Self Promotion for Illustrators

Things are pretty hectic right now, but I’m committed to keeping this blog going. So I’ll just take a moment and mention a few websites that have been really helpful to me in promoting my work and getting clients. Maybe they’ll be helpful to someone else who reads this.

First, two websites where you can showcase your work to art buyers: The I-Spot and Of the two I’ve had a great deal more success at The I-Spot, but both have provided me enough income to make them worth the cost.

Second, if you want to promote your work you’ll need a good mailing list. maintains data on thousands of companies and agencies that hire freelancers, including e-mail addresses. In my experience, some art directors despise spam (who doesn’t?) but many¬†others actually want to receive “art spam” from freelancers. It actually makes their job easier when the artists send samples to them rather than them having to go look for artists. Just don’t send so often that you become a nuissance (an e-mail every 1-3 months is sufficient), and be sure to include a statement at the bottom of your message letting the recipient know how they can be removed from your mailing list.

There you go. Now get out there and toot your horn!

Sketchbook: From the Archives

My wedding is coming up fast (three weeks from tomorrow) plus I’ve got a full plate of freelance work, so life feels pretty overwhelming right now. We spent yesterday evening moving some of my fiance’s furniture into my house, and then sending my twin bed into storage, so for now all I have to sleep on is a sleeping bag on top of a lumpy hide-a-bed mattess. But I’d take this stress over the stress of being lonely and out of work any day. I have a lot to be thankful for.

With all the craziness I haven’t had much time for sketching. So here’s a few drawings from the ol’ archives.

Broken Boombox

I’m working on a Vacation Bible School activity book for a client. I can’t show much of it, but here’s a sample spot illustration. I struggle a bit with drawing ethnicities, so hopefully this reads as an Asian girl without looking too odd.

Need inspiration? Make an Art Screen Saver!

(Turtle artwork by Guy Francis)

Like a lot of artists, I get challenged and inspired by drooling over the work of other artists (like the ones listed to the right, for example). One of the best ways for me to keep that inspiration going is to create a screen saver from the work of other artists. That way, any time I need an inspirational kick all I have to do is look up from my drawing board and watch my computer screen for a few minutes.

Here’s how to create your own screen saver on a Mac with Safari. It’s super-simple:
1. Create a folder (anywhere on your computer) to store all the images. I named mine “Other Artists”. (Within the folder I have the artwork organized into more folders by artist’s name, but you don’t have to get that detailed.)
2. In Safari’s Preferences, click on the “Save Downloaded Files to” drop-down menu and select the “Other Artists” folder.
3. When you find a super-cool piece of art, control-click and select ‘Save Image to “Other Artists'”.
4. To set up the screen saver, open System Preferences and click on “Desktop & Screen Saver”.
5. Click on the Screen Saver tab.
6. Under the “screen savers” list at left, scroll down and select “Choose Folder”.
7. Select the “Other Artists” folder.
8. Adjust your other screen saver settings to your liking, then quit System Preferences.

That’s all there is to it! I hope I’m not violating any copyright laws by downloading other people’s work, but I figure if someone posts their art online for me to view on my personal computer, it must be ok for me to use that art elsewhere on my personal computer…as long as it stays on my private computer screen. But if I’m mistaken on that, I’d welcome anyone correcting me.

“Media Artist Secrets” Podcast

Here’s a terrific artist resource: Media Artist Secrets. With a blog, podcast, and message board, Franklin MacMahon has built one of the most informative and encouraging sites I’ve come across for creative professionals (despite the cheezy clouds). As his homepage reads, “Media Artist Secrets is dedicated to helping you dramatically advance your creative career – Welcome to The Business of Being Creative”. Whether you are an artist, designer, photographer, animator, or have anything to do with visual media, your bound to find some rich nuggets of advice and encouragement from MacMahon. If you have iTunes you can even subscribe to his award-winning podcast for free so that the latest edition is automatically downloaded to your computer. Give it a listen, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Once Upon a Time

Last night Jennie (my fiance) had her first wedding shower. She had a great time and brought home a lot of neat gifts. But my favorite was a book written and illustrated by my goddaughter, Carsen Wetzel. It’s a creative and charming re-telling of our lives, how we met and got married. Pretty impressive stuff from a third grader. I couldn’t resist posting a few pages. (Click on the images to see a larger version). My favorite part is the marriage proposal, where Carsen drew us parachuting down to the lake!

You can view the entire book as a slideshow HERE.