Monday, November 28, 2016

Illustration Block

Okay, so, writers get writer's block so would illustrators get illustration block? Or maybe a better word is creative block? No, I like illustration block. Not really sure if that's even a real word but it's my word. Like writer's block, there are times when I sit at my drawing board staring at a blank piece of paper and wondering what the heck am I going to draw?

 So to remedy my "illustration block" I decided I needed to challenge myself. I searched the Internet and found this website called Illustration Friday.  It's a weekly drawing challenge that provides you with a prompt word and then you have to illustrate your interpretation of the word.  Every Friday a new topic is posted.  This week's topic is "Tape."

This is my interpretation of the word "tape."

I really had fun with this challenge so I think I will stay in it for a while.   It's also great to see other people's interpretation.  There is so much talent out there.   Here's another great link for more challenges from Kidlit411.

 So if you find yourself struggling with what to draw, go ahead and take part in the illustration challenges out there.  I did, and I love it.  It is a way to keep the creative juices flowing.  It definitely helped me overcome my illustration block.   I can't wait to see what next Friday's word is.

Until then, it's back to the drawing board for me.


Monday, November 14, 2016

My Illustrator Postcard!

My previous post, "SCBWI," was about me joining this wonderful organization.  One of the privileges of being a member is you get to attend certain regional events for free.

Back in September I attended at "Get-Together-Brown Bag Lunch," with Artist-Agent Chris Tugeau, at the home of A.B. Westrick.  Agent Tugeau had a Q&A session where she answered all of our questions.   It was a great turnout approximately 16-20 writers/illustrators showed up.

During the Q&A session Agent Tugeau talked about postcards for illustrators.  If you do not know what an illustrator postcard is. Postcards are the most cost effective way to promote your art and the fastest way to get it into the art director or agents hands.

At the time, I only had business cards made up (talk about old school) but, I guess I am showing my age.  I thought business cards were the most effective.

So when Chris Tugeau brought up postcards, I have to honestly admit, I had no idea what she was talking about.  So, I went home and did some research and came up with my postcard.

I decided on this picture as the front of my postcard.

And for my back:

So I sent my design off to get printed.  I was so excited when I got them back!

Well,  while I was looking them over I realized I made a big mistake on the back of the card!  Do you spot it?

I didn't leave space for who I'm sending it to.  The whole idea of a promotional postcard is to mail it like a regular postcard and avoid envelopes!  They say the chances of you mailing something in to an art director or agent in an envelope will probably end up in the trash.  Art Directors/Agents are so busy that they don't have time to open envelopes.  

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!  I'm pulling my hair out!  

Instead of trashing them, I decided to keep them for when I go to conferences and pass them out to my fellow illustrators.   If you want to read more on illustrator postcards here is a blog post you should check out:  Promotional Postcards, by Molly Idle.   It contains great information! 

Looks like it is back to the drawing board for me!

Until then...Keep drawing.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Since my first post. I rejoined Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI.  For those of you who don't know about this wonderful non profit organization, SCBWI is the largest children's writing organization in the world.   SCBWI is the only professional organization specifically for illustrators and writers of children's literature. They have 51 U.S. Chapters and 30 international chapters.

SCBWI supports and educates illustrators and writers through many different programs, awards, grants, and regional events.  They hold 2 annual conferences, the Winter Conference is held in New York and the Summer Conference is held in Los Angeles.  A couple of weeks back I attended my regional annual conference in Northern Virginia.  More on the Mid-Atlantic conference in a later post.

To sum it up, joining SCBWI is just the beginning of my journey in becoming a published illustrator/writer.   I believe strongly that this organization will be my voice to break into the exciting world of illustrating and writing children's books.   Anyone who is interested in becoming a children's book writer/illustrator should really think seriously about joining the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators-SCBWI.

Now, it's time to get back to the drawing board.

Until next time...Keep drawing!