The Postcard Post: Josh Nash

Sub It Club welcomes illustrator Josh Nash to The Postcard Post.

Josh Nash is 50% eraser shavings, 50% animal cookies and 50% Café Americano. Josh is also horrible at math but he loves to draw. When he was very small, his mother read him stories and showed him pictures by Maurice Sendak, Garth Williams, Richard Scarry and Ezra Jack Keats. His dad provided him with piles of scrap paper, pens and pencils to make his own pictures. Josh is bigger now but he remembers those stories and pictures vividly. And he still loves to draw.

Josh has been drawing professionally since 2004 and has done so for the nice folks at Scholastic, Hooked on Phonics, and singer-song writer Kenny Loggins.

When he isn’t drawing he can be found enjoying beautiful Northern California with his wife and dog, traveling to a rainy European city, reading a book or doing any number of activities that don’t require math.

Postcard front

How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
My decision process varies. Sometimes I decide it is time to do a mailing and I look at recent work to decide which image would be best, and other times I decide to do a mailing because I have just completed an illustration I feel it is strong and will be a good promo piece.

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 include my name and website on the front of the card with the art and put all other info on the back. I like to imagine that art directors will tack it up on a bulletin board in their office or tape it to their bathroom mirror at home so they can chuckle appreciatively as they get ready for work in the morning.* And in that case I’d like my name to be readily visible.
*LOL. You never know. Maybe!

Postcard back

Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Not specifically, but it can be a bit of a “chicken or the egg” conundrum. If I have a specific idea for a portfolio piece, I will finish it knowing that I’ll probably feature it on a promo piece soon after. I hope that answer is complicated enough.*
*Perfect amount of complication 😉

Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I do stand-alone images. I heard somewhere that “slow and steady goes the race”.

How often do you send out postcards?
Since I do mailings based on having something to share that I feel is very strong, I only do 1-2 a year. So I guess I’ve got the “slow” part down pretty well.*
*Don’t we all!

Who do you target with your mailings?
I target children’s publishing art directors exclusively, but I also usually send one to my mom.*
*HA! Seriously though, I bet she loves that.

How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
I keep a list typed up on my computer and update the contacts periodically using the market survey from SCBWI’s THE BOOK, and curate them further by employing a very scientific method I like to call “which of my own postcards did I get back in the mail, marked ‘return to sender’ ”.

Do you have any tips on the production process?
I put my mailers together using Adobe InDesign. I am a designer by trade so I put a lot of thought/am very precious about/will never quite be satisfied with my postcard designs and typeface choices.*
*It shows in the lovely design of the postcard featured here. I’m not just saying that!

Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I use on online print service called I have always been very happy with the quality, production speed and price.

Thanks so much for your (fun) tips and postcard, Josh.
Check out more of Josh’s work here:

Twitter: @joshuanashillus
Instagram: @joshuanashillus

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 searching for The Postcard Post on this blog.
See you next month.

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