Happy New Year! Last year was one to remember - 7% Chance of Sunshine finally became a book, we had my first book release party, and one of my friends from art school just published his first picture book as well (you should probably go buy it, it's wonderful)! I joined SCBWI, attended an illustrator's conference in Salt Lake City, met one of my favorite children's book illustrators and had a nice conversation with him on wordless picture books. I was able to get a first look at unfinished picture books by major illustrators before they hit the shelves, and then I saw them after they hit the shelves (I felt famous by association)! Not to mention that I've been collaborating with an author outside of Idaho on another picture book, which should be released early this year.
A lot has happened (not the laundry). A lot is still happening (not packing away Christmas decorations). Today, instead of adulting, I started a new book. There's no title yet (if you want to suggest something in the comments, you may). It's about a teenage boy (my next-next book needs to feature a girl!) and the adventures he has through music.
Anyway, I won't keep rambling on. Here's a picture of the background I'm working on for the intro into this book.
In conclusion, if you're an illustrator wanting to make books, here are some things I learned and relearned and already knew about but haven't done anything about yet. So maybe this year, for our new year's resolutions, we can take advantage of some of this awesomeness.
1) Send out postcards! If you're wanting to be picked up by a publishing house, it's important that you get your work into the hands of people who can make it happen. There are so many inexpensive printing options online these days, so use them! Put your art on the front, and your contact info on the back, and send them out to every art director or agent you can find.
2) If you HAVE a book, try to send it out to some competitions. This year I'll be submitting 7% Chance of Sunshine to one or two different picture book competitions. Can't hurt. I guess.
3) Check out THIS blog. It's written by Giuseppe Castellano, the Art Director at Penguin Random House. It's full of amazing and very helpful information. You won't want to miss it.
Okay, now I'm going to go get back to work on the above illustration. Ciao!