Saturday, March 26, 2011

My everything...

A quick sketch for Illustration Friday's topic of the week 'toy'.

Ah, the heartbreak of poor pink cat as he discovers the truth...
"I am but just one of your toys?" can that be pink cat wonders as his heart sinks with despair.
"My sweet love" she says softly with a quiet reassurance in her voice, "although you are not a real cat my heart loves you all the are my everything."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

90 Ways to Market Your Children's Illustration Portfolio!

The how and why…

So, I thought I would give myself a challenge.  I had been thinking about all of the ways I should be marketing myself and thought that I should make more of a commitment to follow through.  I knew I had to give myself a deadline or I’d be working on it for weeks instead of marketing myself.  Surely there must be many more ways to market myself than I really think!  So the challenge became to come up with 90 ways in under 90 minutes.  I did it…90 ways in 90 minutes!  Well, I did go slightly over the 90 minutes but not by much and surprisingly I came up with 105 points.  Some were slight repeats so after some editing I have 90 good ways to market my illustration career.  The list is comprised of the very obvious, to different ideas I’ve tried, hear of or been told in the past, plus a few of my own.  

The 90 ways...   

1.      Create your professional portfolio.
2.      Write up your biography, client list, bibliography, resume or c.v.
3.      Create a website with an online portfolio.
4.      Create a blog.
5.      Create a Facebook page.
6.      Create a Twitter account.
7.      Join or like other Facebook groups within the industry.
8.      Create a post card.
9.      Prepare or create a tear sheet of your work.
10.  Prepare a marketing package include, tear sheets, illustration samples, post card, cover letter, resume/biography.
11.  Blog and add updates to your website often.
12.  Join industry associations.
13.  Attend association meetings.
14.  Join industry directories.
15.  Join social art groups locally or online.
16.  Buy or take out from the library the book ‘Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market’.
17.  Research picture books you like and find publishers that publish your style of work.
18.  Research possible publishers carefully reviewing their submission guidelines.
19.  Research agents, carefully reviewing their submission guidelines.
20.  Research educational publishers reviewing their submission guidelines.
21.  Research magazines reviewing their submission guidelines.
22.  Research contests you can enter your art in.
23.  Research awards and grants you can apply for.
24.  Record dates and enter contests, apply for awards and grants.
25.  Enter local art shows to exhibit your work.
26.  Hold an art show yourself to showcase your work.
27.  Enter any other industry art shows.
28.  Donate a piece of your artwork for charity.
29.  Write a press release and send it out locally and within the industry.
30.  Write helpful articles such as advice on tools, tips, and your experiences.
31.  Answer some typical interview questions about yourself and post them on your website or blog.
32.  Take some courses. Don’t forget to network.
33.  Do a drawing a day to keep your skills and energy up.
34.  Create more illustrations for your portfolio.
35.  Enter online art participatory events.
36.  Send your marketing package to your researched publishers, agents, magazine and educational publishers.
37.  Create an online store to sell and market your prints, cards etc.
38.  Tell your family and friends what your goals are. Go big.
39.  Create business cards.
40.  Pass out your business cards to everyone you know.  Give them each two or three, one to keep and a couple to give away on your behalf.
41.  Make your studio or art space comfortable and inspiring.
42.  Organize your office or business space.
43.  Advertise yourself locally.
44.  Ask for referrals and testimonials.  Follow them up.
45.  Research newspapers for editorial work.
46.  Research advertising agencies.
47.  Research greeting card companies.
48.  Research manufacturers for licensing.
49.  Contact the newspapers, ad agencies, greeting card and manufacturers you researched.
50.  Take part in, or review industry forums.
51.  Search for art jobs online.
52.  Look in major newspapers for art jobs.
53.  Create a newsletter.
54.  Contact design studios.
55.  Go to industry trade shows. Take your business cards.
56.  Attend an industry awards event. Take your business cards.
57.  Write a story and illustrate it.
58.  Try adding some adverting to your vehicle.
59.  Network.
60.  Attend a workshop.
61.  Teach a course.
62.  Teach a workshop.
63.  Do school visits.
64.  Do book signings.
65.  Create a profile on LinkedIn.
66.  Know the market, study current trends, styles etc.
67.  See if other artists will post a link to you on their blog or website.
68.  Call people!  If there is a phone number, give it a try.  Be professional and polite.
69.  Create a book or nicely designed print version of your portfolio.
70.  Find some inspiration, watch a movie, go to an art gallery, exhibition or museum.
71.  Read some good marketing books. Remember you are a business.
72.  Compile a contact list. Include everyone you know, have worked with and want to work with.  Include your family and friends.
73.  Create a reply card to go with your marketing package and SASE.
74.  Find a mentor in the business.  Someone you can talk to, ask questions etc.
75.  Create your own letterhead.
76.  Tell people you will follow up and follow up.
77.  Email or call clients you have done work for in the past.
78.  Print a calendar and send it to your best clients and prospects.
79.  Consider advertising in a creative annual print catalog.
80.  Read some success stories/interviews about illustrators you admire to re-fuel.
81.  Take care of yourself… eat well, get enough sleep, be positive.
82.  Create specific goals.  Write them down and keep them visible.
83.  Create a ‘to do’ list and check it daily.
84.  Write down any special deadlines for contests, submissions etc.
85.  Create a digital portfolio and keep it available for distribution through email or on a CD.
86.  Promote your stock illustrations specifically.
87.  Send out holiday greetings to your contact list.
88.  Announce any awards you receive or special achievements.
89.  Try a new computer program, technique or something fun!
90.  Do it all over again!

Good Luck!  Keep checking back as I expand on each point!

Copyright 2011 Kerrie Lent.  Please contact me for reproduction inquiries. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cultivating a little love...

So I did a little painting for IF's topic of the week 'cultivate'...just can't wait for spring!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse...

This is an older illustration that just seemed to fit perfectly for this week's word of inspiration from Illustration Friday.