Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 19, 2017

ASK CAT

1485896094908

On the third Tuesday Christina or Christy Ewers Tugeau of the Catugeau Artist Agency will answer questions and talk about things illustrators need to know to further their career. It could be a question about an illustration you are working on, too. Please email your questions to me and put ASK CAT in the subject box.

chrisandchristy

Here’s Chris:

In the spirit of Holiday visiting, we thought it might be helpful to chat about publisher visits and maybe answer some questions you didn’t even know you had!  There was a time not so long ago that an artist would just pack up his/her portfolio, head for NYC and get in to see several editors/ADs, and leave with a job or two!! Today these visits are rare and difficult to set up for newbies, but can be just as rewarding.

As agents with 30 artists and several dummies to show off each visit, we have an easier time getting in the door. Even so, it is still often a puzzle to solve. Seeing several people/imprints inside the bigger houses can easily take a whole day (or more!). I love the chance, as we go from one office to another, to also ‘pop-in’ for a quick ‘hi’ to others NOT scheduled to see. Or we might plan to visit two or three smaller houses in a day trying to keep them in the same section of NYC always. Around-town travel is unpredictable and you do NOT want to be late. It works best to start with one solid appointment and then build on that. There are last minute cancellations of course, so it’s always a challenge. Very worth the effort however. To sit with one or several people as you show the (iPad) portfolios, or while discussing dummies, is PRICELESS! Observing body language along with the verbal expressions says SO much more than emails. And when an editor hugs a dummy to their chest in your presence and says “I HAVE to have this!”… THAT’S THE DREAM come true!

While individual visits are wonderful opportunities, it is hard for very busy editors and ADs to take time to see one artist’s work. They typically won’t agree to meet, as they might know in 3 minutes that this style isn’t for them, but they can’t just dismiss the artist! It’s far more productive to see 30 artists with an agency in the same hour. But if you are invited to meet with an editor or AD, it usually means that they have seen your work from postcards and website visits, and now want to meet you personally to see more. Or maybe they reviewed your work at a conference and asked you to visit! If you get invited in….GO!

We highly recommend sending 3-4 postcards a year to a well developed list of potential publishing matches. It piques interest and might lead them to look further at your other work. And they may want to meet you if  you live in or near NYC, or other locations near publishers. That said, be sure to do your homework and don’t waste postcards and stamps on sending to publishers/ADs/editors who do not work in your genre, or age group. If you’re targeting middle-grade or chapter book publishers, don’t send them to people work within the 0-5 year age range! And vice versa.

If you are planning to attend the SCBWI Winter Conference, you should attempt to set up some visits with houses you maybe have worked for, or houses who have shown an interest in your work (either before or after the conference). You might ask if there are other editors/ADs at each location who also might be interested in your work. Take your well-organized portfolio (see other ASK CAT articles for tips on portfolios!) and some ‘leave behinds’ (i.e. postcards, printed samples an/or dummy copies). A ‘treat’ is always welcomed too! Do not leave your traveling portfolio behind…you may never see it again. Send an inexpensive ‘keeper’ one when you get home – or email a PDF or JPEGS of some samples.

Christy is now our ‘visiting rep’ and she has a few hints and comments to add as well. HERE IS CHRISTY:

Hi Everyone! Chris covered a lot of ground here – there’s little that I can add! Except that you just need to be open to whatever happens. If you as an individual get some appointments with art buyers, go in prepared – prepared for anything! Sometimes in these meetings, it’s me and one or two other people. Sometimes, it’s me presenting to a room of 15 editors, art directors & designers. Sometimes, the people I meet with want me to guide the presentation of artwork, sometimes they want to take the iPad and navigate it themselves. You just never know; so prepare yourself for the unknown. Also, remember to ASK. Ask what clients are looking for, hoping for, and how you might be able to help! Ask what, exactly, they generally work on and are currently working on. Look around while you’re there, and take in the books and postcards and artwork that adorn clients’ offices – and ask about it! But most of all, ask for constructive criticism; there is no better way to challenge yourself and to grow – and to become an illustrator who appeals to clients across the board! OK, back to Chris…

A New Year is upon us! New starts, plans and energy. Make getting into some professional offices a priority if you are able. You will learn a lot about that editor/AD, the industry and your work, believe me. We always come away with ideas and invaluable feedback for our agency artists, and a better understanding about what the publishers want and need, and how we as an agency can help.

Besides, we in Children Books, are blessed with some of the best, most giving, talented, smart professionals anywhere. Try to take advantage of every opportunity to SOP IT UP!

Christy and I wish everyone of you a very MERRY HOLIDAY! and a creative, inspiring New Year!

Do send on more questions about our wonderful industry!!

####

Christina A. Tugeau Artist Agency LLC is the first mother/daughter agency in the business! A trained artist herself with a BA in Fine Art, Chris Tugeau has been in the children’s illustration industry for over 25 years. Since opening her own agency in 1994, Chris has enjoyed representing many talented artists, and has been an active part of the illustration community; writing and presenting for SCBWI regions around the country. She is also the author of SCBWI Illustrator Guidelines. A veteran artist and rep, Chris is an advocate for ethical fairness and the bright future of children’s publishing. She’s also a mother of 3, a grandmother to 8, and best friend to husband, Bill.

Chris and Christy, Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer questions and helping everyone trying to build their careers in the children’s publishing industry. This was a terrific questions and a terrific answer. – Great article.

Please help keep this column going by sending in your questions.

Thank you Chris and Christy for sharing more of your expertise.

NOW SIT DOWN AND WRITE UP YOUR QUESTIONS FOR “ASK CAT.”

Hope this illustration by Kris Aro McLeod will inspire everyone to send in a question to Chris and Christy.  http://www.krisaromcleod.com/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thank you for answering questions I didn’t know I had! 🙂 I appreciate all of your advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Feel so lucky to be a part of the CAT group.. Wonderful advice from Chris and Christy!

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: