Monday, March 2, 2020

My illustration process - Making a promotional mailer

One of the perennial problems of being an illustrator is how to let art directors, designers and publishers know about you and your work. I have my own website and a portfolio page on the AOI website to showcase previous projects and use Instagram and Twitter to highlight sketches and work in progress. Still, trying to get seen by commissioners is always a challenge. I have sent out postcards in the past but thought it was time to up my game.

I’d seen other illustrators like Owen Mathers and Willa Gebbie make their own promotional brochures to send out and I thought it might be good to try something new myself. I decided to work with a designer to produce a promotional piece as I thought they could offer a fresh insight.

I chose to work with Julia Woollams from the design agency 31% Wool. Julia is one of the founders of ‘Croydonist’ and I always love seeing her work. We had a meeting to discuss what type of mailer I could send and she went away to create some concepts. I really liked one of the ideas she came up with which was for a small notebook, with my illustrations throughout but leaving enough room for the recipient to write notes in too.

I made a selection of some of my drawings and Julia produced a layout for the notebook, which after a couple of revisions, was ready to go to the printers. Julia also suggested sending it in an interesting envelope so I researched a few different samples and decided on my favourite. Here are some of the spreads:

I sent about half of the notebooks out just before Christmas to existing and former clients. They seemed to well received and I had some lovely thank you emails. With the rest, I am researching a few new possible commissioners each week and posting a notebook to them.

Be good to know if you have any experience of sending out mailers or any advice about contacting creative commissioners. Or if you are a commissioner, let me know and I'll put a notebook in the post!

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