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Children's Picture Books: The Exquisite Balancing Act of Text and Art, with Author/Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson

SCBWI Southwest Texas

Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (CDT)

Children's Picture Books: The Exquisite Balancing Act...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Tuition: SCBWI Member 10 Tickets Ended $75.00 $0.00
Tuition: Nonmember 12 Tickets Ended $100.00 $0.00
Tuition: Nonmember Student (18+ yrs old) 20 Tickets Ended $90.00 $0.00
Private Consultation (SCBWI Members Only) Sold Out Ended $35.00 $0.00

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Share Children's Picture Books: The Exquisite Balancing Act of Text and Art, with Author/Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson

Event Details

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Southwest Texas Chapter




Award-Winning Author & Illustrator

Richard Jesse Watson




Children’s Picture Book:

The Exquisite Balancing Act of Text and Art



Saturday, October 19, 2013

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


University of the Incarnate Word

Grossman International Conference Center

847 E Hildebrand Ave

San Antonio, TX  78212



Join author-illustrator Richard Jesse Watson in this workshop for writers and illustrators. Since a picture book is a two-part phenomenon of both text and art, writers benefit from tuning into the illustrator’s perspective and vice versa.

Jump-start synapses and dig down to your tap root in this interactive workshop. Come explore the potency of PLAY, and the power of your own passions in cultivating story material.


This is a generative workshop. Paper and pencils will be provided. Feel free to bring your favorite notebook/sketchbook and pen/pencil. No laptops necessary.

And to get your creative minds fired up: Richard has created two pre-workshop assignments -- one for writers, one for illustrators (see below).



Workshop Tuition

Advance registration is required. Registrants must be at least 18 years old. Please read the registration cancellation policy (at bottom of page) before registering.


SCBWI Member:  $75

Nonmember:  $100

Nonmember student (bring student ID to Workshop): $90



Payment Options

While you must register online, you may choose to pay simply and securely online using PayPal (includes credit cards), or by mailing a check with your completed registration (click "Show Other Payment Options" for mailing instructions).


Tuition includes:

  • Workshop
  • Lunch
  • Social with Coffee, Tea, and Dessert 


Location and Parking

The Grossman International Conference Center (ICC) sits on the northeast corner of the intersection of East Hildebrand Avenue and Highway 281 (847 E. Hildebrand Ave). Enter from Hildebrand. The Conference Center is ahead on the right. Free parking lies ahead on the left, in a parking garage (its label, the Alonso Ancira Tower, is visible from Hwy 281).

Upon entering the ICC, turn left. The workshop will take place in the Conference Hall. We'll be there to guide you!

*Note* We do not recommend you approach the workshop from Broadway Street, due to extensive construction in the Broadway/Hildebrand area and lower campus of UIW. Please plan to approach the ICC workshop venue from Highway 281 for less congestion.


Additional Opportunity for SCBWI Members Only

Private Consultation on Sunday, October 20:  $35

* * * SOLD OUT * * *

SCBWI members may add a private consultation to their registration for $35 (workshop registration required). Award-winning author/illustrator Richard Jesse Watson will conduct these 25-minute, one-on-one consultations on the morning AFTER the workshop to discuss your portfolio or picture book dummy. Instructions for sharing material will be emailed to purchasers within one (1) week of receipt of full payment. Total consultations available: 10. Must be purchased by October 1, 2013. Consultations will take place in San Antonio; location to be announced.

Workshop Instructor


Richard Jesse Watson

Author & Illustrator

Have you ever wanted to climb into a picture?


"I have. In fact, ever since I was the size of a fire hydrant I drew pictures I could play in. Pictures in which to wander far and wide, to go anywhere and do anything. Pictures were my own rocket ship to planets of unlimited imagination.


“I still climb into my pictures when writing and illustrating a book. This portmanteau world of children’s literature is the jolliest combination of the written word and the painted picture - the perfect traveling bag for exploring the universe."


Watson has both written and illustrated published works since 1984. His version of The Night Before Christmas with HarperCollins was a New York Times Bestseller. People Magazine awarded his 1990 Nancy Willard collaboration Best Picture Book of the Year and Publishers Weekly asserts, “Watson’s artwork achieves a startling blend of the ancient and the timeless.”


Watson won the 1989 SCBWI Golden Kite Award, and in 2012 was selected to be a Golden Kite judge. His work is part of the traveling Golden Kite Golden Dreams art show. In 2011, Watson, along with Jerry Pinkney, Kadir Nelson, Marla Frazee, David Small, Paul Zelinsky and Denise Fleming gave live art demos for the National SCBWI Conference Illustrators’ Intensive. 


Watson studied at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena City College and completed an Art History Practicum in Europe, Russia, and Eastern Europe. He was named an Ezra Jack Keats Fellow by the University of Minnesota. His paintings have been chosen for numerous juried exhibitions, including The Original Art Exhibit, the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibit, permanent and traveling exhibits with MAZZA Museum, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Museum, and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

Pre-Workshop Assignments

For Illustrators ~ Paradigm Shift in The Hundred Acre Woods

“What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.


Illustrate a character(s) from A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh books (illustrated by Ernest Shepherd). Shift paradigm by changing time period and context. Express the character’s essence or change by showing an emotional response to environment or situation. How might the characters change?

For instance: 

  • plunk Pooh down in the Wild West 
  • Tigger and friends as Lucha Libre wrestlers
  • Piglet in a robot graveyard
  • Eeyore as a therapist

Try one of these suggestions or come up with your own. Then draw or paint the results. 

Bring a series of character sketches, a finished illustration, or both. 

For Writers ~ Paradigm Shift

Take apart an existing picture book and put it back together again crooked. Or pick two stories from any genre and fuse them to create a new children’s  picture book. Why yes, Igor, you may surgically remove a character from one story and stitch them into the plot from another. A literary DNA swap.

For instance:

  • Swan Lake + The Three Little Pigs = Pig Lake
  • Johanna Spyri’s  Heidi  +  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein  = Grandfather’s Bad        Day In The Alps 
  • Fancy Nancy + Babar = Pretty Pachyderm
  • One of Your Faves + Another Fave = A New Hybrid Original

Or, you might simply select a favorite picture book and change the point-of-view. Something like, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Now tell it from the bear’s point-of-view. What was once a camp song and bedtime chant becomes a cave-owner thwarting intruders. 

Bring a rough draft for picture book format (under 500 words).

Cancellation Policy (Updated June 1, 2013)

Attendee Cancellation

SCBWI-SWTX will refund fees for tuition and private consultations (minus EventBrite fee of approx. 3.0% if paid online) if the registrant notifies Regional Advisor Shannon Morgan (ra.scbwiswtx@gmail.com) by Saturday, September 21, 2013. No refunds will be issued after this date.


Organizer Cancellation

If SCBWI-SWTX must cancel the Workshop for any reason, the chapter will refund all fees to registrants. In case of postponement, the chapter will issue refunds to registrants unable to attend on the new date.



Have questions about Children's Picture Books: The Exquisite Balancing Act of Text and Art, with Author/Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson? Contact SCBWI Southwest Texas

When & Where

University of Incarnate Word - Grossman International Conference Center
847 E Hildebrand Ave
San Antonio, TX 78212

Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (CDT)

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SCBWI Southwest Texas

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators is a professional group of writers and artists who create for the children's market.

This event is hosted by the Southwest Texas Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. 

  Contact the Organizer
Children's Picture Books: The Exquisite Balancing Act of Text and Art, with Author/Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson
San Antonio, TX Events Class

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