This month’s featured illustrator is Rachelle Meyer who I’ve run into many times online but never in person. Maybe one of these days we’ll go from flat screen to those lovely three dimensions but in the meantime, I’m happy to have her here at the Sub It Club. Without further ado, meet Rachelle…
Rachelle Meyer was born in the state of Texas and spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book. Reading became the wellspring for her continuing passions in life: drawing, storytelling and traveling. She graduated with a degree in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and then spent eight years in New York City working as a graphic artist and designer. She has since moved to Europe and launched a successful career as an illustrator, working on books for children of all ages in both English and Dutch. She also writes and illustrates her own picture books and graphic novels. She now lives in Amsterdam with her English husband, her Dutch son, and her cranky old New York cat.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
I take a look at what I’ve done since I last printed a postcard and try to find the strongest image. I also run my top picks by my crit group for feedback, which is immensely helpful. I reprint them at the size I intend to use for postcards, line them up on the dining room table and see which one yells out at me.* Finally, because I’m awfully wishy-washy about picking things, I try and think about who I want to be and how I want to grow. Something rises to the surface.
Both front and back are integrated into a new house-style I’m creating for myself that includes the use of pink paper textures and black and white vector images of birds that I made for a mobile for my son when he was born three years ago. I am repurposing them to the hilt!
*Got to love a postcard that yells! Now if we could get them to murmur in the ears of art directors…
Do you prefer text on the front of the postcard with the image or do you prefer all text on the back of the postcard?
Usually I prefer a full bleed image on the front with minimal text (just my name and esteemed title as Illustrator), but I had an image with odd dimensions this time so I got funky with it.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Oh, that’s a very good question. Until recently, I was only using commissioned images because I still felt like I needed to prove myself as an illustrator. “See! People pay me to do this stuff! For real!” But I’ve come to realize the illustrations I do for my own projects often pop out more. I tend to nurture them longer and they also have some ineffable quality in them that I can only describe as ME. The current one is from a graphic novel I’m developing.
Some illustrators do series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you do series or stand-alone images?
I’ve never done a series, but it sounds like fun.
How often do you send out postcards?
Blerg.* I have been incredibly remiss in this area for the past three years. I’ve printed a few but never sent them out en masse. Then I got a book assignment last summer from a postcard I sent out in 2009 and realized I need to get back on the horse!*
*I’ll see your blerg and raise it.
*Saddle up with the Sub It Club!
Who do you target with your mailings?
The current card I’m using is kind of all-purpose and I’m sending it out bit by bit to my full list. I have a weekly goal of sending out five per week while I’m still very busy with assignments. Since I’m targeting my “top picks” right now I’m sending these little packets out with my business card and matching pink envelopes. I started with the UK but just sent out a few to Dutch publishers this week because I had more local stamps on hand.
Do you have any tips on the production process?
I set them up in InDesign and stick to my current house-style. I wish I had adjusted the contrast on my illustration a little more for this one but oh well.
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I’ve been using a local online service called drukland.nl and they’ve been fine. I may look for a printer with proofing services again for next time because I think I should use a color image again and I get very persnickety about how that translates to print.
Thanks for the interview! It was lots of fun.
Thank you, Rachelle. It was great having you here. I loved learning about your process and picked up a few tips.
Get to know more about Rachelle and her work at these links:
This is the second installment of the Postcard Post. If you’re joining us for the first time, you can catch up with a general article on postcard mailings for illustrators here. Last month’s postcard feature is here. See you next month!