The Postcard Post welcomes an author/illustrator who is practically my neighbor. Well, at least we live in the same country (France)! Sit back and enjoy gorgeous illustrations and great self-promotion tips. Bienvenue, Rosalinde Bonnet.
As a child, Rosalinde could not decide whether she wanted to be a wildlife biologist, a writer or an illustrator. But, because she spent most of her time doodling (even all over her notebooks during class!) or creating plays and sets for her puppets, she finally decided to study art after high school. She studied at the Versailles School of Fine Arts, then at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Since then, Rosalinde has written and/or illustrated numerous books including DADDY HONK HONK! (Dial Books), POPPY’S BEST… series by Susan Eaddy (Charlesbridge), ZIP! ZOOM! ON A BROOM by Teri Sloat (Little, Brown), ELLA AND PENGUIN series by Megan Maynor (HarperCollins), LA FAMILLE TORTUE by Orianne Lallemand (Casterman) and the chapter book OÙ SONT PASSÉS LES PRINCES CHARMANTS ? illustrated by Anne Simon (Éditions Milan). When she isn’t working or reading in her Versailles studio, she likes hiking, observing nature, taking photos, and making vegan pastries.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
I look at my most recent works and I select what I feel are the most interesting pieces both in form (composition, line work…) and content (endearing character(s), atmosphere, poetry…). Then I meet with my wonderful “team” (family and friends) and we make the final choice together, over a nice cup of hot chocolate and a few cakes.*
*Sounds like a good team to be on. Yum!
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 don’t want to overcrowd my illustration nor unbalance its composition. But I think it’s important to have at least my website on the front. In that way, if by any chance, my postcard is hung up in someone’s wall, s/he doesn’t have to take it down to see who I am.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
I generally don’t create illustrations specifically for my self-promotion. I do a lot of illustrations each week for fun or for picture book projects so I always have a big stock ready from which I can pick. And, in that way, I’m sure to mail only personal images.
Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I prefer to send out stand-alone images over time in order to show the various aspects of my work.
How often do you send out postcards?
I have never sent it out more than twice a year. As soon as I graduated, I was fortunate enough to get a lot of contracts relatively quickly in France and England, thanks to my first mailings (mini-portfolios A5, containing about 10 art samples*). I don’t have time to promote my work more than that. Presently, since I would prefer to be published mainly as an author/illustrator, and also keep enough time to work as a toy/textile designer, I mostly send out postcards when I have a picture book project to submit (in February/March and in September/October and not always to the same people).
*Oooo! One day you need to tell us more about your mini-portfolios! Great idea.
Who do you target with your mailings?
I send out to art directors and editors, but also to designers and editorial assistants who might share my postcard with their editor or art director. People in junior positions receive less mail so they can be more receptive.* I don’t limit my mailings to a geographic area—I mail all around the world.
*Very good point!
How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
Compiling my mailing list is something that I have always enjoyed doing. I love to investigate! I search on websites and social media, I check companies’ contact pages, I go to bookstores and copy down the names of editors/art directors/designers, I consult exposition lists in book fairs… I keep all this information in a big notebook, full of ratings and collages. I also have a digital copy of it, a doc file, where I write which card I sent to who, the date and if I received a response.* Sometimes I print the addresses on labels from Photoshop files, sometimes I handwrite them. In some cases, I handwrite a personal note in the address area and I put the postcard in an envelope.
*Wow! Impressive. This is the first time anyone has said they love this process but you are right to embrace it.
Do you have any tips on the production process?
It’s important to check the printer specifications before starting the design. I have template files from Moo and Vistaprint saved on my computer. I just have to open them, import my image(s) (scanned in at least 300 dpi) and I can start the design. On the back of the postcard, don’t forget to leave sufficient space for the address, the stamp, and the barcode. Choose a readable, classic font. Keep your design clear and easy to read. Try different compositions. Print out the different options at home to look what works best.
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I use Moo and Vistaprint. I choose one or the other depending of the format, the paper and the options I want.
Merci beaucoup to Rosalinde for sharing her illustrations and tips.
See more of Rosalinde’s work here:
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.