It sounds like it would be a super fun book to illustrate
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RE: NEW MONTHLY CONTEST!! MERMAIDS! (MERMEN!)
It's so fun seeing everyone's and how different they all are.
Here's my entry! She's a merMAID... with her algae-eating fish "vacuum" and jellyfish "duster".
Thanks SVS for hosting this contest! Not only did I have a lot of fun illustrating it, but it gave me inspiration for a writing prompt too!
Eileen...Keepin' the Ocean Clean
RE: Making postcards
@eric-castleman Most will do a single colour image on the front (which may or may not include just their URL small in the corner) and then on the back, all their contact info and a spot black and white image.
I follow the Sub it Club blog and they do a feature called the "Postcard Post". Here's the archive of that feature where different artists share the postcards they've sent out and advice on strategy. It should give you all the info you need! https://subitclub.com/postcard-post-archive/
RE: Next 3rd Thursday: Agents
@Lee-White Ooohh, great topic!
A few things come to mind:
- The types of agents there are and who they'd best represent (how to determine which type of agent you should approach based on your own strengths and overall goals)
- The types of questions you'd be asked in "The Call". Also, what questions you should ask the agent in order to determine if they'd be a good fit for YOU.
- How much work and what types of work you should have ready before you approach an agent (I've been told by one agent that I pitched at a conference that I should have - as both an illustrator and writer - 3 picture book manuscripts ready in addition to my middle grade graphic novel manuscript, in addition to my portfolio, and she was only actually interested in ONE full dummy done on one of my PBs and said the other manuscripts don't need a dummy because she could sell them with my portfolio being the foundation for showing my style/capabilities. Is this the norm?).
- What are realistic expectations of what working with an agent will be like.
RE: Own Voices
One more thing... If writers and illustrators could only ever depict characters of their own identity, we'd never have a diverse cast of characters in any given story. It would be a sad, sad day if we, instead of seeing multicultural books, began to see "white books", "gay books", "Asian books", etc. This is not representative of life nor is it a message I think we'd want in our world.
RE: Ripple Grove Press - looking for children's book story submissions
I personally know one of their author-illustrators (Jami Gigot - Mae and the Moon) and I believe she's happy with the outcome of working with them.
RE: Should I not be posting pieces from my book dummy on social media?
I recently sent in a question to this effect to Kathy Temean's Writing and Illustrating blog. She currently has a monthly feature on there where Cat and Chris of the CATugeau agency responds to questions.
They just responded to mine on the blog yesterday. Here's what Chris said:
'Danette, an author/illustrator, asked about the protocol with showing images from a book dummy on your site portfolio and other social media. This is actually a very good question and one that needs looking at thoughtfully. It matters if it is YOUR written and illustrated story that YOU are trying to sell, or one you have illustrated for another, or sold to a publisher. First, if the copy rights are still yours, you CAN show it certainly…. doing so might even help you sell it if a buyer sees it there and is interested. But you run the risk of someone ‘borrowing’ the idea if you show too much. (doesn’t happen often…very trustworthy industry…but it does happen) Second, if you have illustrated someone else UNSOLD ms you should get their permission before showing a couple of pieces or characters. Remember, showing sequential, same character images is what helps buyers know what you can do with a narrative story, so you want to show that. Third, if the images are from a SOLD ms with a publisher you MAY NOT show the images (without their permission) until the book is printed! This is very important to know and respect – and legally upheld!'
BTW - you can still submit questions to Kathy for future blogs, in case anyone has questions they'd like answered!
SCBWI postcard contest results
Results are out and the unofficial gallery has gone live today: https://scbwicontestentriesgallery.blogspot.ca/?m=1 Not all the pieces are showing yet though, but a few to browse through!
I'm kicking myself, especially since I'm a graphic designer so I should know better...But all the ones chosen have decent white space in them for SCBWI to include their logo (and if you go to their site the winning 5 are shown with the logos included). Mine didn't have any space. I thought of their colours, for branding purposes, but not space for their logo. DOH! That's something they should've listed though in their contest rules.
Anyway, it's all a learning opportunity. I might still print mine and send out for my own promotional piece!
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RE: Kid Lit 411 illustration
Super cute @RHirsch! Great composition too.
I agree with @MirkaH about the letters not standing out enough. I'd probably make them solid black myself so that they're not the same colour as the birds. It would be cool too if you made the 'I's and '1's look like musical notes - just a thought
I hope I'm not overstepping boundaries here, but just wanted to mention for any writers of PBs in this group - I'm not sure if you're familiar with Kidlit College, but they're now offering a yearly membership which is the closest thing I've seen to SVS's subscription model, but for writing PBs instead of illustrating. So now you can join as a 'Full-2018 Member' for $297 (that's per year) where you get one webinar per month with submission opportunities, plus access to past webinars on demand, plus 10% off their other full courses and crit-n-chats. If you're interested, check it out.
@jimsz Yeah the subscription model is why I'm so hesitant about getting the Studio version - but I'm thinking it may be necessary for a seamless workflow. It's already priced a fair bit more than the standard - yet they had to go and make it a yearly charge on top of that
Hi everyone -
I just got an iPad Pro (woo hoo! So excited) and I'll definitely be getting Astropad (https://astropad.com) since Photoshop is my program of choice.
There seems to be two options: a standard and then a studio professional version. I'm wondering who here uses Astropad with their iPad Pro and which version you use? Do you have any recommendations? There's a free trial for the studio version (which I'll definitely try out!) but not one for the standard. I assume they want you to try the studio one since they're hoping to get you hooked on that one.
If anyone has used the standard version, I'm interested to know if you find it to be robust enough for you and if you miss having any additional features that would be in the studio version. I'm already thinking that just from the sounds of it I'll most likely prefer the studio simply because there's keyboard support and a bunch of options for shortcuts. I may be wrong on this, but then does that mean the standard has NO shortcut features and therefore you have to use the pencil to navigate through menu options to change between tools, etc.? If so, that's a huge hinderance to my workflow.
Anyway - just wondering what your thoughts are if you do use Astropad! And regardless of version, I'd love to know how you like it overall. Thanks!
RE: December 3rd Thursday: Ask us Anything!
Do publishers pay extra for any illustrations you do for marketing purposes, or are you just expected to do however much you can on your own?
If the author of the book is offering to pay the illustrator for doing any extra illustrations for marketing efforts (ie. asking you do a few colouring pages based on your book's character/environment), is it okay morally to accept it? Or should the illustrator just put in the extra time to make these various marketing pieces? (I'm asking for a traditionally published book where the illustrator is getting paid from the publisher, nothing from the author). How would you recommend the author and illustrator go about collaborating on marketing efforts?
RE: A question about working with art directors.
Hey @natiwata! Welcome back
I'm currently working on illustrating my first picture book and I was surprised at how many changes the AD wanted at the thumbnail stage. There were quite a few rounds - but honestly, looking back she was pretty spot-on and the book will be that much better for it. I'm at final art now and two of the spreads she wanted to see in final colour along with approving everything at the linework stage. Thankfully, I had to change a lot less and I recognize that it's largely in part due to "nailing it" at the thumbnail stage. I'm hoping that when I submit all the final art there's minimal changes too because at least she liked/approved the line art and compositions already.
As much I was surprised by the rounds of changes to the thumbnails, I went to a talk with Ashley Spires recently. She's a Canadian illustrator and has done 10+ books with Canadian illustrators and is just now working on her first one with an American publisher. She said it was like night and day - that the Canadian publishers gave her so much more freedom and the American one was soooo uptight at the character design phase. She showed us her sketches she did for her character design - she gave them more than 150 options before they chose one! Yikes.
At the end of the day though, I think it depends on the publishing company and the personality of the art director whether they'll be more hands-on or not.
RE: Holiday promos
@smceccarelli This is great! Super adorable. I love that you can use it for both a Twitter banner and 3 images on Instagram. Great idea!
The only thing that's not reading for me is the bear in the center with the scarf - it took me far too long to "get" what was happening with his arm on the left. I see it now (his arm is linked with the bear next to him) and maybe that would improve when you go to colour, but right now it's awkwardly not reading well for me.
RE: Agents on Instagram?
@laurel-aylesworth May I ask why you're trying to get an agent's attention that way, when you could just do your research and submit to them direct?
Of course it's great to organically be "found" that way - but for one, I personally think it's better to take control and be proactive about it. Not to mention it's more strategic - you're just submitting then to the agents whom you think you'd like to work with and would fit on their list.
I actually had an agent contact me about 2 weeks ago after seeing my illustrations on the SCBWI website. It didn't work out in the end - just as he decided I wasn't a good fit for him after all, I immediately had a gut feeling he wasn't right for me either. If you're hoping to get attention from the exact right agents who would be a good fit for you just through social media I think you'll be waiting a very long time. Especially since many agents, while open to new clients, have VERY full lists already and aren't going out of their way to find ones outside of the oodles of submissions they already get.
Put yourself in the driver's seat And, good luck!
RE: Self-marketing decisions
@smceccarelli What a great post! Thanks for sharing all this great insight.
I've been wondering about the efficacy of postcards myself recently. It certainly does seem like a lot of work (and money! Especially if you're sending to American publishers yet don't live in the States yourself...postage is expensive!).
It's funny you mention Behance - less than a week ago I signed up again after years of not being on it. For now I've just posted my graphic design related work, but now that you've had success with it for illustration, I think I'll check to see if there's different groupings you can put things into (so that I can keep the graphic design work separate from the illustration).
Also... a HUGE congrats on your new book contract! I can't wait to hear more about it. Yay!!!