Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winner of the 2011 Tomie dePaola Award from SCBWI!!!

When I received a call from the head offices of the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), I knew that something special was about to happen. SCBWI's Executive Director, Lin Oliver, told me that I was the winner of the 2011 Tomie dePaola award, an international illustration competition. I was so excited, overwhelmed, and honored that Tomie dePaola recognized my work. He is one of the most renowned and beloved illustrators, and for a young illustrator it is a tremendous boost of confidence to know that he appreciates your work.

Tomie dePaola had some very kind words to say about my piece:

"The composition of Katia's piece is very striking, as is the point of view," said Tomie. "I like her painting style and the figure of Heidi is full of life. I also like the way she placed Heidi's face against the black skirt of the adult figure. The vertical shape of the illustration gives the viewer a real sense of the mountains and I love the way Heidi is being 'pulled' into the picture."

Here is SCBWI's announcement of the award:

"SCBWI received more than 150 entries from illustrators for the 2011 Tomie dePaola Award. This year's contest asked illustrators to create an original piece interpreting the opening of Johanna Spyri’s HEIDI. 'I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I’ve never seen before!" Tomie said. 'I want to be surprised, excited and--VERY jealous that I didn’t think of that way to illustrate it.'

The winner, chosen by Tomie dePaola himself, is Katia Wish. Katia wins a $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies, plus full tuition, transportation and accommodations to the SCBWI Annual Winter Conference. Her winning piece will be featured at the exhibition in New York."

Thank you so much, Tomie and SCBWI! It's the greatest inspiration an illustrator can have!