This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Call For Topics

Howdy #kidlitart-ers! We're about to hit the end of our calendar of topics, so it's time to hear what you'd like to talk about on our weekly chats. I think we've established a few favorites, so we will definitely be revisiting : Postcard Boost, Show N Tell, and Art Crushes as well as checking in for the #PBDummy Challenge.

Do you have specific topics on craft you'd like to discuss? Promotion? Research? Publishing? Agents? Anything and everything to do with being an illustrator in the children's publishing industry is up for grabs. Give us your ideas in the comments, and we'll see what we can do to meet your needs.


p.s.- And remember! We're still looking for a Spring header for the blog. If you're interested in contributing, here are the guidelines: http://kidlitart.blogspot.com/p/header-faq.html

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#kidlitart Round-Up

There's quite a bit going on for #kidlitart right now. Hopefully those of you participating in the Postcard Boost have mailed your postcards out. April 3rd was our unofficial deadline. If you haven't yet, I hope our Mailing Lists chat helped you create your resource and you'll be mailing out soon.

We had a wonderful Show-N-Tell chat last week! I was so excited to see everyone's works-in-progress. We will definitely be doing it again. You can read the transcript for that chat here

And despite what some of you may be seeing out your front door, Spring is here and we'd like to celebrate by updating our blog banner. Our current lovely bit of illustration was created by the lovely Nancy Colle (Interview here) If you'd like to show your #kidlitart spirit and share a piece of your work, here are the requirements:
 1) Create an illustration/design that is kidlitart-centric.
2) The name 'kidlitart' has to be a central image.
3) The dimensions of the piece should be (no wider than) 1050px x 150px
4) Be sure you save the final image to 72-100 dpi. No need to have a hi-res image online.
5) Be sure your name/initials are somewhere (discreetly)on the image.
6) Email the header image to kidlitart@gmail.com. We'll sort through and when we choose a new header for the season, we'll contact you and send questions so we can feature you in a blog interview.
7) If you'd like to create a new header for the Twitter account for @KidLitArt, resize your submitted illo to fit the 1252 x 626 size requirement.

Also, our topic for this week's chat is a #PBDummy Check-In. A couple of weeks ago we entered into Step Five: Full-Size Sketches. Hopefully you've moved into this stage after working out any kinks in your storyboard. Let us know if you are facing obstacles or have questions about where to go from here Thursday night at 9pm EST. 

That's it for now. As always, if you have any questions, shoot Russ, Renee, and I a tweet, or fill out our new handy-dandy form over in the sidebar.

Thank you for being a part of the #kidlitart community. It's a thriving place because of you!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Postcard Boost: Second Step

The next step after having designed your postcards is to create a mailing list of industry associates you would like to receive them. This step requires probably the most thorough and tedious work involved with promotional mailers: research. You often have to sift through a variety of sources and sites in order to place a name to a position or an address with a house. It is work, but it is very important work because you will use this information three to four times a year.

Last night at #kidlitart we discussed just how we find the information we are seeking and how we organize it. You can read the storify transcript here: http://storify.com/kidlitart/kidlitart-chat-mailing-lists

Be sure to join us next week as we discuss sketchbooks!


Monday, February 24, 2014


How about our new header, eh? That delightful winter wonderland was created by Nancy Colle.

She doesn't look familiar? What do you mean? Oh! Well, fellow #kidlitart chatters might recognize her best like this:

Better? Right then, on to the interview!
-What was your inspiration for the header?
 Incredible as it may sound -I love winter.When I was little I was always outside, -building forts,climbing things, and yes, making snow angels.
-What is your primary medium for the header?
  Watercolor - I enjoy it's freedom and fluidity.

-Are you currently working on any projects?
 Currently I have one complete PB dummy, another I'm revising,
 and an idea I've already picked for the #kidlitart PB challenge

-Where can we find you online? 
Twitter: @DonkeyTalking

-What are your favorite children's books?
  Press Here -by Herve Tullet
  Stone Soup -by Marcia Brown
  Walk On!- by Marla Frazee
  Bread & Jam for Frances - by the Hobans

- What's the best advice you've received from #kidlitart? the importance of SCBWI conferences; don't wait for perfect conditions, just draw;  rejection letters are not my epitaph.

-Great! Any favorite #kidlitart topics? Build your portfolio/ art directors/ Conference tips

Thank you, Nancy!

Do you want in on this header action? (I can't believe I typed that with a straight face) then start thinking SPRING! We'll be picking a new header in the next month or so to celebrate the incoming new season.

You can find the requirements here. Happy drawing!


Creating Appealing Characters

We had a fast and furious chat last week discussing character development and the important steps necessary to developing a great picture book dummy. The transcript is chock-full of links and resources, so be sure you read through and bookmark!


Once again, thanks to Renee for getting out transcript together! This week we're discussing Time Management. See you Thursday at 9pmEST!


p.s.- I'm still pulling names from the Art Crushes chat, but I'm about to move this week. I promise I'll share when the list is done and I have internet again. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Postcard Boost Transcript

Our Postcard Boost chat flew by! There were equal parts constructive criticism and compliments. If you missed the chat, you can read the Storify transcript here:


Part 2 of our Postcard Boost will be our chat on Mailing Lists (How do we gather the information and maintain it?) on March 13th. Come with questions and any resources you use on maintaining one of the least glamorous parts of illustration. ;)


Friday, January 31, 2014

Postcard Boost

Sampling of postcards I picked up at SCBWI LA 2013.
A few times on #kidlitart, people have mentioned wanting a boost to help them get their next postcard promos mailed out. Mailing out a promo card on a regular basis is one of the simplest and most important acts of self-promotion an illustrator can do. 

That's not to say that there isn't some legwork involved. You have to have a mailing list compiled of the contacts and publishing houses you wish to submit to. This means you have to research submission guidelines and follow them. You have to know where and when you are getting your postcard printed, how much it's going to cost, what size you're mailing, and the guidelines to follow when submitting your design for print. You have to do your homework.

And believe it or not, as tedious as some of that research can be, it's the easiest part of the process. The real struggle comes with choosing an illustration, or creating a new illustration, to go on that postcard you are mailing out. How do you choose? And what's more, is what you're choosing going to work?

Well, we're going to give you a little help. You have one week to design (and we're talking sketches here, possibly color comps) your next postcard design. And at next week's #kidlitart chat, upload the card on to Twitter or share a link to the image, and as a group, we will give you feedback on your piece.

Keep in mind that everything is very subjective, but there are a few design principles and common sense facts that we can definitely help with. And remember that critique and feedback is part of being an illustrator. If you've never had one, you need to start developing a skin to deal with it and use it as a platform to growth and improvement.

Use the feedback you receive next week to revise and possibly improve your piece. Take it to full-color, get more feedback if necessary from fellow illustrators. Then in March, we'll have a mass #kidlitart mail-out deadline where everyone will send their cards to publishers. Deal?

Now get to work! We'll see you February 6th, at 9pm EST!


(And remember, this is a live chat. We'll have people submitting simultaneously, and things can get a little wild. Be patient and give people time to consider your piece. We'll all use our manners and wait our turn as much as possible.)