Recently the SCBWI offered Missouri and Kansas illustrators the opportunity to receive a critique by award winning illustrator Paul Zelinsky. A chance to have your work seen by an experienced and successful professional in the business does not arise often. This was a break that was hard to pass up, and I didn’t. I submitted a color spread from a book in progress and the black and white roughs of the spreads appearing before and after.
Within a few weeks, Mr. Zelinsky sent me a thoughtful and comprehensive critique of my work. While I had not communicated with him, he touched on the very areas I found lacking. He validated that voice in the back of my head that had been telling me that something wasn’t right. He not only pointed out the weaknesses but gave suggestions for improvement. “Why didn’t I think of that?” was what I found myself saying.
Mr. Zelinsky’s feedback helped me become “unstuck.” I had taken my image as far as I knew how until he empowered me to progress. He shared his knowledge of digital media, texture in color, layout, and even rhyming, pointing out specific areas of application in my image.
The critique Mr. Zelinsky provided was very encouraging, validated my instincts and gave me the tools to grow. I am very grateful to him and the SCBWI for this learning experience. I would not hesitate to recommend this program to other illustrators looking to improve their skills.