Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lucy Cummins on Self Promotion: How to Get Work Agented or Not

Cummins.JPGLucy Ruth Cummins is the Art Director for Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers and Paula Wiseman Books. She works with artists from all sides of the technique map on everything from picture books to young adult covers.

Put a mailer together with your strongest piece that highlights your unique style and represents the style you'd be happiest to work in. Lucy gets 0-4 postcards a day. They go directly into her hand. The postcard should have your name, website, and email address on the back and a strong image with no distracting text on the front.

Tip: Lucy loves to get holiday postcards from talented illustrators.

Have an updated website and an active web presence. Lucy finds unagented talent online all the time. Some of the places she "lurks" are Twitter, Flickr, Behance, Instagram, Illustration Fridays and @sketchdailies. A website can be as simple as a blog on or a Tumblr page -- it's a place to feature your work.

Have a picture book dummy ready in case an art director likes your promotional pieces. As an illustrator you should be able to show you can tell a story in 32 pages and be able to defend that ability.

Should you send mailers to an AD who already has someone in their back pocket that has your illustration style?

"That person might be busy. Being someone's back up player is never a bad thing."

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