29 November, 2013 (All day)
Ginny Tilby impressed the students of Morgan Elementary School with her quick drawing and talented illustrations as she introduced herself and taught lessons she has learned through sketches projected onto the wall.
She talked about growing up in Morgan and the things she liked to do growing up all while illustrating each of her ideas as quickly as she was explaining them.
Because of technical difficulties, Tilby was not able to use her laptop to show the kids her process as she had expected to, but her amazing improvisational skills thrilled the students. To get their attention, she put a paper on the projector and wrote “Hi everyone,” and “Make a silly face.” Soon the gym was filled with silly faces and waves.
With fascinating speed and exceptional skill, Tilby illustrated three concepts she learned that help improve art skills.
First, draw what you see. She would draw everyday things around her like a shoe or a soda bottle. As she progressed, she would add in more detail.
The second concept is to draw from your imagination. She asked the young audience for two animals she could combine. The whole assembly erupted in different animal ideas. She showed the students how they could imagine an animal that was half lion half frog. This creative creature brought giggles and gasps of admiration at her talent.
The third concept involved using shapes. She showed how shapes like circles and triangles can be used to create art.
Tilby learned in college, “In order to be a pro in anything, it takes 10,000 hours of practice.” She was glad she put many of those hours in while she was young.
As Tilby read her darling book about a hippo, the elementary children sat eagerly listening to the clever rhyming message. As she held up the book to show off each page, the student body stretched eagerly to catch a glimpse of Tilby’s imaginative and endearing characters.
In the book “You Should! You Should!” the hippo finds himself being told he should be more like the other animals. He feels like he must try to be like them and hang from a tree like the possum or walk like a flamingo or all of the other things he is told are better than what he would like to do. After trying to fit in and be like the other animals, he decides to be himself and soon finds the animals will like him anyway.
Tilby talked personally about her inspiration for the book, which is about being yourself and not trying to be what others think you should be. She spoke of a time she ate dirt and pretended she liked it because she thought one of her friends would like her more if she did.
The students of Morgan Elementary were lucky to have a talented artist and writer speak to them about her experience writing, illustrating and publishing her book. Tilby was warmly accepted by the students for sharing inspiring messages about following dreams and becoming very good at what they will do or simply being happy with who they are as individuals now.
This is Tilby’s first printed book. She previously wrote a story app called “Kitty Wants” available on iTunes. This story app is unlike an ebook that is read like a book. A story app is more interactive with sounds and movement.
Once Tilby wrote “You Should! You Should!” she went to WIFRY, a writers conference in Salt Lake City. Besides the knowledge she gained from the week-long conference, she also got her foot in the door with publishers.
This proved to be much more effective than if she had gone about it on her own. After finding a publisher with similar interests to her own, Tilby sent a link to her portfolio. The publisher loved her illustrations and couldn’t wait to put out a book with Tibly as the author and illustrator.
She personally inscribed books purchased through the school that day. She also penned her name to books that evening at Literacy Night and again at Ridley’s. You can purchase “You Should! You Should!” on Amazon.com. This charming book will be available at Barnes and Noble and other bookstores soon.
Tilby is very grateful to everyone who has supported her through the whole process. Friends and family members followed blog and facebook posts, read the book, encouraged her through hard times and got excited with her during the good times. “I would advise would-be authors to have many people read their work over and over again. Have different people read it out loud to work out any areas that don’t flow smoothly.”
Tilby says there were many people who helped her along the way and that she would like to thank all of them. Because of their support, a positive beautiful book is available to help children feel comfortable with who they are.