The Postcard Post welcomes illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara.
Jacqueline Alcántara is a freelance illustrator and artist who spends her days drawing, writing and globe-trotting with her dog Possum. She is particularly excited about promoting inclusiveness and diversity in children’s literature and the illustration field in general. Her debut picture book, THE FIELD, written by Baptiste Paul, was named a Best Book of 2018 by School Library Journal, Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, and Shelf Awareness. FREEDOM SOUP, written by Tami Charles, has been named a Kids IndieNext Pick, a Kirkus Best Book of 2019, and has received four starred reviews! Jacqueline lives in Chicago, Illinois.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
Well, I think that most editors are looking for an image that immediately has them asking questions: what’s happening; what’s the relationship between the characters or the character and the place. What happened before or after this image, what’s about to happen next!* Of course, this just tells us it’s a good piece of narrative art— I think that’s the most important bit for children’s illustration.
*Yes! They should want to know more.
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 add my website to the front as often as possible because I want people to associate the name and style together.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Nope! I use whatever I’m story I’m working on, whether its commissioned, or a story I’m working on for myself.
Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
Stand alone, but interesting idea to create a series…
How often do you send out postcards?
Well, I keep trying to do it quarterly but it’s been more like twice a year at this point. Probably won’t send any out for the next year sadly because I don’t expect people to be back in their offices anytime soon!*
*That is a conundrum for illustrators. There are alternatives to the postcard but they just aren’t the same.
Who do you target with your mailings?
I create a postcard for each book I make and will send that out to children’s editors and art directors. I have also created some for editorial art directors, but I have less confidence in this for some reason, i.e., I stopped but probably should keep sending to them!
How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
Excel/Numbers.* I initially compiled everything from the Children’s Book Guide, then have continued to add names/address/emails from people I meet or just am in contact with online.
*Numbers is a Mac version of Excel. I use it too!
Do you have any tips on the production process?
Nothing out of the ordinary! I use Photoshop to design the card. Just make sure your important info (website, contact info) stay well within the crop lines!!*
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
I use PS Print. Its just the cheapest option I’ve found and I’ve always been happy enough with the color reproduction. I’m sure there’s better quality out there but for the price, I’m usually happy.
Thank you, Jacqueline for sharing your tips and postcards!
Get to know more about Jacqueline’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.
LOVE your work, Jaqueline!
Beautiful art! Thank you, Jacqueline, for the terrific tips!