The Evolution of a Sonya – and buying mailing lists

She started off so different … anyway, I’ve recently picked my dummy back up. I feel like after a semester of intense figure drawing practice, and learning how to use 3D rendering software, that I can now create the same character, recognizable, well and from different angles. Also my technique has evolved since I put the dummy down, from marker and digital coloring to pen and ink and watercolor. If you’d have told me then that I’d be working in watercolor now I would have laughed at you, but a combination of serendipity and Sergio Ruzzier’s strong opinions on the matter lead me to some very conventional media.

I’m hoping to have the dummy done, or at least presentable, for this summer’s SCBWI conference. It put quite a dent in my wallet, but I signed up for EVERYTHING. One-on-one portfolio review, juried portfolio show, illustration intensives, everything! I figure that even though it all scares the pant off me, the major expense is still the travel and the fee to walk in the door so why not shell out an extra $250 and get the most out of the experience possible. (If you’re going to be there, say hey! I’ll be the one psyching herself up to talk to strangers while rocking in the corner)

I’m riding high lately because one of my professors, who is also a noted children’s book author and illustrator, told me that she liked my work AND that I didn’t have a fatal flaw! Which was high praise for me, although you may have had to be there … Anyway, it went straight to my head which was nice because I need more praise to go to my head.

In other news I’m still working on my mailers and getting together my list. I WAS basing my list off of the 2011 Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market book, but have since been told that it’s next to useless. Few of the names are up to date, if they are there at all, and there are hardly any e-mail addresses. Without a name to send your card to, you may as well just throw it in the garbage at home and save yourself 42 cents. Also pretty much all of the entry’s request a detailed resume and query letter before or accompanying any postcards which, according to those who know, is ridiculous as no one sends those anymore. Apparently the book is compiled by surveying the publishing companies, so the answer you get there is what a publisher would like to see in their wildest dreams and not necessarily industry standard.

So I’ve been looking at Adbase, Creative Access and Freshlists. All 3 were recommended but Creative Access and Freshlists’ websites are jokes … unless I’m looking at the wrong sites. I mean, you can’t even open Freshlist on Chrome! On the other hand Adbase has a pretty hefty pricetag. They’ve got 20% off deals right now if you also want to shell out for a Contact Manager and E-mailer system, but I’d rather just use free services (like my G-Mail contact list and MailChimp). At least then I know that the company won’t fold or change something and I’ll lose access to my entire mailing list!

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