Last night at the December meeting of the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers, our speaker was Albertan Dave Whamond. What a guy! He has written and illustrated some fifty children’s books .
Dave creates picture books and chapter books and graphic novels for kids and they have won all kinds of awards.
But………. he also has a syndicated newspaper comic called Reality Check which has been published daily since 1995
And………………. he creates images for the popular Cobblestone Puzzle company.
And……….he does artwork for national ad campaigns for clients like Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Coca Cola and Disney.
And………….he does illustrations for all kinds of magazines like the Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Macleans, National Geographic and USA Today
And………..well the whole time Dave spoke he kept referring to different kinds of projects he has worked on, or is working on, or hopes to work on, and I finally stopped writing them down because this man is just a creative machine!
Dave talked about how his parents nurtured his creativity by buying big rolls of paper and covering the hallway of their home with it so he could doodle and draw away to his heart’s content.
He told us about a letter he wrote cartoonist Lynne Johnston when he was young and how she took the time to write back and give him advice.
He advised us to never be afraid of rejection and to not be afraid of falling on our faces with our creative projects.
When asked how he came up with all the ideas he needs for all the different creative projects he works on Dave said when he gets up in the morning, “I drink coffee and stuff happens.”
After Dave’s inspiring presentation the CANSCAIP members were put in different chat rooms to visit with each other.
In my first room one of the people I got to visit with was Elly Barlin- Daniels who was profiled in the spring edition of the CANSCAIP newsletter. Elly is in the midst of producing a Broadway show and among very many other accomplishments is the marketing and communications genius behind the I READ CANADIAN annual campaign for children’s authors.
In my second room I was with Laura Alary an author from Halifax whose book The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything will be published in May of 2022. Another book of hers coming in March of 2022 is The Sun in My Tummy. Those two books are just part of a longer list of interesting published titles Laura has to her credit.
And in my third room I was with Sylvia McNicoll something of a creative machine herself with more than 30 children’s books to her credit. Her latest called What the Dog Knows comes out in May of 2022. During our chat Sylvia showed us the cover of one of her books which has just been translated into Korean.
In the acknowledgements section of my book Lost on the Prairie I thanked the CANSCAIP organization for the stimulating professional opportunities they give to Canadian children’s writers. Last night was a great example of that.