Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright

or how to pick the right postcard illustration.

It is hard and scary to do because your postcard is your calling card (or roaring card) and your first impression (or next first impression) with the publisher. And it has to read well (shrunken down from original size) and not lose details that matter. It has to speak like a child would and be heard over everything. It has to be taken seriously even if it is funny. It has to have personality and charm. It has to have something to say. And it has to be memorable. But most of all it has to say "Barbara" (or whatever your name is-- yes, you the creator).

So I picked Rory -- the angry tiger boy. I love him. He's got all of the above. And he shrunk well with this postcard (altho he hardly shrinks from anything in real life). And he's in a story I am working on too. And if that doesn't pan out he may very well be in his own story.

My goal is to now send out 3 postcard mailings a year. I've found a few reasonable postcard people who do small runs and a husband who can do my scans at work for free. Got editor lists, got art director lists, got a cute little tiger. I love tigers.

It is all coming together......Grrrrrrrrreat!

Update! Ninety Postcards sent to ADs and editors all carefully researched and targeted. Best postcard yet!!

And I expect a 10 percent return rate but I hope more.

I've become so good at stepping back and looking at things objectively. But I am so ready to start my own project or somebody else's I love.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The learning curve

I wanted to scan a picture of the St. Louis Arch but my scanner is on the fritz.

Anyway, I spent part of my day going thru seven years of papers from classes, conferences, internet etc., and filing, tossing and rereading (as in good editor/writer critiques) and realized how much I have grown as a writer/illustrator in that time. I also realized how much the industry has changed (half the staff is no longer there) and what I have to do to with my mss/dummies to make them marketable. I put critiques with mss and or dummies... and I read them now with courage and knowledge and desire to tackle.

The good news is I that I have a few that I KNOW are close to marketable. The bad news is that I have some dummies and mss that need work... but I am no longer clueless as to how to fix them. And some that need to be finished... aha.

What I learned about myself as a writer is that I sometimes write two stories at once... and I have to pick one and chop the other. I GET IT. Finally.

But now my studio is organized by files for every ms project, a file for agent/interview questions, a big fat file of writing tips, a file for illustration tips, a file for making my own bio, a file of editor bios which needs editing..., a file of all kinds of rejections, and a file for my own personal needs/research.

I have a lot of work to do.

But I have come a long way in eight years and have a few projects close to go.

The learning curve for writer/illustrator is winding down I hope.

Or maybe it isn't a curve at all but is a circle. Heheh.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another Proud Auntie Post

My English nephew's techno-pop hit "Starry-Eyed" is now featured in the new teen superhero movie called "Kick Ass."

It is playing right here in town, and whether or not it is my cup-o-tea I am going to see it.

Yahooo! You go Johnny!! (Can I touch you? .... oh no... wait a minute... that is gross). ;}

You worked hard for this and you made it!!!

And I going to tell all of my kid's friends.

Hippo Birdy Two Ewes

Hippo Birdy Two Ewes
Hippo Birdy Two Ewes
Hippo Birdy Two Ewes!

Yes. The Big One is today and to compensate for the total shock and denial I feel about it I am going to illustrate my own birthday card using the ewe. A cinnamon colored ewe.

Who ewe? Yes, me. Actually, I'll nix that birthday card and finish that neglected second illustration for my newest book idea. And substitute the hippo and birdy with a wooly bear caterpillar. Already got the birdy one down in another illustration anyway.

Hippo Birdy to me!