Illustrators are often told that postcards are one of the best promotional tools available to us. Editors and Art Directors at publishing houses will save their favourites, and refer back to them when looking for illustrators, and so the hope is that your postcard will be pin-worthy! (The rumour is that they will pin them on the wall if they like them!)
With Lori Richmond’s fabulous guidance, I wanted to prepare and send out my first set of postcards, but it seemed like a lot of pressure to put on ONE image! (well, two images, actually – since the back needs to tie in nicely to the front – story-wise). I sketched and sketched and sketched. I wanted to show that I could do kids, and animals, interaction and environments. And I wanted to tell a story. I chose four thumbnails to draw up into bigger sketches, and submitted them to Lori for an educated opinion…
She thought #2 was the strongest – it had the most storytelling to it – but then wondered if I really wanted to do more gnomes? (You may have noticed I have a predilection for gnomes!) With visions of becoming the “gnome girl” I went back to the drawing board. The swan princess wasn’t quite right, and neither were the mermaids. And, while I wasn’t quite to the point of tearing my hair out… I wasn’t that far away, either!
On the bright side, I was coming up with all kinds of new portfolio pieces. But still no perfect postcard. I studied the postcard posts on Sub it Club (https://subitclub.com/postcard-post-archive/) and pored over Pinterest looking at other illustrator’s promotional materials. While on Pinterest, I got sidetracked by looking at cute animals (a not uncommon occurrence), and that’s when it hit me. I could replace the gnomes with a cute animal! From there, it was a short journey to what I ended up with.
So I sent my files off to the printer (I used vistaprint.ca), and, while I waited, got to work on compiling a list of names and addresses. Once they arrived, I spent several nights, watching tv with my husband, and addressing postcards, and then a couple of afternoons adding the stamps. I may have gone a little overboard with the stamps!
And then, with a kiss and a prayer, I sent them off into the World. And… I’m already thinking about the next one (you’re supposed to do 3 or 4 of these per year!) I can already tell it will be far less painful the next time. Part of the pain was just fear – plain and simple. I’m so glad and grateful that I had Lori’s encouragement to help me through the process. And now I have a backlog of pages and pages of sketches to draw from if I ever feel at a loss for something to do (hasn’t happened yet, but I like to be prepared!)
Hopefully a couple of them will have little pinholes in them in the not-too-distant future!