Whoo-hoo, Lori Ann! Congratulations!
We want to know all about your prestigious award. Where and what will you be doing?
It is a new award that the SCBWI Los Angeles Chapter initiated this year. Applicants were given a list of questions. What are your goals, your favorite books and a dream project you would like to see published. Applicants sent in ten digital images and then waited! This isn’t new to writer/illustrators. Deborah Lattimore is the mentor and she contacted me by phone and said many complementary things about the strength of my work and that she just couldn’t pick one winner. She asked the panel if they would allow two recipients. They said she could only have one winner, which was Matthew Rivera. Deborah insisted that she had to have an honorable mention because she felt she just ‘had to work with me’. I am a little embarrassed to share that but it is an honor indeed and I have already met with her once. She is enthusiastic, honest, kind and encouraging.
What do you hope to accomplish while studying in Mexico?
The program is an academic award through the National Endowment for the Humanities. The University of Oregon coordinates it. Thirty students will be involved. Each week is dedicated to a different facet of Mexican culture. Week one focuses on archaeology, week two we study ethnohistory, week three’s concentration is community arts and the final week we devote to Mexican film. I am excited to be with other academically oriented individuals who are passionate about education. I plan on being a sponge. We will see what rings out of me after the experience. I do know that I will be better equipped to share what I learn with my junior high students.
You are also and art educator. Does teaching help you with your own works of art and writing
I am not really sure how my teaching influences my work. I know that it is a humbling experience, I learn more about myself as a person, and I am inspired to get the best out of those with whom I encounter. It strengthens my love of art and humankind. It is a privilege and one that I am grateful for.
Have you thought about illustrating AND writing your picture books?
I have been writing and illustrating my own work since I received my MFA in illustration in 2009. I am waiting for the right home to open its doors for me.
What’s next for you?
I am a life-long learner. I don’t worry too much about what is in front of me. I guess that is a gift of being older. I am finding joy in the present, loving the opportunities to learn and grateful for the kindness around me. I hope I am able to continue to pay my wealth forward. That is what is most important to me.
Thank you! We will be looking for you in many, many books!
Bio: Lori Ann is a middle school art teacher and lives in southern California. She enjoys teaching and sharing her art skills with her students and her peers. Every day you can see a new work of art posted on her Facebook page, which we all look forward to.
You can see more of Lori Ann's art work by visiting her website: www.levyholm.com/LA/Welcome.html
She is represented by Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children's Literary www.sadlercreativeliterary.com