Market yourself as an Illustrator: Learn to Create Promotional Postcards | Claire Lordon | Skillshare

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Market yourself as an Illustrator: Learn to Create Promotional Postcards

teacher avatar Claire Lordon, Author-Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Choosing Artwork and a Postcard Size

    • 3. Designing The Front of a Postcard

    • 4. Designing The Back of a Postcard

    • 5. Choosing A Printer

    • 6. Creating a Mailing List and Final Thoughts

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About This Class

If you are an illustrator or someone looking to create a postcard design, this class is for you!

Claire is a multi-published author-illustrator who shares her advice about creating promo(tional) postcards that pop! You'll learn her tricks to streamline the process. This class is an intermediate level class requiring some knowledge of Photoshop and the ability to create an illustration or obtaining a pre-made image.

Claire even received a book deal because of one of her postcards and she's excited to share her tips!

In this class you'll learn:

  • How to choose artwork for a postcard and how to pick a postcard size
  • How to design the front of a postcard (including bleed, adding a name, etc...)
  • The best way to design the back of the postcard (including making your postcard mailbox ready!)
  • Methods to choose the best printer
  • Approaches to create a mailing list to send postcards to art directors and editors

You’ll be creating:

  • A promotional postcard with your artwork on it ready to send to art directors and editors

It's a good practice as a children's book illustrator to have promotional postcards ready for events and to mail them to editors and art directors three to four times per year. Postcards are great to send to editorial illustration art directors as well. Editors and art directors collect postcards with art that they think they might be able to use on a future book project. Maybe they will choose you!

You can also find Claire here:


Meet Your Teacher

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Claire Lordon



Claire Lordon is an author and illustrator in Vancouver, Canada. She creates children's books, surface designs, murals, maps, and greeting cards for a number of companies.

She is the author and illustrator of "Lorenzo, the Pizza-Loving Lobster" (little bee books) and illustrator of "Over at the Construction Site" (Word... See full profile

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1. Introduction: hello and welcome to have a create promo post card. My name is Claire Lord, and I'm an author and illustrator of more than six books for kids. Join me in this class for all levels about how to create a promotional postcard. This class is scraper illustrators looking to reach a wider audience. Wow, my classes geared towards Children's book illustrators. This class can also apply to editorial ST Teresa's well as anyone needing a postcard designs. Postcard feelings are important because it's a great way to get your work in front of editors and art directors. When they receive a postcard in the mail, they will look over your work and decide whether to keep her work on file from your projects. While editors and art directors received many postcard today, a great postcard illustration and postcard design can help get their attention. I have even received a book contract from one of my postcards, and maybe you'll too, in this class I'm going to cover creating are specifically short, postcard or choosing pre existing artwork. She's in a postcard size, designing the front of the postcard, designing the back of the postcard, choosing a printer and finally, how to create a mailing list. I can't wait to share my knowledge of you. Let's get started 2. Choosing Artwork and a Postcard Size: hi again. So when creating a promotional postcard, the most important aspect is the artwork itself. Personally, when I decide created for low postcard, I start by choosing the size post heart, I will be sending for money. The standard size for a postcard is four inches by six inches, although when illustrating usually need a bleed on each side. This is because when the cards are printed, the cutting machine needs a little bit of wiggle room in case the alignments a little bit off. This is why I prefer to create art specifically for a postcard, so I don't have to go back and try to create the extra 0.1 or so inches on each side. I also make sure that when I start, I have my DP I, which is dots per inch setting to at least 4 50 This is in case I ever want to print the artwork bigger than the actual size of the postcard. You can check this by going to image image size and change the DP I where it says resolution. Another option is to create the artwork at twice the size of the postcard. This is a good idea if you think you might want to print out larger or have a higher resolution when I think you want a shack is you want to make sure you're in C M y que mode and not RGB. You can check this by going up to image and mode and making sure that there's a check mark right next to see em like a color. I have created some templates for you to use in the class material section. You can find these by going to your project within skill share in this class and scrolling down toe right where it says Resource is there you will find a four by six template and eight by 12 template, which is double the standard size. Both of these will have the bleed built in as well. The other option is you can choose pre existing artwork, but that it's a little tricky finding the right size postcard and you might have to create a benefit buffer or bleed. Reminded illustration might have to drop us a little bit more of us to get that when choosing her artwork, you want pick something that is telling a story, something that will make the recipient. Stop and think about what is going on. You also want to make sure that there is some space where you can put your name in the image I have done for you. Put it outside or no, you didn't work with an illustration. I'll cover more of us, and that's what they're thinking about this now. Well, awesome. At the picket image that is instantly your side. An editor art director wants to see artwork that has uniqueness to it. You want to create something that only you could create. Once you have created or shows in an illustration, you can join me in the next bit. 3. Designing The Front of a Postcard: Hi again. So in this video, I'm gonna talk more specifically, I have to design your postcard. I'll be showing you three examples four by six Horizontal design. A postcard creating created from pre existing artwork and a vertical design. I'll start off of the four by six Horizontal design The image I'm gonna uses this winter Seeing with animals playing I created this artwork specifically for a postcard. It's larger than four by six, but it still has that 2 to 3 ratio. You'll want to open the four by six template in the resource is section, while the simple in a sinful for creating your design. It may not be exactly what your printer will use as plea bleed areas, very, but this template will be a good place to start. Many websites have templates that you can download, so you may want to look there as well. I'm the template I created for you. There are three areas marked. One is the bleed, which is the buffer space. You can see this area in orange The next is this gray line right here. This is where your postcard will ideally be chopped off and the next line here is the blue line is going to be what we call the safe space. This is basically in her buffer zone. So as you don't want to let texts get too close to the cutting line and accidentally be chopped off, I don't recommend getting text too close to the edge. Anyway, it's good to have some breathing room. So when we're playing around with this temple that I give you, you'll notice that you have three layers here. One is going to be layer one. This is where all the information is. The next layer is the one of title art goes here. This is the layer that you've run a put garden, and then the layer on the top, which is currently tackled off, is titled Preview Final postcard. You can see that if you talking on and off that it's the same color as the background on my photo shop. So it looks like that this part blends into the background. So this is a good way to preview what your postcards gonna looked like once the bleed is chopped off. So the next gonna dio is I'm gonna take my winter artsy, and I'm gonna put it in. The art goes here, layer, and I'm gonna press return. Great. So this is where my artists And so the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to find a space on the illustration where I'm gonna put my name. It may be above the illustration like, and that it comes. Sometimes I do it fully across horizontally you could have at the top or the bomb. Um, sometimes I've seen people you know, like you like a little circle within their illustration. It's really important to put at least your name on the front of your postcard because editors and our characters like pending them to poles and boards in their office and putting your name on the front mixture life easier so they don't have toe on 10 and turn the postcard around. In case they want to look up your information, play a round of the arrangement as well as different bonds until you reach a design you like. I'm gonna use this lower left corner to put my name and information there. I have a rectangle file that has already all my information on it, and I use it on all of my postcards. And so this is it right here. So I'm gonna go layer duplicate layer, and then choose my templates. Click. OK, And here is my little sidebar information on. I'm gonna put it down here in the bottom One looks good. What I'm gonna do now is I'm going to take the bottom layer, and I'm going to move up the top to make sure all my important information is not gonna get shut chopped off and is in the safe zone. So I'm gonna unlock it. I'm gonna move it to the top, and I'm gonna turn it from normal to multiply. And so here we can see that the hot chocolate word is in the safe zone and Claire is in the safe zone as well. Okay, that's great. So because we know that we have nothing to worry about. So I'm going to move that back to the bottom and lock it up again. So I don't accidentally move it around for putting your name on your postcard. Get creative with this and be consistent if you can. As you see, if my postcards I use my same logo and colorist throughout this helps an editor, art director. Remember that they have received something for me in the past. Remember, you want your information to be clear and readable. When in doubt, keep it simple, so your art consigning next is to create a postcard from an existing piece of art. Here I have my artwork. I looked over the various size of postcards available on websites and decided that of 4.25 by 5.5 inch postcard was the most similar to the ratio I had in my illustration. In order for there to be a bleed, I had to expand and extend my original illustration, which took a long time. Here is a comparison between the original and the extended version. I also made a couple other changes in the illustration, such as changing the raccoons. I am asked color as well as adding another curtain on the window. Once I added enough bleed around my illustration, I placed it on the template I got from the postcard manufacturer's website. The rest of the steps are the same as the previous four by six example for the vertical postcard. The image that I'm going to use this this one of a penguin painting in school. This image is already made, but hasem buffer space that can fill in the bleed. The postcard size I'm gonna use is 4.25 by five foot 25 because that is the best ratio for my pre made artwork. For this piece, I found it to be a bit short of the size in the template. To make up the difference, I decided to place my name and information on a banner on the bottom that takes up the entire wits of the postcard. This is another great weight toe. Add your information to a postcard, especially when your artwork isn't an exact size match for the postcard size. This is also good if you don't want to spend too much time extending your artwork. Making a information banner that goes the entire width would also work horizontally as well 4. Designing The Back of a Postcard: hi again in this video, I'm going to talk about designing the back of the postcard. Even if you chose a vertical orientation for the front of your postcard, the back will be horizontal. As with the front of the postcard, you will have the bleeds base cutting space and a safe space for critical texture. Artwork. I would use the template I provided, or one from your printers website. The back of the postcard is divided into four main spaces. The upper left should be your contact information as well as maybe a tagline mentioning a buggy published or your agent. If you don't have either of those, you can skip the tagline. Also, if your contact information you want to make sure it doesn't go too far to the middle or to the right inside this space here because when the postcard gets stamped, you know the stamp gets canceled by the post office. I've had ink actually go over where my contact information is, so that's just one reason why you wanna keep it as to the left as possible, and also for having your information on the front of the postcard below. That should go a smaller illustration that relates to the illustration on the front of the postcard. I tend tohave Minebea spot illustrations just toe make it simple, but also to make sure that I don't have illustration overload going on my postcard. Gotta have some breathing room in there. Here are my three examples on the right half. The postcard is where you put your address lines and your optional stamp act. Find. I tend to skip the stamp outline and just do five address lines. I do five address lines on purpose because a lot of people that you'll be sending these postcards to will be imprints. So you'll have, like big publishers name on the first line. And then on the second line you'll have the imprint name and then the person's name. And then, finally, the address. It actually could take up a lot of lines. Make sure that the right half the postcard with gives you ample space to write the address and for the post office to read the address. You don't want to make it too small on the very bottom of the postcard. You need roughly one centimeter that is either white or light colored as the Postal Service likes to put some orange or black lines there to help with the sorting and mailing of the postcard. If there is an image or a dark surface there, they put a big white sticker with lines on it instead. And that really doesn't look good on your postcard. Here are some examples of the backs of my postcards. Make sure you leave a bleed and look at all the templates to make sure that everything's in the safe space. And there you go. Now that you've designed the back of your postcard, we can talk about choosing a printer, which I will cover in the next lesson. See you then. 5. Choosing A Printer: Hi again. So now that you have your postcard designs, you need to choose a printer. You can ask friends or family what company they use recommends or you go of my recommendations. No, none of these companies are paying me to correct them. I just honestly have used our services and come back for the awesome postcards that they make. Go. So you want to go re sources and section under your project and look for frontier accommodations. Take a look over some of the prayers and the pros and cons of these sites. Take a look at each website and the sign Which printer is best for you, and follow the directions and templates on the sites. If you have any questions, reach out to the customer service or help desk on that website. Then you want to send your work off difference, which is exciting. And the next thing you I'm going to share how to create a mailing list for your promotional postcards and also my file box. See them 6. Creating a Mailing List and Final Thoughts: I again. So you create your postcards and have sent them off the print. Or maybe you've even received her cups cards? To whom do you send them? Great question. The short answer is editors and art drafters who published books that you thank your work work would be suitable for you're probably wondering, How do you figure out this out? And how did you even get their addresses? Good question. The first step, I suggest, is taking a look over recent books at your library or bookstore and seeing where you think your work, my hidden, you know, noticing someone who has a file, you or you know similar like humor. Take notes in a notebook on which publishers and imprints might be interested in your work . Sometimes if you look at the copyrighted information, you can even get the name of the editor or our character. The next step is to look up the publisher and see if they have submission guidelines on their website. If they don't have any information, don't worry. The next steps I suggest taking are looking at the Children's Writers and Illustrators Market book, which comes out annually as well as the book from SCB W I what you need to be a member to access, but they have off some other benefits, so it's totally worth it. Well, for these books have a list of publishers as well as information, what they're looking for as well as their man. The addresses. One last place where you can look for specific art director things is the Society of Illustrators Annual Provisional Art Exhibition catalogue. While this catalog doesn't have addresses, it has names of editors and art directors of picture books that were in the original art show that year, which is the best art in picture books for the previous year. With these great resource is, you can create a spreadsheet to help organize who you might send postcards. You might have to update this every year or two, as editors and our directors can change publishing houses. So after you've made your list, you should address your postcards. Some people have to use part of stickers for this, but I personally like the hand address each one so that the recipient can feel like they are important. After you have averaged postcards, you should mail that notes that non square post hearts in the U. S. Can use the postcards separate So you could say for a little bit of money, you most likely won't get any responses from your postcards. But editors and art directors really hold onto these sometimes for years before that. They decide that you are the right person for the project, so you don't hear that from them. That's OK. They might still be interested. Just not right now. Just focus on creating more great illustration. I usually aim for 3 to 4. Postcard man is a year. This is enough to keep that specific art director or editor to remember you, but not enough to annoy them. I just wanted to say thanks for joining me on how to create a purple postcard. I hope you learn so much in this class and have some fun too. In the final part of this class, I would love to see your products, so I'd like to see you upload wanted to pictures of her postcard. So maybe the front they back. If you want toe across out your personal information, that's totally fine. Or if you just want to show the heart, that's why. Do don't forget the following me and skill share as well as social media here. And I'll see you in my next class. Bye.