This month Sub It club is happy to welcome author/illustrator Julie Rowan-Zoch to The Postcard Post. Many of you are probably familiar with Julie’s doodles via social media and if you aren’t, check out the links at the end of this post but don’t skip to the bottom– you’ll definitely want to read the interview first. Take it away, Julie!
Julie Rowan-Zoch grew up chasing hermit crabs on Long Island, New York and spent years slicing rich, dark breads in northern Germany before she found joy in blue Colorado skies. She makes her own if she wants decent bread now. She studied Advertising/Graphic Design at FIT in New York City, and the Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste in Braunschweig. Julie still loves design, but recently found her passion for writing, reading and illustrating picture books. She’s an active SCBWI member and 12×12 participant (3 years!), belongs to an online and a local PB critique group, and recently illustrated three board books for Bailiwick Press, released in October 2014.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
I have just made my first promotional postcard in preparation for the regional SCBWI conference in Denver in September. I pored over all the Sub It Club Postcard posts,* and any other I could google, like Molly Idle’s. I post a lot of doodles/quick digital sketches online, and chose a recent image that people had a positive reaction to, and worked on more sketches, keeping a possible storyline in mind. That’s when the image below ‘occurred’.
*Ooo! That’s us! 🙂
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?
Listening to all the advice I mined, I decided to include my web address on the front, since it is also my name. I also added more contact info on the back, and incorporated the lighthouse image, a connection to the featured character and the (not yet drafted) story.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
In this case yes, but strongly influenced by a doodle.
Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I will be taking the advice I picked up, and will create another in about three months’ time. I might continue with the story, as I now have a really exciting draft*, but I would consider another if I fall for another doodle!
*Phew! So glad the story is written. Can I have a peek?
How often do you send out postcards?
The plan will be for a new one every 3 months.
Who do you target with your mailings
After reading many submission guidelines, I have targeted publishing houses that I feel my style would be a great fit for, as well as some whose books and book design I admire, and a few select agents.
How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
As a member of SCBWI, I used THE BOOK, and googled a bit too. I am keeping a list, including the names of art directors AND editors.*
*Excellent plan– editors like postcards too!
Do you have any tips on the production process?
I use images created on a simple note-taking app on my android tablet, transferred and altered in Adobe Illustrator. I print out pdf and png and jpg files to compare printing differences in color and contrast. I am a type freak (!),* and here I went with something clean that would take a backseat to the illustrations.
*The freakiness paid off– the type works well!
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I am a big on supporting local business when I can, so I did a little price shopping/test prints, and decided on a local business card printer. I like fancy cards as much as anyone, but I wanted the illustrations to do the work, not rounded corners or paper thickness, which made my decision an easy one.
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful postcard, Julie!
Now that you’ve read the interview, it’s ok to click on the links below to see more of Julie’s work. You’ll love the doodles Julie posts daily!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArtistJulieRowanZoch
To see the post featuring the original inspiration doodle for the postcard click here.
If you’re joining us for the first time at the Monthly Postcard Post, you can catch up with a general article on postcard mailings for illustrators and previous featured illustrators in the archive (there’s a tab above too).
See you next month.