Since pencils have been on the menu lately, this artist caught my eye.
Here's what she says about finding her style:
2. How did you get your start in illustrating for children?
It was a long, long road of developing a strong portfolio while working a lot of non-art related day jobs to pay rent. I started out with small illustration assignments, mainly for children’s magazines. It took me awhile to get to the style I use now. The first breakthrough came once I threw away all my pens, which I used for years, and used pencil and computer. Something clicked for me, and the work drastically improved.
At this point, I had gained more confidence in my work, and I put forward a huge effort in getting myself out in the world. I spent about a year putting together portfolio pieces that represented the type of assignments I wanted to get, I built a better website, and made a promotional mailer. I spent months making the promotion mailer; I knew I wanted to make something more memorable than the typical postcard.
I ended up making a mini handbound booklet that fit in a 4 x 6 envelope. I sent out around 200 of these booklets to editors and art directors. My approach worked, and almost immediately I started receiving calls for work.
I was incredibly fortunate to be featured on the illustrationmundo blog a couple months later (thank you Nate Williams!). Steven Malk, a literary agent for Writers House saw my work there and took me on as a client. Everything started to fall into place and since that time I’ve had a continuous flow of projects — It’s been almost 2 years now since I sent out that promo.
A testament to the rewards of dedicated and persistent creative work!