Promote your work where ever you can. But, always do it in places where you want to.
Also, don’t dismiss a piece you created for one thing and it ended up getting turned down by it. It’ll proved itself useful for another.
When I created Purple, it was for Designer’s Greetings, a greeting card company. It was part of some hypothetical cards I wanted to create based on general holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Halloween for review. I didn’t know it would end up getting rejected, I didn’t know I’d end up calling it Purple, and I didn’t know I’d send it to Illustration Rally months later. It’s amazing how your life plays out.
At the time that I created it, I was brainstorming certain paths I could take to become a known illustrator who also created subject matters she loved. Creating illustrations for greeting card companies seemed like one such path. It felt very exciting to me. I know most card companies preferred animals or objects instead of people so as to remain all-inclusive to customers, but I wanted the way I drew and painted people and events around a holiday to be a way to subvert that while simultaneously becoming easily recognizable the more people got acquainted with my work.
So I set out for finding card companies that took open submissions and Designer’s Greetings was one of them. Their submission policy was that you had to send them examples of your work and had to be of a watercolor or graphic nature. Because I didn’t have much of a holiday portfolio, I started to create pieces. The Art Director complimented my work but said it wouldn’t be a good fit. And I moved on. I stand by those pieces. I love them. Maybe not so much this piece only because I do think it’s very cliche to have a man and a woman on a valentine’s themed piece but there were reasons why I did that. Most of those pieces ended up being sent out to sites to get featured, were among my first pieces when building up my portfolio, some people know me through those specifically and I think they are among the strongest of my work even now. This is why I said you never end up finding out how things play out. Sometimes, most of your decisions are just you taking a step here and another there. Who knows where those pieces of art will continue to be.
Right now this one is over at Illustration Rally. This is one of two times that I’ve been featured there with this most recent one being for the Valentine’s Day Rally. Click on the first image below to see it in context.
Science, was one that I already had in my portfolio and it was created for the Illustrators of the Future competition that I spoke briefly of. But, The Sea was created specifically for the Halloween Illustration Rally Challenge and I’m glad to have it be a part of my portfolio.
Also, I still plan on creating a line of work on cards most likely independently. I think I’ll do it when I know more about it, am amped enough for it and am in a different space in my life. So, look out for that.