Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tomie de Paola Award, Words from Tomie, and an Important Announcement

This is the last time the Tomie de Paola Award will be given out, an award Tomie has been giving annually to an illustrator of promise he chooses himself. He wanted to give it a try for five years (an award out of his own pocket!), and now he's passing the awarding baton on, which you'll read about below.

The Tomie award was originally $1000 in art supplies, but has lately consisted of full tuition, transportation and accommodations to this very conference. Please do check out the gallery of entries here.  And congratulate the first place winner and runners up (where you can see Tomie's comments on their work and why he chose them):


Runners up: (L) Stephen Macquignon, (R) Rebecca Hirsch

Tomie has a few words for us:

"Advice for you writers: Read, read, read, read. Read anything, read everything. Don't be afraid to read schlock... And when you finish, write. Write letters, write stories, just write.

And now for all you illustrators: Not all artists know what they're going to be as children, but many do. Some come to it later, it doesn't matter. What does matter is when you decide that is your life path, be brave, and stick with it."

"Those of us who make picture books are members of a great, great legacy. But picture books didn't start with Mary Blair, Maurice Sendak, or Arnold Lobel. Look at the work of Robert McCloskey, Tenniel, Potter, Caldecott, the D'Aulaires, Tenngren, Lionni, Margot Tomes, Pyle, Wyeth, Scarry, Zemach, Dillons, Provensens to mention a few. And look at ALL the art, I mean ALL, even if you don't think you like what you're looking at."

"Practice, practice, practice, and DON'T copy."

"Don't be afraid to be a spiritual, mindful person."

"Try to forget wanting 'things,' the wanting to get published, J.K. Rowling's fortune... Don't allow yourself to get greedy at the expense of your craft and your art."

"Do your work for children. Do it for them. We have the awesome, frightening and holy power to enrich and even save young lives."

"Ask yourself honestly, why do I want to make books for children."

"My wish for you: The joy of compassion, the joy of creating something that didn't exist before, the courage to do it in the first place, and to do it again, and again and again. And just a little bit of good luck."

And now for an announcement!

The Narrative Art Award 
Will take over for the Tomie Award to honor the specific type of art we create. A rotating panel of judges will provide an assignment... We won't use the word 'prompt' because Tomie HATES that word. The assignment will require three images to showcase sequence and narrative. The winning piece will be displayed at the portfolio showcase, we will continue to have an online gallery. The first assignment we hope will be announced in July and submissions due in October. You miss that deadline, you've lost. The winner will be announced in November. Hooray for more illo awards!!

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