Postcards and Beyond with Mark Fearing, Part One

Sub It Club is thrilled to welcome illustrator Mark Fearing  to help us celebrate our two-year anniversary. Mark is sharing some of his self-promotion materials and his process. And in the festive spirit, he has offered feedback on an illustration, a postcard design or a website portfolio to a lucky giveaway winner. Keep reading to find out how to enter but more importantly, to see some excellent, imaginative printed materials. Take it away, Mark!

I most enjoy telling stories— in whatever format I can. I like many different genres and mediums but I especially love picture books because of the unique, imaginative opportunity to combine words and pictures. I have done comics and graphic novels and keep busy writing everything from short stories to middle grade novels (still revising!) and plenty of picture books. I have two picture books being released in 2015: TOMMY CAN’T STOP, written by Tim Federle, from Hyperion and DILLY DALLY DAISY, which I wrote and illustrated from Dial Books for Young Readers.

An Alien Trading Card.

How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
I haven’t had time recently to do promotional postcards but I do print postcards and hand them out at school and library visits.* I developed the images for these cards built around a story I made up about my grandfather being abducted by aliens. I call them my Alien Trading Cards. The postcard format is perfect – it has a large area where I can draw something or sign it. In the past when I did send out promotional postcards I tried to find images that exemplified the kind of things I liked to draw and the style I want to work in.
*Another great use of the versatile postcard.

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?
Whatever tells the story best. A few years ago when I did promo postcards I liked developing front images that teased something, and the back added an additional element to the narrative. But a really cool image on the front is probably just as good.

Postcard front: President’s Day is right around the corner!
The postcard back. (Is that true about the powdered hair?)

Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Yes. I haven’t done this lately but when I did quarterly cards I started with original concepts/art for a postcard.

Some illustrators create a series of postcards. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I’ve never mailed a series, but my Alien Trading Cards are a series.*
*More Alien Trading Cards below!

alien_card_2alien card_3

This is the back of all the Alien Trading Cards. That Great Grandpa Skeeter sounds like he was out of this world!

Do you have any tips on the production process?
I use Photoshop but design my typography in Adobe Illustrator. I spent many years working as a graphic designer so I can be picky about type.

Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I have used PS Print for many years for all my printing. When I was still working as a designer I ended up having business cards and flyers and posters for clients printed by them. I’ve always had good luck.

front_and back hanger
Front (left) and back (right) of the door hanger. Perfect for THE BOOK THAT EATS PEOPLE!

You mentioned that you don’t do postcard mailings. How do you use your postcards?
I use them as handouts when I do school and library visits. Something I can easily sign for kids. Something that isn’t an ad for a book. I prefer having a funny or intriguing handout that someone can enjoy whether or not they buy one of my books or want to hire me. I also did door hangers in support of The Book That Eats People and this year I did a batch of bookmarks to hand out at schools.

Front and back views of the bookmark.
Front and back views of the bookmark.

Thanks so much, Mark! Lots of inspiration here.

We’ll post a second installment from Mark next week. Come back to find out how about his journey in illustration, agents and all the rest.
But before you leave, click on these links to see more of Mark’s illustration work:

Books on the iBooks Store: (I have written and illustrated a series of stories that don’t fit into conventional niches in the publishing world. They are available on the Apple iBookstore.)
Facebook Page for Book Reports:

***The GIVEAWAY is now closed. Congratulations to Elizabet Vukovic!
Mark Fearing will give her feedback on an illustration.***
Thanks again to Mark for his generous offer. And thanks to everyone who participated.

And one more thing!
To enter the giveaway to receive feedback from Mark Fearing on an illustration, a postcard design or a website portfolio, leave a comment below. Just tell us that you want to be entered in the comments on this post.

Share if you like. If you share this post via social media just let us know and we’ll add extra entries.

SubItClub Badge (175x88)

Grab our badge. Put it on your site and link it back here to and let us know. We’ll give extra entries for that too. Why not?

And if you’re not a part of it already, join our private Facebook group where we talk about all things subbing! To me it feels like a prize in itself. 🙂 Our Critique Partner Matchup isn’t too shabby either.

If you want more chances, tweet about this post and use the Sub It Club twitter handle @SubItClub so we can see it. Or mention it on Facebook and tag us (or let me know in the comment). Thanks! And good luck!

16 thoughts on “Postcards and Beyond with Mark Fearing, Part One

Add yours

  1. Mark, I absolutely love your work. EARTHLING! is a favorite book in my household. Your President’s Day postcard cracked me up. And I love the alien trading cards too. All fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing!


  2. Mark, Great information as always, and love the postcards and bookmarks both! Glad to “see” you again and glad to find the SubIt group on FB.


  3. Thank you for sharing valuable information and insights on your work! I would love to be entered to receive your feedback on my website portfolio. Thank you!


  4. What a fabulous prize, thanks! And thank-you for sharing your experience on self-promotion. It isn’t something we artists generally enjoy doing. Please enter me in the giveaway. I have your logo on my blog, I tweeted this post (several times, cause it’s just so helpful) and I’m on the FB group.


Thoughts? Questions? Comments? We want to hear them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: