Elizabeth O. Dulemba a.k.a. "E":
"I always knew I was an artist, ever since kindergarten when I created a sculpture of a little man rather than the ashtray we were supposed to make. And I always knew I was an illustrator because of my fifteen years of graphic design where I was always the in-house illustrator. However, I didn't feel like a bona fide "children's book illustrator" until I made my pilgrimage to New York last year for the SCBWI-NY portfolio show. In college, we were taught the only way to make it in freelance illustration was to pound the pavement in New York, and that was true before the internet came along. So being old-school, I knew I wouldn't feel completely legitimate until I'd "done" New York. What a fantastic trip. I circled the Society of Illustrators seven times to make my pilgrimage complete, showed my portfolio, and ate some of the best pickles I've ever had. And ironically, with as unnecessary as this trip actually was to my career, it Did seem to mark the point where I really felt the difference, the tip over to "real children's book illustrator."
Read about my trip to NY on my blog here
and my thoughts on NY here
My regular blog url is here
and my website is dulemba.com
"When I tried to illustrate my stories in the past I always grew frustrated and gave up. My characters felt lifeless. I only felt comfortable drawing them in positions, perspectives, and angles I was familiar with. I felt no freedom, and my inability and fears took control. Hard work and studying other illustrators helped me gain the courage to try again two months ago. I felt for the first time that I actually an illustrate a picture book! I have a lot more work to do (especially when I look at some amazing illustrators), but now that I've overcome that milestone, I feel like I'm on track to going where I hope to end up."
You can visit Angela's website at angelachawkins.com
Courtney N. Pippin-Mathur:
"Everyday I dream of being a published illustrator. There is something about being published that makes you able to say "I'm an illustrator" without adding, "in training" or"wanna-be" or "and a stay ay home mom". It is validation on a grand scale. It transforms a hobby into a career. Proof that someone likes your work enough to pay you to share it with the world. It doesn't have to be an entire book, even a spot in a magazine would allow me to claim that title for myself and feel like this toiling over the drafting table everyday has paid off."
My website is here
blog is here
"I work from home and used to work from a regular table and dining room chair; when I started getting more illustration work, leaning over the table to paint left me unable to fully straighten my neck after a while! Now that I have revamped my studio with a drawing board, adequate lighting, and a light box, I feel like I have all the materials to create in a great environment, and I feel like a real, working illustrator. And I love it :-)"