The Postcard Post: Joy Steuerwald

The Postcard Post welcomes Joy Steuerwald. I love Joy’s delightful illustrations and you will too!

Joy Steuerwald is an illustrator and author who is still celebrating her debut picture book THE PECULIAR PIG with Nancy Paulsen Books released a few months back. It’s already received a starred review from Kirkus along with many other amazingly kind words. Joy is working on a bunch of other stories that she hopes will be in the world someday soon! She lives in California with her husband, son and miniature Dachshund who are her muses, when not making her nuts.

Wonderful picture book, THE PECULIAR PIG by Joy Steuerwald

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

I’ve heard different suggestions for choosing postcard images: make them seasonal themed illustrations, make sure they’re things you want to illustrate, it needs to include children and animals, and does it tell a story? First off, I’m terrible at creating postcards not to mention sending them out! I don’t do them as much as I need to. For my latest postcard I decided to take a different approach and do an image from a story I wrote, WILLIS WEENIE WANTS TO BE A WHALE.

The postcard front, with an image from one of Joy’s stories.

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 think it really depends on the image, but I do like having my name and email on the front. All my information is also on the back, along with a black and white illustration. I heard somewhere that if the art director pins up your postcard, you want them to be able to easily see your contact info so they don’t have to get up and take your card off their wall to turn it around. Makes sense to me.

Postcard back. I love the playful placement of the contact info!

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

I guess I usually do.

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

I tend to do stand alone postcards, though I like the idea of doing a series.*

*If you do, please let me know and we’ll feature it here!

How often do you send out postcards?

Not nearly enough! I always have a bunch left over after I send out cards, too. What does everyone do with all of their unsent cards?* I have a box in my studio closet full of previous postcards! Shamefully, I send out maybe one postcard a year nowadays.

*I feel like the answer to this could be a really fun, inspiring project (all those images!) but I’m not sure what. Anyone?

Some of those aforementioned “previous” postcards. So fun to see all these images together!

Who do you target with your mailings?
My agent provides a list of contacts at children’s publishing houses and magazines. That is super helpful. Her contact information is of course on the back of my postcards as well.

How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
I use the list provided by my agent, but I also add publishers that I find whilst perusing bookstores. If I see a book I really like and think my work might be a good fit with them, I’ll take note.*

*Great idea!

Do you have any tips on the production process?

I often draw on paper, scan it in and paint in Photoshop. If I’m creating an illustration specifically for the postcard, I’ll create it to the specs of the printer postcard size. I have some favorite fonts, but I’ll make sure the font I use goes well with the image.

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

I’ve been using and am really happy with them.

Big thanks to Joy for sharing her tips and adorable postcards!

Check out the link below to see more of Joy’s work:


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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