Tag Archives: postcard

The Wreck of the Salty Carrot

These images from Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies are up on my website, but they’re kind of small.  I thought you might like to see them here, so you can embiggen simply by clicking on them.

For the shipwreck scene, I wanted to mimic antique oil paintings of storms at sea.  The first three images by masters of the genre represent the kind of nautical art to which I would be tipping my hat.

Following those are my own work.  By now you know the drill: thumbnail sketch, tight sketch, color study, final illustration.

The thumbnail sketches are each about 2″ tall, the tight sketch is maybe 8″ tall, the color study is the size of a postcard, the final is about 20″ x 14″.

Eilian in foul weather, or Foul, Reuben Chappell

Ships in a Storm, Elisha J. Taylor Baker

Agamemnon in Storm

Renaissance & Baroque musical instruments

I had it in mind to create some note cards with these images.  Never got around to it.

A wee spot

Here’s a fun little spot illustration I did for the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, this time to promote a concert of ancient Scottish and Irish music—both sacred (church liturgy) and profane (drinking songs).  The costume is from a painting of a highland aristocrat wearing his hunting clothes.

scot

scotty

It’s October…

UPDATE! If you live in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and like to hear really old classical music, mark your calendar Oct 24 to attend The Medieval Beasts concert. I’m told it’s a costume event, but didn’t see any info about that on the R&B website.  Go—you’ll have an enjoyable evening and meet some fun people.

Here’s a little spot illustration I did a couple of years ago for the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh.  For October that year they’d booked a group called Artec who did a concert of Graveyard Music. So, we promoted it with a postcard.  A couple of sketch ideas—

graveyard.A

graveyard.B

Ann Mason—the exec director—liked sketch A.

skeleton

How To Become An Illustrator, Canto IV

Step Four.  Promote.

Once you’ve got your portfolio together, you want people to see it—specifically people who can hire you.

Let’s make this an assault on multiple fronts.  You young illustrators have many media available for self-promotion.

The world-wide web. Get yourself a website.  It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a place to put up some samples of your work and your contact information.  Nowadays everybody expects to be able to find you on the web, so make sure you’re there.  Because we live in an age of technological marvels, you can build a website yourself, for free: http://www.moogo.com/.  Here’s a review.

I’ve noticed illustrators have been posting their samples on flickr, which doesn’t cost you anything, either.  Same with Facebook.

Print media. Even though I have a web presence, I rely on print media to let potential clients know I’m there.  I strongly recommend that you consider a postcard mailing campaign.  This will cost you a few skins, but I’ve found the return on investment to be worthwhile.  I go to Modern Postcard to print my postcards.  They’re in California and all they do is print postcards.  A batch of 500 will set you back around $120.00.  Once you go to their website, they really take care of you.  There are downloadable templates so you may design your postcard to fit US postal requirements.  You may submit everything to them electronically.  They’ll turn your job around in less than 2 weeks.

Put a show-stopping four-color image on the front of your postcard, and tell everyone how to find you on the back.  If you can afford it, consider sending a series of postcards that tell a story. I did this and I got a great response from art directors—and a couple of jobs.  I told a story in four images, and mailed my postcards every Monday for 4 weeks.  By the time the fourth postcard was mailed, the ADs were waiting for it.

You’ll need a mailing list of people who might hire you. When I began, I wanted to break into children’s publishing, so I needed a list of art directors who work for children’s magazine and book publishers.  I transcribed my list from Children’s Artists’ & Writers’ Market.  If kids’ illustration isn’t your bag, a more general list can be gleaned from the 2009 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market Of course you can buy mailing lists, but I prefer to build and maintain my own.  Don’t forget to send a postcard to every member of your family and everyone you’ve ever met.  You never know who may turn out to be an important contact.

Creative directories. These are catalogues of illustrators—you buy a page, put your images on it and the directory is sent out to zillions of art directors.  This can get pricey.  I stick with Picture Book only. I’ve tried some of the others, and I’d never been able to establish that I got a return on my investment; that is, the page didn’t generate more fees than I paid for it.  Picture Book is a small slice of the illustration market—children’s only—which is the more effective way for me to promote myself.

Competitions. Don’t necessarily generate sales.

All your promotion should be run at a profit.  If you spend a dollar on promotion and don’t get more than a dollar back, stop doing that kind of promotion and try something else.

Get this book and read it: Your Marketing Sucks.

DON’T e-mail art directors with unsolicited samples.