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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Transcript: 7/29/10

The best way to distill the information shared this week is to let the chat participants speak for themselves. Little has been done except to eliminate RTs and organize a bit. Enjoy!

TOPIC: What are your best tips for single-image story-telling?

Make the world within the image look like it extends beyond the frame of the picture. Like you could walk into it. @KatGirl_Studio

Have two characters interacting, if possible--looking at each other. @BonnieAdamson

Action and dramatic lighting are always a big help. @KatGirl_Studio

Setting needs to have all the paraphernalia for a good story: props. @BonnieAdamson

Make the image narrative a potential-what-if cliffhanger--to segue into the next. @eimhinart

Dynamic poses vs. static make for a far more interesting image. @ElisabethJBell

Think of the setting as a supporting character. @WendyMartinArt

Show diversity, lots of different people. @andibutler

Colours, whether vibrant or a minimal palette, can move an image forward. @ElisabethJBell

There has to be implied action--either something has just happened, or is about to. @BonnieAdamson

Think in comic book terms--dynamic pose, interesting perspective, etc. @vvjonez

Interesting characters are a must! @NVCrittenden

Thinking how a child thinks and putting that into the illustration can make a more appealing and communicative image. @ElisabethJBell

Add detail, but with a focus--not just for its own sake. @BonnieAdamson

Include simultaneous actions in the background, as well. @andibutler

Too much detail can be almost as bad as not enough--you have to direct the eye. @vvjonez

The image should be in the middle of a story, so the viewer can imagine what happens and what will happen. @WendyMartinArt

Dramatic perspective, colors and characters. Plus lots of action or humorous tension. @CERodriguez

As a reader, I want to feel myself drawn in, as if I were the main character. I want info, some details, lots of color. I want to be led to the next scene while wondering what has happened thus far.@peg366

Pick a scene with some emotion to draw the viewer in--happy, sad, etc. @johnlechner

Adding movement in character poses makes an image more interesting. Drives the imagination forward. @ElisabethJBell

TOPIC MORPH: How to choose a single image for promotional mailings.

The best piece is the one you love to create. @andibutler

An image that shows you at your best will make your postcard shine! @NVCrittenden

Storytelling is key for kidlit. Too involved an image doesn't work for greetings. @andibutler

Try postcards as teasers to drive the viewer to the web site "where the real magic is." @andibutler

Thoughts from one AD (Victoria Jamieson)on what makes a compelling promo postcard:
http://victoriajamieson-illustration.blogspot.com/2010/06/get-er-done.html @TracyBishopArt

Make sure your image fits you as a creative, represents who you are. It will show. @ElisabethJBell

What you show is what you'll get hired to do. @andibutler

[If you have multiple styles] I've seen it recommended that a different persona be created for each style (site, name, etc.)--at minimum, multiple portfolios. @DiandraMae

Research the publications of those you're submitting to. @joystewy

Eternal debate: ADs say have one recognizable style. Illustrators always say ignore that! @RedStepchild

Make sure multiple styles fit the same publishers. @DiandraMae

Choose a style that you like that you think would be a good fit for the AD. Check out their sites. See what they like. @ElisabethJBell

Work in the style [you're] good at and happy with--not what [you] think an AD wants. Otherwise [you're] an unhappy creative! @andibutler

You don't want to confuse ADs with too many styles. Pick one as your lead, to get them interested. @johnlechner

That's the struggle: doing what feels true to you vs. what you think ADs want to see. @DiandraMae

Your style, that is you, can be a good fit somewhere. You need to find it. Not be a sqaure peg in a round hole. @andibutler

Ironically, often your strongest work comes when you're not worrying about selling yourself. @johnlechner

You can't worry about the opinion of others . . . @reneekurilla

It's less about confusion, more about [ADs] knowing what to expect in finished art once they hire you. @donnadoesdoodle

Never present something you wouldn't actually want to do. @joystewy

It basically comes down to, would you buy what you are selling? @andibutler

At a recent conference, an AD said she wanted to see: 1) that you can draw: hands, feet, children, interesting perspective; 2) put together a consistent package. Your logo, contact information should be consistent from mailing to mailing. @vvjonez

. . . and that you can show emotion and storytelling. @joystewy

Since the internet, it's harder for a single-image postcard to make an impact. @johnlechner

I've heard arguments for both. Sometimes there is just too much email, so postcards might make a faster impact. @TracyBishopArt

The internet has helped with exposure, but there can be too much of a good thing. It's easier to be fresh in an AD's mind with a postcard hanging on the wall vs. an email in an inbox. @DiandraMae

Many ADs will hold cards they love for years till they can find the "right" project for an artist. @donnadoesdoodle

. . . one more reason to be proactive and go for work in multiple venues. @DiandraMae

Postcards can be a nice change, but ADs are inundated with images online, so it's more competitive. @johnlechner

Postcards are just one more tool, along with websites, blogs, email marketing, etc. The trick is to know when to use your various marketing tools and tailoring it to your recipient. @TracyBishopArt

Heard at every conference: ADs love postcards. @donnadoesdoodle

It pays to do research. Takes time but it pays off. @TracyBishopArt

Reinventing [yourself] is important, too. What worked five years ago doesn't compete today. @andibutler

The internet can have both good and bad effects on developing personal style. You have access to so many brilliant artists 24/7, it can make you feel a little insignificant. @reneekurilla

It is great to see what other artists do, but hard not to compare. @NVCrittenden

It's not always about brilliance--books and licensing are businesses. [There are] fabulous artists that can't meet a deadline. @andibutler

Being professional and pleasant to work with makes all the difference. It's scary for an art director when they first work with a new illustrator, too. Gotta remember that. @TracyBishopArt

Tweet of the night:
@andibutler: "We can do what we set our minds to. Be confident. Try different strategies--go back to an old-school one. The only boundaries are what we set."

Full transcript below:

#kidlitart 7-29-10

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