Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The 2007 SCBWI Conference, part 4: Renoir gets Rejected!

OK, as promised (or threatened) yesterday, here's a final post about the Conference. On Sunday morning, bright and early, Laurent Linn (art director at Holt) and editor Mark McVeigh (now ensconced at Aladdin) had a panel on how editors and art directors work together. You might think that as a writer, there wasn't much I'd glean from a panel like that, but hear me out.

Early on, the two were talking about how they'd work on a picture book. They decided to examine artists to find someone they both thought would be right. And so they showed slides... of rather recognizable work. The short of the story is, as my headline said, they passed on Renoir! Yes, that's right. They both knew and admired his work, knew his credits, and knew his reputation... but both agreed he wasn't right for the book.

Aha! It's a perfect example of the fact that talent alone is never enough. Authors and artists both can be "rejected" if they aren't a good fit for a project or list, regardless of how good their work is. Add this to the fact that there's much subjectivity involved in any creative field, and you see how a rejection doesn't necessarily mean that your work is as bad as you think it is when you get a rejection OR that the editor/art director who rejected it is a fool. Sure, it could mean either of those -- and certainly with my own work I know I've fallen short from time to time -- but for me, there's something exceedingly heartening in seeing Renoir rejected.


Kelly Fineman said...

Excellent points, Greg. Inspirational, too. Thanks.

tammi said...

It was great meeting you, Greg.