"PJ tried and tried to make friends with the horses."

The judge said, "This illustration is beautifully distinctive and tells a story without having read the words. The playful use of mixed pattern and color and of positive and negative visual space make it wonderfully appealing."

"PJ tried and tried but could never seem to fit in."

The judge said, "Nicely rendered with a whimsical lively style. The animals are expressive and humorous."

HONORABLE MENTION - Kristen Applebee
"PJ tried and tried but couldn't think of anything fun to do. Summer Stinks!"

The judge said, "This illustrator accomplished a lot without words! A great way to handle a complicated scene with good use of foreground/background and a lot of expressive children and pets!"

HONORABLE MENTION - Laurie Sikorowski
"PJ tried and tried to be perfect, then stopped and became perfectly herself instead."

The judge said, "I loved the text here! And what that can bring to the imagination. The illustration is an interesting combination of paint and collage."



After overwhelming positive response to our first Sketch-Book Event at Oakland Cemetery, we have decided to continue with the mayhem!  We can’t wait to let you in on the eclectic list of sites and featured books we’ve got planned to help ignite your imagination.  Relax!  We don’t want you to have to choose between us, trick-or-treating, turkey and Santa, so we’ve decided to dodge hectic holiday plans and schedule the next event in early 2013.  We’ll begin posting details on the next event soon, so keep checking back!  We look forward to seeing you again at the next Sketch-Book Event. . . now go bake something. . . it’s fall, for cryin’ out loud!


Robyn's Printmaking Demo (and notecards give-away)

Hi, Artsy Breezers!

Elizabeth said it was all right to share a little printmaking demo on my new art blog today.  A teacher had asked me for permission to post a few pictures in a Powerpoint about relief prints for her fourth graders.  I figured it was time I did a little how-to as well.

Here's the link - http://artsyletters.com/?p=113

Hope everyone is having a creative start to fall - Robyn


Studio Tour Video Tour #2 - Sarah Frances Hardy

Hi all! First off, I hope everyone had a blast at the Sketch Crawl on Saturday. I can't wait to hear about it, and maybe see some pictures . . . anyone? anyone?

Ahh . . . here they are. Scroll down to the post underneath this one!

Next, I'd like to welcome all of you to my workspace through this short video tour of my studio. It's a bit lived-in and cluttered, but it's mine.


To see our first video of the fabulously organized Elizabeth Dulemba's workspace, click here. Stay tuned--we're making these tours a regular feature on our Southern Breeze Illustrator's Corner!

Sarah Frances


Our First Southern Breeze Sketch Book Event!

Awesome illustrator, Michael Allen Austin, organized our very first SCBWI Southern Breeze Sketch Book Event which took place on Saturday at the Oakland Cemetery.
     He framed this event around Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and created some truly fun prompts to get our creative gears turning.
     About 12 of us met at the historic cemetery at 10:00am, then we drew whatever we felt like for the first half hour. It was hard to choose what to draw. The cemetery is famous for being home to the resting place for Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind)

other famous Georgians, and beautiful mausoleums.

     Next Michael gave us some prompts. My favorite was "find an unusual name and draw the character that comes to mind." We didn't have to go far!

     Here are Mark Braught and Michael being goofy:

     Afterwards, we headed across the street for seafood at the appropriately named...

     The event was a great success, Michael thought of everything (even bottled water), and we're all eager for our next event! THANK YOU Michael!

- Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Illustrator Coordinator
Photo credits: Elizabeth Dulemba and Prescott Hill


“A rut is a coffin with the ends kicked out.”  James Hunter 

Seize the opportunity to get out of your creative rut and join us for the Southern Breeze Sketch-Book Event at Oakland Cemetery this weekend (Saturday, September 29).  Time is running out, so make sure you RSVP by this Friday to michael@austinillustration.com.  

We’ve planned several optional challenges designed to have participants approach their sketches from a new perspective.  We’ve also developed imagination prompts to challenge your creativity, for example, when you first arrive at Oakland, try sketching your idea of a redesign to the main entrance gate to the cemetery while waiting for the other SCBWI members to join us.  

The event is scheduled from 10:00 am to noon.  Afterwards, we plan to go for lunch at Six Feet Under, of course. 


Don’t forget to RSVP for the free Sketch-Book Event happening at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 29.  The theme book for our first outing is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  Although we have planned several “sketch challenges” based off the book, it isn’t necessary to have read the story to participate.  In addition to the book-based challenges, we have “idea nurturing” prompts to help spark your creativity with your writing and art.  Don’t wait to hear about how much fun we had from someone who attended.  Join us and enjoy it firsthand.  If you have questions or would like to RSVP, contact Michael Allen Austin at michael@austinillustration.com.  


1st ever Sketch-Book Event!

Michael Austin is heading up our first ever Sketch Book Event to be held Saturday, September 29, 2102 at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta at 10:00am - free to SCBWI members. (We'll go for lunch afterwards at 6 Feet Under - of course.) Prompts will be inspired by Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book"!
     Other Southern Breeze regions are welcome to follow suit at cemeteries in their area and post about it in the comments below.
     If you have any questions, they can be directed to Michael Austin at michael at austinillustration dot com.
     For details - click the image to open the .pdf in a new window. Hope to see you there!


2012 Illustrators' Day Wrap-Up

Hands down, this was our most successful SCBWI Southern Breeze (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi) Illustrators' Day yet! Although we could have fit more people into the wonderful Decatur Library auditorium, we actually sold out since we can only handle so many portfolios. (Be sure to sign up quickly next year.) We also had four amazing speakers thanks to a generous grant from SCBWI national:
     Kelly Barrales-Saylor, Editorial Director for Albert Whitman & Company
     R. Gregory Christie, illustrator and multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner
     Peter Brown, New York Times best-selling author/illustrator
     Michael Allen Austin, illustrator and mentor
     For other regions looking for speakers, each of them was top notch, adding new perspectives to the various aspects of illustration. I can't recommend them highly enough!
     Kelly talked about the business side of things.

     Greg talked about thinking outside the box in a rough economy, and Peter talked about developing your personal illustration style.

     I moderated a panel discussion with Michael, Greg, and Kelly talking about the state of the industry, the future of picture books, copyright, advertising oneself, etc.

     Meanwhile, portfolios were displayed in another room for local Art Directors, Gallery owners, Art Professors and attendees to view and collect samples. Such as Rick Lovell (Art Professor at SCAD) and Lauren Patton (owner of ZaPow! Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina). She mentioned the importance of having an email address on all handouts - postcards, bookmarks, and business cards.

Here is Taesun Bourroughs with Rick Lovell in the background.
     It led to a well-rounded day hitting on almost all key points, and culminated in our ever-popular portfolio reviews.
     This year we used an Elmo overhead projector so the speakers could view the portfolio in front of them while the audience was able to see the same thing projected onto a screen behind the speakers. It gave context for what was being discussed and offered a leisurely opportunity to view everybody's work.

(Click on the photo to see it larger.)
     Reviews were only 2 minutes long (with 30 portfolios, this took over an hour), but it was enough time to see how quickly an overall feel for a portfolio can be gained and evaluated. Stickies were given to each speaker to place on the piece they thought was most successful in each portfolio. This turned out to be a lot of fun as the audience cheered for their favorites. Overall, using the Elmo was much better than the previous method of everybody standing and moving from portfolio to portfolio. It was a big hit.
     Lots of announcements were made about our upcoming illustrator events. Kathleen Bradshaw (Asst. Illustrator Coordinator East - pictured right) talked about our annual Gallery Show and Illustration Contest. Sarah Frances Hardy (Asst. Illustrator Coordinator West) talked about our Video Studio Tours. Prescott Hill (Newsletter Designer) talked about submitting illustrations for our Southern Breeze newsletter. Michael Austin talked about our upcoming sketch crawls. Donna Brazzell (Executive Director of the DeKalb Library Foundation) was especially interested in the portfolios and announced the opportunity of customized library cards as future fund-raisers for the library. And I talked about our Scholarship Fund, and next year's Illustrators' Day, which will be held on February 22nd, 2013, butting up against our annual Springmingle conference. (Please note the change in date and venue.)
     Book sales were brisk and Greg and Peter ended up signing tons. Thanks to Little Shop of Stories for making sales possible.

Turns out they hung out when Greg still lived in New York.

Here's Lori Nichols getting a photo with Peter.
     I hope you can get a feel for the day and how friendly all our speakers were from the photos.

     To gain feedback, I asked everybody to write on the back of their name tags why they signed up for Illustrators' Day. We then had a drawing for a signed limited edition print by R. Gregory Christie. This was the piece he did for the New York subway system currently on display.

     Comments on the day mentioned extreme appreciation for Michael Austin's generous mentorship skills. Here are the participants with their finished pieces. (Click the image to see a larger version.) CLICK HERE to read a great wrap up of one mentee's experience by Shanda McCloskey.

     Inspiration from being with peers and the chance to network was also a big reason people came. Truly, lunch (catered by Badda Bing) ended up being a wonderful gathering time.

Here are (please email me!), Laurie Sikorowski, and Nancy Gessner.

Here are Greg Christie, Kristen Applebee, and Prescott Hill.

Here are Robyn Hood Black, Jo Kittinger, Greg Christie, me (Elizabeth Dulemba), Peter Brown, and Kristen Applebee.
     The portfolio reviews were probably the number one reason people came, then learning about the industry, and the quality of faculty (which was phenomenal).
     For me, it is an absolute pleasure to make this valuable experience possible for my friends and colleagues - the highlight of my year. And I certainly don't do it alone. Illustrators' Day wouldn't be possible without our amazing volunteers. It takes a village to put on an event like this, and we have an amazingly supportive group of people who helped with every aspect - from donating enormous amounts of their valuable time, to showing up early for heavy lifting. Thanks to all of you for making our event such a dynamic gathering.
     Of course, I also enjoy the fall-apart afterwards, where the speakers and key volunteers go somewhere to reflect on the day. This year we caught up with Leonard Marcus who was in town for the Decatur Book Festival. He joined us for mint juleps at Leon's Full Service. Not pictured is Joe Davich of the Georgia Center for the Book, who has been the most amazing host for the Decatur Library - we absolutely could not have had such a successful Illustrators' Day without him. (Going on five years now!)

That's Leonard, me, Peter, and my hubbie, Stan.

Here's Kelly with her hubbie, Chris.
     If you got some good photos from the day - please send them to me at elizabethdulemba at mac dot com so I can include them in this post.
     Thanks again to everybody - I look forward to next year's Illustrators' Day!
- Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Illustrator Coordinator

Photos by Jo Kittinger (Regional Advisor) and Prescott Hill (Newsletter Designer).


Michael Allen Austin's TEN RULES and COWPOKE CLYDE

Our 2012 Illustrators' Day is chocked full of amazing talent. Many of you know this first hand if you've been working with Michael Allen Austin on the mentorship project (open to the first 12 registrants).
     He'll also be speaking on a panel and helping critique portfolios during our portfolio review this year.
     Michael's latest book is called 10 RULES YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT BREAK IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE THE SCHOOL BUS written by John Grandits. You may recall seeing some illustrations from it at our 2012 Gallery Show. His forthcoming picture book is called COWPOKE CLYDE AND DIRTY DAWG written by Lori Mortensen (can't wait to see this one). Of course, you're probably already familiar with RAILROAD JOHN RED ROCK RUN written by Tony Crunk and MARTINA THE BEAUTIFUL COCKROACH written by Carmen Agra Deedy.
     Michael is an incredibly knowledgeable and generous guy and we're lucky to have him in our Southern Breeze region.


Studio Video Tour #1 - Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Welcome to the very first Southern Breeze Studio Video Tour. A peek into MY office - Elizabeth O. Dulemba (Southern Breeze Illustrator Coordinator). We hope to do these regularly to give you an idea of how some of our Illustrator members work. Mine is the guinea pig tour. So have a look and leave some feedback in the comments. Please let us know - is it too long, too short, what else would you have liked to see?

Next month's tour will be in children's book author/illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy's studio (Southern Breeze Assistant Illustrator Coordinator West). So subscribe to the blog to be alerted!

Thanks for the comments guys! I've added a photo of me to the post so you have an idea who's talking. And I'm hearing SHORTER!!! Good to know. ;-)


R. Gregory Christie's IT JES' HAPPENED

I had the pleasure of meeting R. Gregory Christie when Don Tate came in town to celebrate his first book as author (he's usually the illustrator): IT JES' HAPPENED: WHEN BILL TRAYLOR STARTED TO DRAW. There was a Bill Traylor exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and Don and 'Greg' were doing a book signing. We all had dinner the night before and I have to say, I flipped over Greg.
     Not only is he a great guy - he's the real deal - an artist to the core. And I hope all those attending Illustrators' Day will get a peek at that when he talks.
     We're so lucky that he's moved to Atlanta and is trying to make a difference in our community with his bookstore Gas-Arts in the North DeKalb Mall. Not only does he sell only signed books there, he hopes to turn it into a creative hub for the Atlanta art community.



I'm thrilled to share that Peter Brown will be one of our speakers at this year's SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Day. I've been a fan since CHOWDER, although FLIGHT OF THE DODO was even before that. Then followed the brilliant YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND, THE CURIOUS GARDEN, and CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS. His latest release is called CREEPY CARROTS.
     There's still time to register for Illustrators' Day if you haven't yet. For more information - CLICK HERE.
Wait, there's more!! Check out this great video of the making of CREEPY CARROTS!

The Creepy Carrots Zone from Peter Brown on Vimeo.


2012 Illustrators' Day

Hi All,
Registration for our 2012 Illustrators' Day is now open at http://sbillustrators.blogspot.com/p/illustrators-day.html. The date is Friday, August 31st at the Decatur Library from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Our fabulous speakers include: Kelly Barrales-Saylor, former editor/art buyer at Sourcebooks and current Editorial Director for Albert Whitman & Company; multiple award-winning illustrator R. Gregory Christie; best-selling author/illustrator Peter Brown; and illustrator Michael Austin. It should be a wonderful affair - I hope to see you there!
Elizabeth O. Dulemba
SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrator Coordinator


Annual Illustration Contest Window Open

Happy Summer, Illustrators! We are a week into the submission window for the annual Southern Breeze Illustration Contest. For anyone who needs a reminder, the prompt is “PJ tried and tried …” A complete list of guidelines, tips and rules can be found here. The contest entry window closes on June 30. Enjoy the process!


2012 Gallery Show!

We put the show together and it's ready for your viewing pleasure! Details follow...
     The Southern Breeze chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is hosting its 5th annual Children's Book Illustrators' Gallery Show at the Decatur Library in conjunction with the Georgia Center for the Book, May 25-June 10.
     Each piece of art created by a prominent, local illustrator, will be accompanied by its corresponding picture book.
     Participating illustrators include:
     Sheila Aldridge
     Michael A. Austin
     Mark Braught
     Jill Dubin
     Elizabeth O. Dulemba
     Laura Freeman
     Sarah Frances Hardy
     Laura Knorr
     Tom Gonzalez
     Bill Mayer, and
     Nancy Miller.
     If you have any titles by these illustrators, many will be available to sign your books from 5:00 to 6:00pm on Friday, May 25 at the library during the Decatur Arts Festival ArtWalk. Here's a sneak peek:


2012 Children's Book Illustrators' Gallery Show

Hi Southern Breeze Illustrators,

The Decatur Art Festival is nigh - Memorial Day weekend to be exact. If you'd like to participate in the 5th Annual Gallery show this year, I need to hear from you! Our venue has changed this year, and it will run for two weeks rather than one, so please read!

The 5th Annual Children's Book Illustrator's Show
hosted by the DeKalb County Library and the
Georgia Center for the Book
May 25th - June 10th

WHO: Open to all PAL (traditionally published) members of the SCBWI Southern Breeze region (AL, GA & MS). If you are not yet a member of SCBWI, you can join at: scbwi.org.

WHAT: Deliver one to two pieces (depends on size) of fully framed, ready-to-hang (WITH WIRE - important!) artwork (can be an original or print) from an accompanying traditionally published picture book, which also must be included (one copy). Please include an index-sized card to accompany art with the following information:
Book Title:
Author, Publisher:
Website, illustration medium or other information

WHEN: Friday, May 25, 2011 - Library viewing and book signing from 5:00 to 6:00 pm during the opening night ArtWalk - then we'll all go out to eat. (Spouses and partners are welcome.) It will continue through the Decatur Arts Festival, May 27th - 29th, Memorial Day Weekend and the following two weeks - May 25th - June 10th.

Decatur Library
215 Sycamore Street
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 370-3070

HOW: Artwork must be delivered to the Decatur Library to the children's department with attention to Joe Davich or mailed to the address above (still w/ attn. to Joe) to the Georgia Center for the Book/Decatur Library, etc. between May 21st and May 24th, 2012, 9am - 6pm, and picked up June 11th, 9am - 6pm. Mailed artwork must arrive in the same time period and include proper pre-paid packaging for its return shipping.

NOW: If you intend to participate, email Elizabeth Dulemba, SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustration Coordinator, at elizabethdulemba at mac dot com by April 25th with the following information:
Size of framed illustration(s):
Name of accompanying book:

VOLUNTEERS will be needed to help set up and take down the show.
Friday, May 25th from 10:30 - 12:00 pm and again (or Thursday, 6:00 pm, tbd)
Sunday, June 10th from 1:00 - 2:00 pm.
It's a big job, but a fun one as we usually grab lunch too, so please let me know if you can help!

Thanks y'all!
Elizabeth O. Dulemba
SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustration Coordinator:


2012 Illustrators' Day Art Director/Editor

I'm happy to announce Kelly Barrales-Saylor of Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky will be our keynote speaker for this year's Illustrators' Day. I've been so impressed by the online marketing efforts of this publishing house and their books keep getting better and better. You've probably heard of "Dream Big Little Pig!" by Kristi Yamaguchi or "My Name is Not Isabella" by Jennifer Fosberry. I can't wait for Kelly to share the vision of her publishing house with our budding illustrators!


Assistant Illustrator Coordinators EAST and WEST

I'm happy to announce that I now have TWO Assistant Illustrator Coordinators! Kathleen Bradshaw covers Georgia, where most of our illustrators are concentrated, and Sarah Frances Hardy covers Alabama and Mississippi because we love our illustrators there too! It's a tough role for one person to cover three states and make sure everybody is getting the attention they deserve, so I'm thrilled to have both of these talented members to help spread the Southern-Breeze illustrator love! If you have an event that needs a shout-out or you should need to get in touch with any of us, please email:

Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Illustrator Coordinator, elizabeth at dulemba dot com, http://dulemba.com
Kathleen Bradshaw, Assistant Illustrator Coordinator East, klbradshaw at yahoo dot com, http://kathleenbradshaw.com/
Sarah Frances Hardy, Assistant Illustrator Coordinator West, hardystudios at bellsouth dot net, http://www.sfhardy.com/


2012 Illustrators' Day Working Illustrator

I'm thrilled to announce we've nailed down our Working Illustrator for our 2012 Illustrators' Day. It will be R. Gregory Christie! His name may sound familiar because he was just featured in today's SLJ for landing a gig to paint posters for the NY city subway. He's also a multiple (3 times!) Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner for illustration! I read a write-up about him in 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast the other day and was shocked to discover he lives right here in Georgia. He's even hosting a kickstarter program to open a book store/creative place in North DeKalb Mall. How's that for good luck!?

Midsouth Illustrator Event with Laurent Linn

This is in the Tennessee region of SCBWI but is a great opportunity for anybody who wants to make the trip or lives up that way...

Laurent Linn is coming to Nashville to conduct a special Illustrator Workshop! Mr. Linn is the beloved and kind Art Director from Simon & Schuster. We hosted him at a Midsouth Conference years ago and our Illustrators STILL talk about his invaluable input.

This is a GREAT opportunity for us. We ARE opening this up to other regions as well, so sign up early to assure your slot. Registration starts this Friday, March 9th.

The full description is on the Midsouth website: http://scbwi-midsouth.org/

Midsouth Illustrator Workshop -
Step By Step: Working Creatively With An Art Director
Faculty: Laurent Linn, Art Director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date: Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
Time: 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Where: Brentwood Library, Brentwood, TN

Be in the picture book illustrator's seat! This workshop mirrors the process of working with an art director on a picture book project, with typical deadlines, and individualized art direction from Mr. Linn. Plus, attendees will create a great new illustration for their portfolios!

- Full Participation = $90 for SCBWI members or $110 for non-members Limited to 12 Full Participants!
- Partial Participation = $40 for SCBWI members or $50 for non-members Limited to 15 Partial Participants!

(Partial Participation is for illustrators who will not complete the assignment but want to attend and learn from Laurent Linn. Partial Participants may only observe Mr. Linn's comments and may not ask questions during the workshop. They will sit behind the Full Participants.)


2012 Liz Conrad SCBWI Southern Breeze Scholarship Winner

This year's winner of the Liz Conrad Scholarship Fund is Shanda McCloskey! Shanda will receive free tuition to attend the 2012 Springmingle conference along with a free portfolio review.
     Competition was fierce since we have such talented illustrators in our Southern Breeze SCBWI region. However, we don't have a lot of illustrators. So if you didn't win this year, please try again next year!
     Along with a wonderful cover letter, here's the piece that really blew away the judges...

Here's Kathleen (left), Me (right), and Shanda (middle) receiving her award!


Natural History Illustration Workshop

I thought this would be of interest to some of our illustrators...
The Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional research center of the University of North Carolina, is offering its 2011 series of summer courses and workshops that can be taken for undergraduate OR graduate credit toward your academic program... Scholarships, Grants-in-aid of research for graduate students, and summer internships also available. Highlands, North Carolina, is located in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, at an average elevation about 3,800 feet, and situated near the Nantahala National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee Indian Reservation, Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information and to apply, visit www.wcu.edu/hbs or e-mail hbs at email dot wcu dot edu.
There are several interesting classes along with the NATURAL HISTORY ILLUSTRATION WORKSHOP with Nancy Lowe called "Discover Life in America" (May 28 - June 1st). You can email me at elizabeth at dulemba dot com for more information or contact the school directly.


Scholarship Deadline Reminder


Hey Breezer Illustrators! The  deadline is approaching. If you haven't already, check out the details here and get your submissions ready. Then head over here to check out the details for Springmingle. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Elizabeth Dulemba (Illustrator Coordinator) at elizabeth at dulemba dot com, or Kathleen Bradshaw (Assistant Illustrator Coordinator) at klbradshaw at yahoo dot com. Good Luck!