Tips & Commentary from the 2009 SCBWI Winter Conference NYC Art Director's Panel.The Panel consisted of 3 AD's representing 2 trade pubs and 1 mass market pub. They reviewed previously selected samples from 10 anonymous illustrators. Fresh, New, Exciting, Dated, Cliche, art labeled according to the perspectives of the AD. If the retro look is a current and an exciting new trend what made something else dated?
What they want from our illustrations:
- Strong Characters
- Impact: Does it grab you and draw you in?
- Narration: do they tell a story?
- Concept: Is there an original ideal? Does it make you want to see more?
- Something accessible yet fresh.
How to get noticed:
- Send Postcards. Make illustration image big. Contact info type to a minimum and smaller. Do 3 or 4 mailings a year.
- Get published in other related markets (kid's magazines, greeting cards, etc).
- Websites and blogs. Websites are great because they can share the url with colleagues when discussing a project. Blogs give insight to the person behind the art.
- Illustrator source books have gone the way of the dodo.
- If there is a product in your illustration make up your own product logo vs doing a known company logo to avoid possible lawsuits and other complication. Ex: the 3 bears are making porridge don't draw your favorite brand. Design your own!
2009 SCBWI Portfolio Room: No feed back... you only know if someone liked your work if they took a sample and than of course you would only know whom, IF they contacted you. Unsatisfying - but the equivalent of doing a multi-pub house drop off.