Filed under: Illustration, On My Mind, Shanda's Journey, Sketchbook, Uncategorized • February 20, 2014

Right now, I am sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting on my flight to New York City to attend my first SCBWI national conference.  I have my love, Ben, beside me, which is nice. He works in New York often, so it was awesome that we could travel together!


I have always dreamed of attending the NYC SCBWI conference, although now that I’m headed there today, things aren’t exactly as I imagined them being. Not a bad thing, just different, because (if you didn’t know already) I am 5 months pregnant with another precious girl! And I feel really great these days, so I knew I had to seize this opportunity before I have a newborn in my life again :)  I also got to experience a full body pat down for the first time at the airport! I didn’t want to walk through the x-ray scanner being pregnant and all. The lady really explored my maternity pants. I guess you could really hide some stuff in all that extra stretchy fabric!

February has been a busy, packed month preparing for this adventure. My to-do list looked almost impossible for the month of February (March will be the same way), but I did everything! It’s amazing what a little planning can do. Here’s a little bit of what I was working on for this trip:


Illustrating a mandatory assignment for the illustrator’s intensive…



Character sketches:
Layout Sketches:
Value Study:
Color:Snow White by Shanda McCloskey

Preparing my portfolio for the Portfolio Showcase… (I am really looking forward to seeing other’s portfolios and how they crafted and organized them.)


It also helped that my 3-year-old started a little preschool program this month. So, for 2 mornings each week I had work time to myself, and it was really fun to see HJ discover school, have a Valentine party, overcome some shyness and anxiety, learn about frogs, learn to write her name, choose a packed lunch or what the other kids were having, and be picked for a table cleaning job. This was all stuff she told me about when I pick her up after lunch.  I also can’t forget about the help and support I have from my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law when it comes to HJ. She is one loved little girl, and I know she’ll be happy and safe all weekend (having 3 different slumber parties with them) while I’m gone.

supermanI miss her though! 5 days is the longest I have ever been apart from her. I know she’ll be just fine, but it feels really strange still. We found PINKY, the owl, in our bed this morning :)  So, I brought her with me!

Okay, here we go!

Comments: »

  • I love your stuff. Funny how you talked about the security check at the airport. Have fun enjoy it!!! Congrats!!

    Comment by Jen Formby — February 20, 2014 @ 8:42 pm
  • Yeah! Have a blast. I hope you learn a ton and make some great connections! Good luck, talented lady!

    Comment by colleen — February 20, 2014 @ 9:45 pm
  • Have fun Shanda! Soak up the next five days, just you and Ben! I know being away will get tougher as the days go on, but seeing HJ after the 5 days will be AMAZING and the time you and Ben will share before baby girl #2 comes will be even more worth it :) Happy for you and your growing family. Enjoy your time in NYC!! WOOT! (or shall I say, HOOT!?!)

    Comment by Ericka F — February 21, 2014 @ 3:07 am
  • Enjoy your trip, dearie! HJ will, indeed, be fine, having been showered with TLC from 2 Granmas, and 1 Auntie while you on your NY journey. Hope you have time with Ben as well as your conference. Praying for you and yours, Love in Christ, Nelda p.s. love the little pink owl!

    Comment by Nelda — February 21, 2014 @ 4:14 am

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author