The Postcard Post is so happy to welcome author/illustrator Jannie Ho. Jannie’s work is a delight and it makes me think of all the fun, the cute, the best parts of being a kid. Read on and enjoy!
Jannie Ho is an author/illustrator of many children’s books for over a decade. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Philadelphia, Jannie moved to New York to study illustration, where she ended up being a designer and art director at various children’s book publishers before becoming an illustrator. She is the author/illustrator of BEAR AND CHICKEN (Running Press Kids), and her artwork appears in books, magazines, toys, crafts and digital media. She also illustrated the upcoming picture book, MITZI AND THE BIG BAD NOSY WOLF by Teresa Bateman (Holiday House, 2022). Jannie currently lives and creates in the greater Boston area with her family.
How do you choose the image(s) for a postcard?
I usually like choosing seasonal or a holiday theme related image for my postcard that correspond to when I would like to mail it out. I also believe in sending out artwork that gives me joy* and want to make more of. So there is a balance of both.
*The joy comes through!
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 usually prefer all my text in the back of the postcard.
Do you create illustrations specifically for your self-promotion pieces?
Yes. So I can size it specifically to the postcard dimensions too. I enjoy trying out different postcard sizes sometimes and it looks best if my artwork is created specifically for that.*
Some illustrators create a series of postcards and send them out over time. Do you create a series or stand-alone images?
I really love this idea of a series. I’ve done it once with my ABC series but most of the time, it is a stand-alone image.*
*I think you’re the first person to answer YES to this— once counts— so YAY. I don’t have to take this question out 😉
How often do you send out postcards?
Not as much as I should. I end up with 1 or 2 postcards a year, which is not enough! And now with the pandemic, many art directors and designers are working from home, so they are not receiving them at the office.*
*So true. I’d love to know if art directors, etc are getting their mail from time to time. Should illustrators keep/restart sending out? Publishing people, if you’re out there, let us know!
Who do you target with your mailings?
I target mostly art directors, editors, and designers in children’s publishing.
How do you compile your mailing list? Any tips on keeping a list and sending out?
I wish I had a better system, but it is usually by hand. I do have information entered in my contacts and grouped for each mailing. I would say to target your listing and keep your list manageable— because I do find that with each mailing, it is necessary to do a quick search to make sure the person you are sending your postcard to is still at that specific company. People do move around quite a bit in this industry.*
*Exactly. And the postage costs can add up so research is worth it.
Do you have any tips on the production process?
My artwork is in Adobe Illustrator, so I end up designing the card in Ai too. My biggest tip for layout design is to keep it simple— don’t use multiple fonts or complicated fonts. Let your art work shine. Don’t forget your website and contact information. Always proof read your text!
Do you use any online services? What are your favorite places to get postcards printed?
The two go-to places for printing postcards are gotprint.com and moo.com. At Got Print, I love the 16 pt. Premium matte cover paper for my postcards.
Thanks a million to Jannie for sharing her postcards and very helpful tips.
Get to know more about Jannie and her 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.