Last Friday was the Spring meeting of the Victorian SCBWI group. We had two member speakers (both illustrators) Marjory Gardner and Andrew Plant – and a guest speaker, Kaye Keck who is the Director of Dromkeen. Usually we hold these meetings on Saturday afternoon and this was our trial of a Friday night alternative.

Marjory and Andrew inspired us with their passion and their experience and then once more with the examples of their work. It’s fantastic to hear how others work, how they started, how they continue. It’s also interesting to learn of the myriad pathways into our industry, Marjory through Graphic Design, Andrew through Zoology.

We build in a long break in the middle to facilitate that wonderful beast ‘networking’. Call it what you will, there’s a chance to catch up with familar faces, match faces to known names, and to meet new people. At this meeting we had visitors from NSW and New Zealand and a medical illustrator in addition to mostly familiar faces. And sometimes, as occured this time, attendees happen upon people they’ve known in a ‘previous life’.

Kaye Keck spoke about Dromkeen, wonderful house and gallery in Riddell’s Creek, just out of Melbourne, and their collection of children’s picture book art. The collection includes more than 7000 items and includes sketches, roughs, dummy books, storyboards as well as finished artwork. Kaye brought some amazing miniatures (detailed dummy books, sometimes in colour) that stand as art pieces in their own right. Dromkeen is well worth a visit, with sculptures scattered around the grounds and galleries inside. Kaye also mentioned they are establishing links with ‘Seven Stories’ in Newcastle UK and the Eric Carle Musuem in the US.

…and the point of the pic above? None really. I just like it.

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