The Postcard Post features illustrator Mirelle Ortega. Get ready to be wowed!
Mirelle Ortega is a Mexican illustrator and visual development artist based in the Los Angeles area. Mirelle is represented by Bright Agency, and is known for her work as a cover artist for middle grade books like THE LOVE SUGAR MAGIC TRILOGY, FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON, and the upcoming CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS, as well as for picture books like PEPE AND THE PARADE.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
I usually just go with the images I like the most! Whatever I feel like represents my style and themes I like to work on.
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 prefer it in the back. Unless there’s some creative way to work it in the front or if the image had text to begin with. I’ve done a couple that I intended them to be postcards from the start, and those have text in the front.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Sometimes, though very rarely. Most of the art I create for self-promotion is simply art I was doing for myself.
Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I usually create stand-alone images, but I have created series of images that I end up printing in postcard form to sell at artists’ alleys in conventions*. So, partly. I’ve never sent them out over time, I think that’d be a lot of fun though!
*For anyone who’s wondering, an artist alley is the area at a convention where artists display work, draw sketches, or sell.
How often do you send out postcards?
I personally maybe just once a year – and it’s often to other artists on social media (mutuals on Twitter, mostly) – I do it because it’s fun and not so much as a form of self promotion, but I do think it’s led to work opportunities in the past. It’s also a great way to create a beautiful collection of postcards from around the world, which is probably my favorite part about it!
Who do you target with your mailings?
I’m lucky enough to be represented by Bright Agency, and they do a lot of the heavy lifting for me in that front. They do a great job sending out postcards to their database of publishers, art directors, etc. and they do a great job of listening when you express interest in a particular type of project.
Personally, I send postcards more as a token of friendship (like I mentioned above!), but every so often I do self-promote through postcards, though I don’t usually mail them. I usually hand them out personally in artists’ alleys, work meetings and other events. I think it’s a great way to help people put a face to the artist.*
*Yes, postcards are so versatile and can be distributed in lots of ways!
How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
When I do mail postcards I keep track of the mailing list by hand. I would usually write each address in a post it note and stick it to the postcard.
Do you have any tips on the production process?
I’d say, if you’re like me and are not consciously creating artwork for postcards, try to still make your images in a postcard friendly size, just in case. I try to do my images in square format or 4×6’, that way if I create something I really like I have the option to send to print!*
*Very smart! You never know…
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I like CatPrint* because they have a wide variety of paper and they’re not extremely expensive. On the more expensive end, moo dot com has wonderful quality. You can also do multiple images in one order, so you can get 50 postcards and they don’t all have to be the same.
*I’ve done a lot of Postcard Posts and this is the first time this printer has been mentioned. Nice to have more choice!
Big thanks to Mirelle for all the tips and postcards!
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.