The Postcard Post welcomes illustrator Diana Ting Delosh. Diana’s got some good tips and fun postcards for you so dig in! And be sure to check out all the places you can find her work at the end of this post.
Diana Ting Delosh is an illustrator, hand letterer and writer. She creates whimsical art, independently and by commission. At the age of two, she developed a taste for art when she nibbled her way through a box of crayons. She has been doodling away ever since. Diana has illustrated for: Pearson Educational Publishing, Farfaria, Dover Publications, Harcourt Achieve, Scott Foresman, Ladybug Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Highlights/High Five and Ladybug magazines. She received the following awards: Highlights High Five Pewter Plate for Puzzle Poem of the Year, Bubble Trouble, July 2008. SCBWI Magazine Merit Honor Award for Illustration 2002. In between assignments she keeps busy with personal projects. Recently, after drawing thumbnail boxes to storyboard her PB dummy for the umpteenth time in her sketch book, she thought, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a thumbnail book. Hence the birth of her self-publishing experiment, ThumbNailer.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
Usually I go with a current fave, something I really love and am proud to send out into the world. My latest postcard front is an illustration inspired by an SCBWI Conference Illustrators Intensive assignment. Sometimes it is an illo from a current book dummy I’m shopping around.
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?
I do like to put my name and website on the front of the card but only if it makes good design sense. My contact info goes on the back: name, address, e-mail, website. I used to put my phone number on the back but recently the first contact has been all via e-mail so I’ve dropped that. I have been thinking of adding my twitter handle.*
*Yes, get that twitter handle on there! That’s where I first saw your work.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Rarely. However, I did create the art specifically for the back of my latest postcard because I wanted a grayscale illustration that gave context to the front. The back of the card shows the boy sleeping/dreaming in bed with his cat and book. The front of card shows the boy in a dream scene meeting octopi and other sea critters. Usually the back is something unrelated that shows off another skill. For example animals on the front, kids on the back, hand lettering, whatever.*
*Excellent use of your promotional space.
Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
My postcards tend to be stand alone images. Personally, I feel that a series would loose it’s cohesiveness as they’re sent months apart— also each illo in the series would have to function as a stand alone. Having said that, I did send out a series once: a raccoon girl character in four seasons. I used the four illustrations on two postcard mailings: Summer/Fall sent in July and Winter/Spring sent in November. I decided I didn’t like being tied to the one narrative for the year as I like showing different things.
How often do you send out postcards?
I aim to do three promo postcard campaigns a year. Roughly spaced out every four months. Sometimes I also do a conference handout; basically a postcard with a full image on both sides and just name and website.
Who do you target with your mailings?
My promo list is aimed primarily at children’s publishing, trade and educational: art directors and editors with a handful of art directors from kids’ magazines. Most agents seem to prefer to be contacted via e-mail.
How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
Hate to admit it, but I used to use Quark XPress.* Unfortunately when I recently updated my computer, I lost all my MS Word, Excel programs and Quark. Luckily, I do have hard copies of my Master Promo List and my seven pages of labels. Which means in the near future, I will have to input my info into InDesign or handwrite it all. Geez, I should figure out Excel.** Computer woes aside, I keep a master list of all my contacts. This list includes e-mail, web address, where/when I met them (if at a conference or whatever). I update it as I come across new info. This way when I’m ready to do a mailing I just make labels. The base of my list is the SCBWI list from THE BOOK and people/gleaned from conferences and other groups and friends. Then I update this with info from industry newsletters and websites: Harold Underdown’s Who’s Moving Where, Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating, Publishers Weekly, Children’s Book Insider, etc.
*Egads! Quark Xpress! That is absolutely vintage.
**You’re not the only one! We should start a support group. 😉
Do you have any tips on the production process?
I layout my postcard design with InDesign and upload my front and back designs as a Press Quality, CMYK PDF. As far as fonts and design goes, I like to keep it clean and simple. The illustration is the primary focus. The text is secondary as a design element but must be clear and readable— it should not be a distraction. To this end, I gravitate towards simple, classic fonts: Garamond, Helvetica.
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I use VistaPrint, either the 5 x 7” or the 5.5 x 8.5” postcard size, depends on the proportions of my illustration. They’re usually quick and easy on the budget.
Thanks so much for sharing, Diana.
See more of Diana’s work here:
Illustration blog: http://dtdelosh.blogspot.com
Group blog: http://drawntopicturebooks.blogspot.com
Card Store: http://greetingcarduniverse.com/dianascards
If you’re joining us for the first time at The 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). And you can see recent posts by clicking on The Postcard Post under CATEGORIES on the right sidebar of this blog.
See you next month.