Friday, January 28, 2011

Illustrators Intensive: Keynote with The Yaccarinster

We all love Dan Yaccarino's work. His books, his cartoons, his puzzles, his pajamas, his new line of hams available at Costco.

Dan shares examples of how he's taken his book art beyond books and gives hints on how illustrators can make that happen in their own careers.

For most things—plush toys, games, stationery—those beyond-the-book items are really only an option after a book has come out, sold well, and art licenses are picked up by different manufacturers or the publisher.

 Dan says consider making your own promotional items, like at cafe press, to get the ball rolling.

We know Dan has awesome cartoons, but how do you get started in that? You attend the animation equivalent of an SCBWI conference, KidScreen Summit.

from Good Night, Mr. Night
Dan talked briefly about good self-promotion for illustrators, he thinks post cards are still a great way to get your art in front of the people that matter, cards often having a longer shelf life than an image in an email. A website and/or blog that conveys your personality is also key for illustrators. For those with books out, he recommended making your own book trailers using iMovie and royalty free assets. Simple is always best, though, let the work shine through.

from Every Friday
 His number one piece of promotion advice: PROMOTE THE WORK YOU WANT TO GET.

from the forthcoming All the Way to America
What's Dan working on now? He's got a chapter book in the works, one that he's both written and illustrated. And in addition to new picture books and new TV show ideas he's got a great a new line of Yaccarino Snuggies and Slankets (those don't have Dan's artwork on them, just pictures of Dan!)


  1. "His number one piece of promotion advice: PROMOTE THE WORK YOU WANT TO GET." Great advice. I'm trying to do that now with my own website and iMovie booktrailers. Hope it works. Thanks!

  2. Thanks, Shevi! Dan also said "NEVER GO AGAINST A SICILIAN WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE." But I wasn't sure how to apply that to children's book illustration.

  3. I saw Dan at our NC/NE Texas SCBWI. He told us that he always says YES and then figures out how he can do it after. Saying Yes has brought Dan many blessings. Since then, I have thought of his advice every time I'm unsure of myself. Say YES, and just do it! Saying no will only keep you further from greatness.

  4. Absolutely, Debbie! I mean, YES.