This past weekend I was at the Western Washington SCBWI conference in Redmond, near Seattle. I had a great time, and got some very good notes from Grace Lin's breakout session on being a full time children's book illustrator.
Had a chance to meet some old friends and make some new ones: Deb Lund, Richard Jesse Watson, Dana Sullivan, Jim Di Bartolo, Michael Stearns, and Kevan Atteberry to name just a few of the wonderful people that I was able to talk to and hang out with.
From an illustrator's perspective, one of things that I was surprised by about the conference was the number of people that I spoke to who are interested in working digitally, or are working digitally, but are having challenges working in Adobe Photoshop, or are working only with a mouse. This is a bit of a multifaceted issue, in that many people (including some of the presenters) were only vaguely aware of Corel's Painter program. I don't want this to get into one is better than the other, but more of a "here's another option" post. I've been working in Adobe Photoshop since version 2, but for me, I find Painter to be far more intuitive and easy to use when painting digitally. Also, Painter is much less expensive than Photoshop.
The other thing that I was struck by was how many people are attempting to work digitally with a mouse. You *need* to get a Wacom Tablet at the very least. Corel and Wacom occaisionally do promotions where you can get Painter with a tablet. It makes life *so* much easier.
Ok, that's it for now. Time to go draw!