Went to this year's illustrator/designer conference at the Feria del Libro here in Buenos Aires. I thought I might as well just to see if there would be any work possibilities for an artist from the U.S like me. Though I felt somewhat strange about it, as if other illustrators there must be wondering why is she looking for work here--work which should rightly go to an Argentinian? But whenever that thought would pop up I would simply remind myself how they would only be too happy to work with U.S. publishers if they could. No barriers, no borders no more.
Except, maybe, for the barrier of language. My Spanish is still at the most basic level and I had to fully listen and concentrate, during the lectures, to grasp what the speaker was saying. Even so, exchanging notes later with my friend, Andrea, it was frustrating to see how much I had missed.
So when we all got the chance to sit down and share our portfolios with industry veterans (in my case, the owner of an animation studio) I was really nervous. What if he/she spoke no english? What if they asked me something that went beyond what my meagre Spanish skills could answer?
(Talk by Brazilian author and illustrator Ziraldo)
Luckily, the person I sat down with not only spoke excellent English but seemed to really like my work. She asked about my animation, as well, but at this point in my career (though I still dream up ideas for animated shorts) I would rather do concepts or paint backgrounds.
One huge drawback about living here, by the way, is the cost of books. I got one paperback, at the feria, for a whopping $225AR (about $21 US). And all the gorgeous art books on this table averaged at $750AR. But, I suppose, at least this inhibits impulse buying.
The cult of Evita.
One of the best things about attending the conference was getting to browse the entire feria without the crowds.
Overall, I was really glad to meet and see the work of so many up and coming illustrators. They strike me as completely dedicated and hungry to succeed. I'm sure some future superstars are among them.