Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Illustrating Tips from the Pros

As an illustrator I am always trying to find the best tips, not only for myself, but to share with others. I stumbled across a great Twitter tool in an article in Publisher’s Weekly. So in the spirit of “share, share, share” here you go:

#Arttips is a great subject to follow on Twitter. Giuseppe Castellano, an award-winning illustrator and Art Director at Penguin, continually posts terrific advice for illustrators trying to break into the business. Follow him at: @pinocastellano

Over the past few weeks I have posed some questions to Giuseppe Castellano who readily gave great replies. Here are just a few that I found to be very helpful. My best tip is to follow this guy—seriously, he knows his stuff and he is super-duper helpful.

Q: I'm looking to do more children's book work. How? 

A: Start with promos to 30-40 imprints, have a web presence (your site + social media.)

Q: Can you give me an example of a promo email?

A: Dear soandso; name is; I'm an; I researched your imprints; see my link; Thank you for time, Name. Remember: Art Director's aren't your bankers or best buds, so the cold email shouldn't read like we are. Be personal, professional, and to the point.

Q: Where is the best place to find a list for Art Director’s emails and addresses?

A: Two places to start are #SCBWI's book & the web. I did a quick search and found a list…

Q: Why is listing your email address better than having a contact form on your website?

A: Emails are filed for reference. Forms can't be.
Giuseppe Castellano is also a huge fan of postcards. He expects to see one from you. In fact he takes pictures and posts them on Twitter and asks where your postcard is. Postcards are an easy way to get your art in front of Art Directors. Make sure you do your research and submit the proper art to each imprint. Have your website clearly printed on the front of the postcard and your name. You can use the reverse side for your mailing address and phone number. Best of luck in finding success in your art! And that’s my key on tips from the pros.

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