So let me tell ya, Weisner had a great presentation that revolved around the theme of how great ideas come from your surroundings. He was trying to relate that he's not a genius, but that there are very down-to-earth reasons for his awesome stories. (Still a genius in my book...). I've now got 'Art and Max' down on my book wishlist--I always get a children's book for my birthday and Christmas, and they are most often from Weisner. And Buehner. And Terry. It's great stuff, I'm telling you!
I was also excited to hear from illustrators such as Gennady Spirin, who talked in Russian and had his son translate; and Susan Meddaugh, creator of Martha Speaks! (Martha was an average dog, who went woof and woof and grrr, til she ate some alphabet soup, and what happened was bizarre...). I wish there was a music note emoticon.
Here's a digital study I did where I was going for realisitic: