Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 5
In Getting Started in Children’s Book Illustration, I’m answering your questions about getting started in this field. Submit your questions via email or check here to read answers to previous questions.
In this installment of Getting Started in Children’s Book Illustration, we’re tackling the question: I have an agent, but do I also need to market myself?
You’ve got an agent! Congratulations! But yes, you also need to continue marketing your work.
Yes, your agent is going to do most of the tough backend work, you’ll want to continue to share and promote your work as well, even if it’s on a smaller scale.
Your first step is to check with your agent and make sure they are ok with whatever marketing you have planned. Some agencies prefer that you don’t send out your own postcard mailings. Most agencies are ok with you continuing to promote your own work though.
Personally, I don’t do a ton of marketing on my own these days. I keep up with my Instagram account and send our quarterly postcards or emails. Other than that, I just keep my agents updated on new work and spend time updating my portfolio with new work.
At the minimum, I recommend having an Instagram account that you update regularly. Generally, anywhere from 25% to 50% of my projects come from art directors finding my work on Instagram.
Keep in mind, the number of followers you have on Instagram isn’t nearly as important as a) the quality of the content you’re posting and b) the hashtags you’re using.
Think of Instagram as a portfolio. Curate it and show your best work there. Use hashtags that accurately describe your work. You can follow hashtags on Instagram, so use hashtags that art directors might use to find your work like #childrensbooks or #picturebookartist. Spend some time creating a list of viable hashtags and use them regularly.
Yes, your agent will do most of the work getting your art in front of art directors and editors, but you can continue to promote your work via social media, postcard mailings, attending conferences and events, and whatever other methods make sense for you.