And--fingers crossed--I'll get to see many of you at the 12th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference that's coming up in mere weeks (January 28-30) in New York City. There's still time to register!
While I was busy shopping, wrapping, making ravioli and assuring the boy that Santa exists, SCBWI TEAM BLOGger Jaime Temarik was busy posting some year-end interviews with art directors on her blog CocoaStomp (and I'm fairly cerain she also baked some cookies).
First Jaime talked to Lucy Ruth Cummins, Associate Art Director at Simon & Schuster. Below is a bit from her interview. Click here to read the full post.
Jaime: Okay, help is on the way. In the meantime, I'm having my people send Justin [Chanda] a bunch of emails so he'll be distracted and hopefully you'll be able to answer a few more questions. Illustrators will definitely want to know if you are currently acquiring?
Lucy: We are always acquiring new talent. I'm always keeping my eyes peeled. Even if I can't place someone on a project immediately (and it is true that some parts of publisher's lists are shrinking!) I'll often keep them on hand waiting for the right project. An example of this is the debut book from illustrator Jon Klassen, CATS' NIGHT OUT by Caroline Stutson - Jon just received the Governor General's Award for this project, and I had had his work on hand for several years before I was able to pair him with the perfect project. Although we may not always be able to immediately put the rubber to the road with new folks, good artwork makes a strong impression and the quest for a winning collaboration is always on my mind.
As for what I'm looking for - there's never anything specific. I love such a range of things, but I'm mainly looking for things I'm touched by. I love cute. I love simple. But I also love creepy and detailed! There's no one thing I'm looking for and I'm always happy to be surprised.
Jaime: Denise, did you know not only are you an Art Director, you're a flipping Vice President? What is your average day like?Be sure to check out both the interviews for insights from these terrific art directors and to see if they had the same answers to Kill, kiss or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville or Comic Sans? If you attend the conference, you can meet each of them during their breakout workshops. And--attention illustrators--there's still space in the Illustrators' Intensive, Beyond Books: Picture Books and the New Media.
Denise: If you count time spent on the train, checking files and reading manuscripts, my day is about 9 hours. We are usually juggling about 60 books at various points of development. I work very closely with the editors and the designers in my department from start to finish. Making books is very collaborative. Rarely do I work alone.