Tomie dePaola Award!


I returned from the SCBWI Winter conference late last night.  It still feels like a dream!  My brain is always so overloaded after being around such a vast swell of talent and inspiration.

I won the Tomie dePaola Award for the portfolio display.  I was so shocked and honored.  There were 200 portfolios on display.  I still can’t believe it!

I will give you a few tips on putting together a winning portfolio:

1. Have a distinct style, this takes years of practice so get started now.

2. Include only your very best artwork, I had 11 pieces in my portfolio that were my absolute best. Don’t include anything that shows your weaknesses!

3.  When putting together your portfolio start out with a strong piece and end with the strong piece.  Don’t put your best piece first though or it will be all downhill from there!

4. Don’t worry about winning competitions, because it’s so subjective and what you really want is a portfolio that lands jobs!

Thanks for all the well-wishes and support.  I will wear my tiara proudly over the next year!



Filed under News

13 responses to “Tomie dePaola Award!

  1. I’m so happy for you Heather! We were woot-wooting you when you won. It could not have gone to a nicer person. Many, many congratulations!

  2. Congratulations, Heather! You must be thrilled! Love your style. Thanks for the tips on putting together a winning portfolio.

  3. WOWWIE!! I read about your triumph over at Leezy’s blog and I was so excited to find out that you took top honors. It’s a big deal. Congrats!! Your work is beautiful and deserves it’s recognition.

  4. Congratulations Heather!

    I was just doing a little conference surfing to see what I missed and saw your name. Fun to see a name I recognize as a winner. You’ve done a great job of establishing your name and developing your style! Thanks for the tips too.

    How exciting!

  5. Fantastical Congratulations Heather! You are truly awesome, and I agree it couldn’t have gone to a nicer more hard-working person. Very well deserved, and I’m honored to know you!

    Hurrah, hurrah!

  6. I love your style and I’m very in awe of your drawing abilities.

    I went to art school for photography and had to take drawing classes even though I am NOT an artist in that sense – I totally appreciate the talent of those who can!

  7. Congrats – your portfolio is amazing! It was so much fun to see you crowned 🙂

  8. Very nice work! Your tips for a good portfolio are right on target. I think all of us lucked out with the beautifully organized and well attended Portfolio Exhibition!


  9. WOHOOOOOO!!!! oh heather, this is so fantastic!!!! good for YOU!!! and thanks for sharing the tips! 🙂
    best wishes to you…

  10. Whooo hooo! You go, grrl! :^) I’m glad your hard work and incredible vision for your art have paid off.

  11. Congrats on putting together a winning portfolio. I’m just starting out and searching the web for tips and advice. I have been very lucky and have gained some commissions already and have just illustrated a children’s book which will be ready to buy in September. How exciting!!!
    I am now in the process of putting together a portfolio and thinking about mailers and promotion. Any tips and advice would be greatly received.

  12. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. humblearts

    Thank you everyone for the congrats. It’s been a fun and exciting time!

    Sarah, I highly recommend Holli Conger’s Becoming an Illustrator:

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