Monday, April 2, 2012

What's Next?

First of all, I really appreciated the comments cheering me on. Second, I didn’t win. Not only didn’t I win, I also had the pleasure of paying a fortune to replace a busted water heater the same day the results were posted. So much for dreaming of little extras. This came after a week sprinkled with family disappointments, so…no point dwelling on it. You can see all the illustrations I’ve submitted so far to They Draw and Cook here. I also have a map posted on They Draw and Travel. I did really have fun working on them – I’m sure I’ll feel inspired to do more.

Now, on to other things. One thing I planned to focus on this year is trying to drum up some illustration work. At the beginning of the year I bought a copy of the Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market, and was all fired up to tear through it, highlighter at the ready. Unfortunately, I got a little discouraged going through the listings. Most wanted such specific things – one wants only wooden boats, another traditionally rendered vegetarian food…you get the picture. My highlighter barely got a workout on the first pass. It’ll take some digging to work up a decent mailing list.

Since one of my interests is illustrating book covers, plan B was to visit the bookstore in search of publishers that might be a match for my style. This plan produced a long list, but once I started researching individual publishers I noticed that as with writing, few houses accept unsolicited artwork. I'm caught in a familiar catch-22: you can’t get anyone to look at your work unless you’re already established, and you can’t get established because no one will look at your work. Or, you can manage to find time to produce work or to promote your work, but not both. Even though this is kind of a new start, I’m not a total newbie to the art and design world. I feel like I’ve at least paid some dues, but I'm back at square one.

If this sounds like whining, it isn’t meant to be. I’d just like to work! While I’m trying to figure out plan C (along with school, a tiny amount of freelance work and the usual abundance of other craziness), here’s a promotional postcard I started working on:

Where and how to send it, that’s another matter. It helps me to remember we’re always in transition – a thought summed up by a phrase I just heard in an Understanding Buddhism class: we are always practicing for what we will become next.

10 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh, how disappointing to lose AND have a water heater die on the same day.
I'm totally passing your name around my author pals--I like your style and if I ever get to choose my own book cover, I'm calling YOU.

oceangirl said...

I think I would have you design a cover for me and then write a book to match it. Your work is so wonderful. I think my book would be fun, something in the order of Sex In The City or I Love The Nanny!

Rena said...

I'm sorry you didn't win, but I thought your work was awesome. I've always thought all your work is awesome!

Kim Kasch said...

Sorry you didn't win but your turn is coming. Hang in there. You do beautiful work, um, art.

ICQB said...

You've probably already heard of the Society of Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators (SCBWI). It's a national organization, but they have local chapters and local conferences where you can meet agents, and publishers interested in writers and illustrators.

Here's the national website, but there is probably a local chapter website for you, too: http://www.scbwi.org/

ICQB said...

P.S. There are dues involved, but I never paid them. I attended the local conferences from time to time (at a slightly higher rate) but, for me, it was more economical that way.

Illustrators can show their portfolios, receive critiques, and meet people who deal with/hire illustrators.

Ara Burklund said...

Sorry to hear the contest didn't work out! Glad you're looking for work, though! I still think you should come to the summer SCBWI conference and exhibit your portfolio. One of my friends got a scholarship for the conference tuition one year, so I'm going to write them, nominating you for one.

(Friends from the San Diego SCBWI chapter~please do the same and maybe they'll award one to Adrienne. Thanks!)

cleemckenzie said...

You've got quite a bit of talent there, so if you didn't win this time there's a blue ribbon in your future. I'd definitely sub to one of the SCBWI conferences. Your work will stand out.

cleemckenzie said...

You've got quite a bit of talent there, so if you didn't win this time there's a blue ribbon in your future. I'd definitely sub to one of the SCBWI conferences. Your work will stand out.

Suzanne Casamento said...

You work is fabulous! Sassy, clean and fun. I wish I could hire you for something... :)