The Postcard Post: Iris Biran

Sub It Club welcomes Iris Biran to The Postcard Post. I’ve known Iris (and her unique illustrations) through social media and a webinar I hosted for SCBWI France but finally had the pleasure of meeting her in New York at this past SCBWI winter conference. Now it’s your turn. Enjoy!

Iris Biran is an Israeli illustrator who works traditionally with colored pencils and collage. She earned her BA in Fine Art and Literature from the University of Haifa. She has participated in several illustration exhibitions in Israel and abroad and has had two solo shows. In recent years, she has been working on personal projects. Currently she is working as an author/illustrator. Iris loves working at her home studio which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and sharing her desk with Luna, her cat. As a pre-published illustrator, she aspires to work in the children’s book industry.

Iris_Biran-Postcard_1_Front
Postcard front. Interesting idea to show a W-I-P!

How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?

I choose the images from the projects I’m working on. When a project is done, I go over the colored final pieces and figure out which one of them might be good for the postcard front and back. Then, I scan them into Photoshop and design the postcard layout.

Iris_Biran-Postcard_1_Back
Postcard back. The story continues…

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 usually put my name on the front and add my contact details on the back. For the last postcard, I made a different design because it’s still a work-in-progress and it was important to me to mention it on the front side. I plan to do more postcards with this project that will have the same design, so that they will show as a series.

Iris_Biran-Postcard_2_Front
Front of a postcard (series)

Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?

No. I only use illustrations related to finished or ongoing projects.

Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?

I create only one postcard at a time and even if there are a few of them related to the same series like Cinderella or stories that I wrote), I send them out separately. For each postcard, I put images from the same project – on the front it would be a whole page piece, while on the back – a vignette. I also try to show humans and animals from the same theme.

Iris_Biran-Postcard_2-Back
Postcard back

How often do you send out postcards?
Twice a year. If I don’t have new pieces on my portfolio website, I wait until I make new ones. That’s because I don’t want to bother an art director to see what they’ve already seen. There must be something new and fresh which indicates that I keep working and not remain static as an artist.*

*Excellent point!

Who do you target with your mailings?

I target art directors of children’s publishers and also magazines for adults. I got to illustrate a half page for a magazine last year.*

*Yay! Proof postcards work!

Iris_Biran-Postcard_3_Front
Front

How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
It took me quite a long time at the beginning, to put together the list of publishers to whom I thought my style would appeal (which I still don’t know if I was right about it…).* Now, I’m having this list in my computer’s bookmarks. I also keep a physical one in my drawer, in case the disc is damaged (which already happened…)
**
*Ha! It is hard to be sure sometimes…
**AHH! Everyone’s worst nightmare.

Iris_Biran-Postcard_3_Back
Back

Do you have any tips on the production process?
It’s good to keep a blank file with guides on Photoshop to have the general layout of the postcard. For each new postcard, I insert the images and fonts in a way they make a good fit with each other. I think that even if you have the general layout, it’s better to redesign each postcard for itself and see how all features are working well together.

Iris_Biran-Postcard_4_Front
Front
Iris_Biran-Postcard_4_Back
Back

Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?

I don’t use online services. To print a new postcard, I go to the printing house and always ask for a trial printing, even if I have to pay for it. After I see that I like the color scale, the printing person runs the whole series of postcards. I think it’s better to do it this way; otherwise you may be disappointed to see nuances between your computer’s screen and the professional printer.*

*True. Visiting a printer is good thing to do if you can.

 

Iris_Biran-Sketch-4Iris-Biran-Sketch-5

Thanks for sharing your images and work space, Iris!

Check out more of Iris’s work here:

Website: http://www.irisbiran.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Iris-Biran-Illustrator-105037726193230/
Twitter: @illudes
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/irisbiran/albums

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 LOOKING FOR MORE? on the right sidebar of this blog.
See you next month.

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