Last Saturday was the African American Children’s Book Festival created and organized by Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambatti. It was a huge event with a fantastic turn out. This year veteran superstar picturebook makers, Jerry Pinkney and Walter Dean Myers were in attendance. I sat in between Floyd Cooper and Jerry Pinkney and was able to get a little overflow book business because of it. I tell you what, sitting next to Jerry Pinkney during a book fair is a sure way to gauge your own work, and from the look of his line in relation to mine, I need to step my game up! lol
“Shadra, you sound like a bit of a hater”. No, not at all. Jerry is one of the nicest and hardest working illustrators I know, and one of my favorites (aka, I have admired and respected him since I was in college). His work is so well loved because it is full of love and discipline. Talking to him during the day only reminded me of my own responsibility to art making and what I should be putting into the work.
On the other side of me was Floyd Cooper, who is another one of my favorite illustrators and probably one of the funniest I have talked to. We talked shop most of the day and shared tips and trade secrets. What a great afternoon. Last but not least, I bought a copy of Marilyn Nelson’s “Beautiful Ballerina” for a friend. For those of you who have beautiful ballerinas in your lives, this book is a must have.
See you again next year!