Friday, August 4, 2023

Art Directors Panel: Karina Granda

 Topic: The Changing Landscape in Children's Book Publishing for Illustrators

Karina Granda is an Art Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She works mostly with middle grade and young adult books, and is so excited to see illustrators working in that space. Though she still loves a picture book. She has designed and art directed many award-winning and bestselling books including The Proudest Blue, The Magic Misfits series, The Door No Return, Stamped and Stamped (for Kids), The Inheritance Games series, the Folks of the Air series, Internment, and the Love & Gelato series. 

TeMika asks the panelist about finding artists, and they all seem to agree that they found artists everywhere. Karina seconds the use of Instagram, but she also responds well to cold emails when those emails are sent respectfully, only once or twice a year, without expecting a response. 

TeMika: What is something you don't want to see? What are some thing illustrators need to work on before they submit? Karina sees a lot of portfolios that are entirely character studies, and that's not enough. There needs to be a sense of narrative, no matter what age group. That narrative would also give her a sense of the jacket. 

Karina says there's no right or wrong time to submit, but know that even if she sees something she likes, it might not be right for what's she's working on right now. But, if she likes it, she'll archive it for later. 

Tip: Make sure your art work represent the targeted reader. 

TeMika pushes into the territory of uncomfortable conversations. Money.

Picture books are a long game, so Karina encourages illustrators to look at working in middle grade and young adult. The time required is less. 

A really interesting conversation between the panelist around what artists are paid (worth listening to the full conversation between them). A takeaway from Karina: Always ask for more. She (they) will let you know when they've reached a cap.


If you want to view this session to hear the full content, along with the rest of the conference, register at Replays of the conferences will be available until September 10, 2023. 

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