Anne Telford’s column “Illustration Voice”

Lindgren & Smith Inc. Artists Representatives in New York City count Doug Fraser, Pol Turgeon, Michael Paraskevas, and Robert Rodriguez, among their large roster of multi-award-winning illustrators. When asked the same questions, Piper Smith responded:

Q: What is the best self-promotion project you’ve seen lately?
A: I talked to [my business partner] Pat [Lindgren] about this… We have not seen a great self-promo piece in a long time! Is it because everyone emails now as postage rates have skyrocketed? I do not mean to pat us on the head but we did a great self-promo about two years ago—50 oversized bookmarks, one for each state and on the back the artist’s info with a ‘Bookmark Lindgren & Smith’. “It was very effective: We could send five out a time with one stamp, or to art buyers we could send a complete boxed set.

Q: What advice would you give illustrators about producing self-promo projects?
A: I would suggest to illustrators that they do very small, targeted promos—maybe 200–300 in size as they could bulk mail. Something beyond a postcard: I remember years ago Alexa Grace would send out a printed promo and she would take a pinking shears to it; creatives would see that fun cut edge and immediately recognize it as Alexa’s work.

“Think out of the box,” Piper Smith concludes. I’d add that you should be true to yourself. Everyone has a unique story, perhaps even one that they consider mundane, but that others will find revealing and interesting. Think of the clutter of messages and images that each of us is bombarded with on a daily basis. How will your message, your art, stand out? How will it arrest some one’s eye and find its way onto the refrigerator or bulletin board? Tell your story. Who are you? Where are you from? What do you love? That’s what I want to see!

Share this: