I’m a member of the Wordsmiths, and I’m also an illustrator. Here is my perspective as a children’s book illustrator.
In my last post, I mentioned how putting together a portfolio is one of the first steps to take towards getting published. Well, the second step is getting your artwork out there. Showing it to art directors, editors and other art buyers is the name of the game. Showing it to other artists is helpful or anyone who is interested, because you never know if they know somebody who knows somebody. This advice probably seems obvious, but it’s a skill that takes practice. I started showing my artwork at SCBWI workshops, schmoozes and the conference.
Last summer, I attended the conference sponsored by SCBWI and entered my portfolio in the illustration exhibition. It was all great fun, and I was pleased that all my business cards and postcards were picked up. But, I really didn’t expect anything to happen. There were a sea of portfolios! Many were just knock over beautiful. Well, eight months had past, then one day, out of the blue, I received an e-mail about an illustration project! The publisher had seen my portfolio at the conference and picked mine from the hundred that were there! I was so excited to get this unexpected break.
I’m definitely still at the “getting my artwork out there” stage. It’s helpful for me to have a few sentences prepared to describe each piece in my portfolio. It’s also helpful for me to be able to describe my style succinctly. I’m not a free-flowing confabulator like some people, so being prepared with something to say helps me to get over my shyness.
See you out there!
contributed by Veronica Walsh, Illustrator