Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hooray for Dan and a Two-Post Day!

I  love being privileged enough to witness someone share their story especially when I get glimpses of their courage and integrity.
A cool experience at the SCBWI conference in Seattle this past April stays with me still today.  SCBWI stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – it’s a wonderful international organization for published and wannabe published writers and illustrators.
One of the keynoters was Dan Santat, talented children’s book writer and commercial illustrator.  Visit him at  He shared his story of choosing art school over med school…..his long long hours and hard work to make it as an artist ….and get discovered…..his constant worry (while working three jobs and keeping crazy hours)  about making enough to provide for his family and have time for them while staying true to the work he loves ….. and how he has finally been getting to a place of balance and recognition in this crazy industry called kid lit.
Then he shared the last part of his story.  It was titled The Google Incident.  He received an ‘out of the blue’ contact from Google – which led to an interview – which led to Google’s  offer to be their Art Editor!  The package offered was incredibly generous. With each hesitation on his part, it became more generous and then more …..  and more.
What do they see us valuing?
We listened in silence as he wrapped up his remarks with a picture of his ‘Support Group’ – his wife and two adorable sons –  and then his decision to pass up the Google offer to do what he loves (ART) and have time for his beloved 'Support Group'.  He was in tears.  Many of us were as well.
I stood along with the other five hundred in the audience, sniffed, and applauded him.  I applaud him and thank him again today for that gift.  I wish the young people in my life —in all our lives – could have heard him… could have felt the emotion around values-driven decision making. Hooray for you, Dan! 


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