This week I had the priviledge of attending a Young Authors Conference with 2 of my daughters who are in 4th and 5th grade.
It was a wonderful event where children from elementary schools all over the area converge on a community college (which happened to be on Spring Break) and get to learn from and interact with real authors and illustrators. There were several presentations throughout the day and also a bookstore where you could buy the authors’ books and get their autograph.
This year’s theme was poetry, so we met two excellent poets, James Bertolino, and Lorraine Ferra (snagged their books and signatures) and also a very talented children’s book illustrator, Craig Orback – who is a real artist that can create art in a variety of mediums: oil and canvas, pen and ink, water color, pastels, chalk, pencil sketch, etc.
The point I’d like to make is that true scarce skills are still valuable. These people actually make their living by being very good poets and artists. Even though the publishing world is changing because anybody can publish a book online these days, and all the new digital tools for creating graphic arts allows almost anyone to become an artist, the fact remains that you still need to have skills to produce high quality material.
Craig told me that work hasn’t slowed down for him at all, just because of the digital age. And these older poets we met have written many books and their poetry is used all over, in a variety of places.
So even though the world is changing, and the kids need to learn new skills these days, if they can be the best (or one of the best) in whatever skill they choose, people will want to experience what they produce. And they’ll always have something to do.