Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Barbara DiLorenzo

Illustrator and Writer

Region: New Jersey
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

Barbara DiLorenzo is the author/illustrator of RENATO AND THE LION (Viking Children's Books) and QUINCY (Little Bee Books). She received her BFA in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and studied painting at the Art Students League of New York under Mary Beth McKenzie. In 2014 she received the Dorothy Markinko Scholarship Award from the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature. She is a signature member in the New England Watercolor Society as well as the Society of Illustrators. Currently, she teaches at the Arts Council of Princeton and is co-president of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group of New York. Barbara lives in Hopewell, New Jersey with her wonderful family–who constantly inspire new stories. 

Barbara is the Illustrator Coordinator for New Jersey SCBWI and is represented by Rachel Orr of the Prospect Agency.
Visit her portfolio at

Presentation Description:

I truly love teaching people about the bookmaking process.

Whether speaking at a school, library, or conference, I'm happy to provide a warm, inspiring talk with interactive drawing demonstrations. After years of teaching, I'm comfortable speaking in front of crowds of all ages. Though, like my character QUINCY (Little Bee Books, 2018), I do occasionally turn crimson for no reason. Kids of all ages usually find that entertaining. :-)

When presenting, I like to emphasize that every artist and/or writer is capable of learning their craft. No one is born with perfect talent. We all need to develop our skills, to learn how to endure ups and downs in our careers and stick with it no matter what. I try to focus on how mistakes are really important. It means we are still learning and experimenting and growing.

I also focus on how important it is to follow our instincts with art making. By using our imaginations and coming up with silly or bizarre ideas, we break through to new ideas. If we are afraid to fail or make mistakes, we remain rigid and our ideas don't become as exciting as they could be.

Sometimes with visits, I find it fun to have the kids come up with characteristics for a protagonist and an antagonist. I draw what they suggest, and we have a fun time putting our fearlessness to work.

For visits with adults or older school children, I also enjoy talking about the research and history involved in RENATO AND THE LION. I purposefully layered the story to give the older audience something extra regarding art preservation during World War II in Florence, Italy. There are Easter Eggs hidden in the book, which I explain at length. I also discuss the long journey for RENATO AND THE LION–from concept to publication. For talks involving authors and illustrators, I discuss the tips and tricks I've learned over the years–mostly from doing many things exactly wrong.

When my books are available, I am happy to sign copies and personalize them for people.

I am starting to plan for the summer release of RENATO AND THE LION, as well as for the 2018-2019 school year. If you are interested in connecting with me to plan a visit, please contact me at wavepaint at I'm so excited to share with any and every age!

Video of Presentation: