|Steve looking for a transom he can shimmy through|
Steve: People say picture books are down, but I've signed three new illustrators since this time last year. There are no shortcuts in this field, you have to go the extra mile. You just have to work harder, the jobs are out there.
Steve's slideshow contained not diagrams of safes and how to crack them, but quotes from his clients:
Push yourself to the edge in terms of working hard and creating the best images you can. Don't let anyone else outwork you." -- AG FORD
|Cover of AG's latest book|
You can't be a dabbler, you have to be 100% committed. Certainly, work in the other parts of the arts, Steve even encourages that, but committing fully to your children's book illustration career is going to make your success much easier going.
Well, this next quote could actually apply to thieves. Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours rule:
The people at the very top don't just work harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.
Steve hands out a list of his top 25 books you should know to be the best illustrator you can be as well as six great online resources for illustrators. I'm picking my top five books from that list:
There's a lot of subjectivity involved in how your work is received. But as a general rule: Your portfolio needs to be specific to children's books. Take the weeks, months, or years needed to make your portfolio specialized. There should be a logic to the way your pieces are sequenced.
|From Stephanie Graegin's mini promo booklet|
The two things Steve says you can control in this business are:
- How people experience your portfolio
- Being a pleasure to work with
|From Christian Robinson's Writers House portfolio|
Another new client, Christian Robinson, demonstrated to me, personally, that he'd be a pleasure to work with. I got to meet him this weekend and he totally laughed at all my bad jokes. And they were total stinkers.
|From Marla's book THE BOSS BABY (who Steve modeled for!)|
"Don't make anyone's job harder than it already is." -- MARLA FRAZEE
And Marla's quote could apply to heists! So at least I can end on a useful note.