Leanne Barrett

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Creative Kids Tales Writers' Festival 2019

Georgie Opening the Festival
Invest was the theme and this year's CKT Writers' Festival was a great investment!

Georgie Donaghey organised another whopper festival, it included:
I didn't partake in any assessments on the day, instead I wanted to invest my time in listening to the presenters and socialising/connecting. This blog will look at the top tips that I will invest into my craft. 

Monday, 8 April 2019

Poetry, Pictures and Polishing with SCBWI ACT & Surrounds

I love to spend time with my creative friends catching up and learning from each other, this workshop provided both.

  • Had lunch with a few illustrators: Suzy Houghton, Amie Sabdin and Irene Tan
  • Chatted with friends I hadn't seen for awhile
  • Became reacquainted with Lisa Kalma
  • Learnt some great tips from the presenters
  • Had fun and lots of it
The day started on a low note as we said thank you one our favourite bookstore people, James Redden aka Jimmy. I first met James in early 2015 when I organised Harry Hartog to provide books to sell at a CBCA ACT Branch event. This turned into a wonderful relationship between James and CBCA ACT Branch and their members for many many years. James was a great supporter of our local authors, both published using mainstream publishing and self-published books. There are so many wonderful memories in H.H store with James as we celebrated many book birthdays and window launches. This support then later naturally extended to supporting SCBWI ACT and Surrounds. We will have a fondness in our heart for James, our champion and smiling friend. You are indeed, James the Great! And one day we hope that we can support you in your next endeavour, what ever that may be. 


The Workshops were presented by;
A full report of Poetry, Pictures and Polishing by Cate Whittle is available on the SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand Blog. My blog will highlight my 'ah ha' moments.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Day Six and Seven: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft

Day Six and Seven of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project. 

Day Six, Session One, was with Wen Sylvestre looking at How to Find Your Own Art Voice & Style. This is a idea that many aspiring children's illustrators struggle with, how do you find you own style? 

Wen walked us through how she worked on finding her own style, where you are no longer copying someone else's style. You need to:
1. Look into yourself, and
2. Explore and capture your environment.

She asked us to answer many questions but the most central question was Who Am I? 
To find out more about this process see here.  

I took on the challenge to not just answer the questions in words but to push myself to draw the answers. 

What do you do in your spare time?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

CBCA 2019 Shortlist Announced

The 2019 CBCA Children's Book of The Year Award Shortlist has been announced, see here.

Earlier in the week the Kids' Book Review Team made their predictions for this year shortlist and chose their Superpower. See here how the team went with their predictions - many of us were spot on.

I'm thrilled to see three of the books that I reviewed for Kids' Book Review in 2018 have made it onto the shortlist, see below.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

March Book Launches

On Saturday, 24 March 2019, I attended the book launch for Grandma's treasured shoes, created by Coral Vass and Christina Huynh and published by the National Library of Australia.

Coral has masterfully told a story about shoes while sensitivity revealing the story of a refugee family. Shoes can tell remarkable tales about someone's life; 

Dance in the dark shoes, 
worn and torn shoes, 
escaping shoes, 
school shoes,
and dancing dress shoes.
(shoes types from Grandma's treasured shoes

As Christina first picture book illustrations are heartfelt, as it intertwines her own family's story of coming to Australia from Vietnam. We were honoured that she shared treasured items that her family carried on their journey across the sea to Australia.  

Congratulations so Susan Hall and all of the NLA Publishing Team on the publication of another story that shares the past and present stories that shape the nation of Australia. 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Day Five with Nina Rycroft's Portfolio Project


Day Five of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project

We began day five with Ben Whittacker- Cook 
(author of Florence Fox Goes to School) who showed us How to Write a Great Bio in 100 words. See my About Me page for my new short biography.

The second session today was with Amy Calautti 
or @amygorgeousness who talked about Illustration Challenges - Projects to Publication. One Instagram challenge that Amy takes part in is #drawthisinyourstyle She challenged us to take part by drawing one of her illustrations in our own style.

Amy reminded me to keep my SCBWI portfolio link updated, see here.

Finally, take a look at Amy's blog 
where she has more information about portfolio submissions and organising your to do list into manageable bites. 

Day Four with Nina Rycoft's Portfolio Project

Day Four of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project

The first session was Creating a Sustainable Business with Michelle Worthington. She asked us focus on the Why? Sometimes I find it really hard to verbalise why I create.
  • Firstly I create for me because I just have to.
  • Secondly I create because I want to move others emotionally through the connection with art and story.
So I set myself a new challenge - How can I step up my creative business?

Session Two was with Nic Squirrell about Print on Demand for Artist & Illustrators. I have been using Nic's workshops on Skillshare since the second half of 2018. When I edit my paintings on the desktop computer, Nic's Skillshare workshop Print On Demand for Artists: Painting to Pattern to Product the Complete Process sits open on the left screen while I Photoshop on the right screen. She makes the editing process for a newbie like me so much easier, it is like she is sitting next to me, guiding me step by step.

New Goal POD: Add illustrations regularly to my Redbubble Shop (new designs like Baby Blue will be added shortly).

The final session of the day was a video with Aurore McLeod, Create a Portfolio that Sells. Aurore called us to action: to challenge ourselves and put our work out there. You just need to do the work.