Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

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  • Shiho Pate creates both warmth and a kind of simplistic imperfection in her work that is both endearing and enduring. Recent kudos: on the heels of her SCBWI national Feature in September —
  •   How long have you been a member of SCBWI? What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI? I joined the Southern Illinois chapter of SCBWI in 2010, volunteered as a Network Rep from about 2015-2017, and joined the SoCal chapter in 2020. I love the conferences, and the mild deadlines for group meetings each month are helpful for developing the self-discipline needed for this type of work. The most impactful thing about the SCBWI is the relationships formed  with other members. Supporting each other as we evolve and improve and achieve our creative goals has become my favorite part.  What medium(s) do you use to illustrate? I’m a dabbler. If it makes a mark on paper, I’m likely to try it. In an effort to learn some self control, I try to focus on the style and color palette that  most clearly fits the needs of the story in front of me.  My favorite medium for children’s book illustration is mixed-media inks  (cleaned up a bit digitally afterwards because I’m really good  at smudging white spaces). I also love any type of marker ink that doesn’t bleed through paper because I consider every sketchbook an opportunity to explore book design. What is your illustration process? I have to put myself through a checklist if I want the results to be consistent: 1. Thoroughly read the source material/requirements 2. Lots of research and notes 3. Pencil sketches 4. Build up inks in layers until satisfied with images 5. Scan  images into Photoshop for cleanup and to arrange composition of  final design.   How long have you been illustrating? How did you first get into illustration? Professionally, my first traditional publishing book deal happened January of 2021 with Sky Pony Press of  Skyhorse Publishing, but part of my day job now includes some in house illustrating for our authors at Phoenix Media & Books. All of  my opportunities to illustrate have happened as a direct result of  relationships formed through the SCBWI — even the Sky Pony  Press picture book (EVERY OTHER CHRISTMAS) is happening  because some of my fellow SCBWI members recommended me.  Are you self taught or did you study illustration? I suppose both. I’ve been drawing since toddler times, but I didn’t start with classes until high school, and now I can’t stop! It’s become like a  nervous tic.   What school did you attend? At Southern Illinois University, I earned a BA in Art Studio, a BA in English Language and Literature, and a Minor in Creative Writing (2013). Southern Illinois University’s Art  Studio Program had a few illustration-friendly courses like  Printmaking, Book Binding, and Book Design, but most of  my illustration-specific studies are gleaned from SCBWI  workshops and getting nosy about how my favorite illustrators work. For me, the study aspect never stops, it’s  half the fun.   Do you have a dedicated art space? Is it in your home or outside your home? I have two dedicated art spaces, one is inside my house for illustration and writing while most mural painting and mixed-media sculpture happens in my garage studio. What would be your dream book to illustrate? A book that has all my favorite things to draw: animals, fantasy adventure shenanigans, and mysterious spookies.  Are you working on any fun projects now? Yes, EVERY OTHER CHRISTMAS by Katie Otey, set for release 2022 by Sky Pony Press. 
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About Us

Twitter: @SCBWI_SoCal
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Our region includes Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside and Long Beach. We have sunny beaches, snow-capped mountains, and scenic deserts. We are also home to incredible writers and illustrators who mingle and hone their craft at monthly meet-ups and critique groups, an annual retreat and an

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  SoCal SCBWI fans showing support for Steve Bramucci’s DANGER GANG #2! The signing took place at the most awesome children’s bookstore in SoCal, Whale of a Tale.   Monthly meet-up critique groups sharing resources for children’s writers!