Laurent Linn on Getting Your Art Noticed...
Between working on Sesame Street and getting his job at Henry Holt, Laurent Linn spent five years working as a freelance illustrator, so he's uniquely qualified to offer advice on getting noticed by art directors. He talked about what worked for him as an illustrator and what attracts him as an art director. Here are few pieces of advice from Laurent, whose company publishes Eric Carle, Peter McCarty, Denise Fleming, Dan Yaccarino, and Yuyi Morales, among others:
- The most important promotional tools for illustrators are websites and postcards. It's now expected that illustrators have websites.
- Be sure to include your name and website on both sides of your promo postcard.
- He recommends creating a logo out of your name to brand yourself. (See his website for a good example.)
- He's doesn't not think it's necessary to create business cards--a postcard can serve this purpose.
Laurent told us that Henry Holt is one of the oldest publishers in the U.S. (They were established in 1868), and that they receive about 2000 promo samples a year from illustrators. They actually publish about 40 picture books a year.
He noted that attending the SCBWI conference it incredibly inspirational for illustrator who do solitary work, but thought it could also be discouraging seeing the wonderful work of so many other illustrators with whom you must compete. Don't be discouraged, he advises--use the experience at a kick in the pants.