“How did you get illustration projects?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: How did you convince the first person that hired you as an animator/ illustrator that you deserved the job? Would you/ have you showed your portfolio from those days to the general public? Why or why not? (Can you share any of your early illustrations/ drawings as part of this interview?) What was the highest amount you’ve made for one of your illustrations? Was it from a flat payment for freelance work, or a percentage in royalties based on sales of the book? How did you get that project? Did you work with an agent? While in theory people told you that you can grow rich from illustration, has this really been the case in your experience. This is probably of top interest to new illustrators who are considering if this path is worth the sacrifice of more artsy pursuits.

IMG_1991Adams: The first person who hired me as an illustrator chose me because I had a sketchbook full of drawings with me. I had the person describe in words a character: appearance, emotion, and action. As they spoke, I drew. When they asked for my card, I told them I didn’t have one, but wrote their name inside my journal. They left hoping I’d call or email, because I had the drawing of their character in my sketchbook.

That’s how you get the job. Don’t carry a cumbersome portfolio of messy charcoal figure drawings. Don’t send them to your weak website, because they won’t bother viewing your portfolio page. Don’t wait!

Drawing in public was my best portfolio. Developing the spiel took some time, but worth every failure. It goes kinda like this:

Contact: “Hey, you’re talented. Are you a professional illustrator?”

Me: “Yes, I’m an award-winning children’s book illustrator.”

Contact: “Wow, I know a friend who has written a children’s book and needs an illustrator.”

Me: “That’s wonderful, I don’t have a card, but I’ll write down your email and you can forward it on to your friend. They can contact me when they’re ready.”

Contact: “Wonderful. Where can I get one of your books?”

Me: “I’ve illustrated over 50. If you go to the Barnes and Noble in the mall and buy a book, I’ll sign it now before I leave.”

Contact: “I’ll be right back!”

See how working on the spiel can land contracts and sell books. It took time though.

The most I’ve ever received for a single painting was $2,500 freelance for Marc Michaels Interior Design in Orlando, Florida. Nancy Short, Principal at Ansana Interior Design, Inc., commissioned my services after seeing art and furniture I had created for my own home.

My children’s book illustrations pay a deposit up front (average $8,000.00) and a royalty for the life of the book including merchandising (average 10-20%). I tend to be my own agent, actively interviewing prospective clients. The more hands in the cookie jar, the fewer cookies for everyone.

FullSizeRenderGetting “rich” as an illustrator is one of those words with double meaning. Is rich money? Is rich knowledge? Is rich cultivating strong relationships? As an illustrator, I invested $100 in supplies and generated $8,000 and a 10% royalty for life. That’s rich when you finish 6-8 books a year. As a publisher, holiday book sales make you rich! Until January, when you reorder 20,000 books to replenish inventory.

The knowledge and relationships cultivated through this journey are priceless. My animation dream was the stepping stone to my full potential. Authors and Illustrators create new realities for themselves and others.
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

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Meet Eddie Price: “Widder’s Landing” and “Little Miss Grubby Toes Series”

Eddie Price is a lifelong native of Kentucky. A graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College (BA) and Western Kentucky University (MA and Rank I). Eddie has taught history for 36 years (31 at Hancock County High School). He has also taught part-time classes for Owensboro Community & Technical College.

The winner of numerous teaching awards, Eddie has coached many award-winning academic teams and history contest winners. He is active in the Hancock County Historical Society and helped organize the Young Historians Club. Eddie is world traveler who enjoys bicycling, horseback riding and swimming. He now lives in Hancock County, Kentucky.

Eddie is also an award-winning author of Widder’s Landing, Life and Love on the Kentucky Frontier. The first book in his children’s book series is Little Miss Grubby Toes, Steps on a Bee. Eddie’s charismatic personality shines through in Little Miss Grubby Toes naughty but lovable character.

Let Eddie bring his award-winning teaching style to your classroom! Author Eddie Price is renowned for his energetic, educational school visits. He combines his talents with safety personnel in your community to present an entertaining lesson that could save lives.

Visit www.eddiepricekentuckyauthor.com to learn about Eddie’s books and presentations.

Eddie Price
175 Windsong Drive
Hawesville, KY 42348
Author Facebook Page www.facebook.com/eddieprice.1954

Must Have Illustrator Handbook

The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is for any professional or aspiring artist. Illustration is a broad term covering line art to oil paintings. I’ve used this book for over eight years as a business resource. Pricing projects and creating contracts has been profitable using industry standards found within the handbook. 

Every graphic artist is unique. No two illustration projects are the same. Use the Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines to set pricing guidelines for your business. Authors, Art Directors, and Publishers can use this book to budget projects.

Mark Wayne Adams, Professional Illustrator of King for a Day, the Story of Stories

Meet Karen Spruill: “Teddy Tales” & “Scribble Dee Sophie”

Karen Spruill, M.A., L.M.H.C., is looking forward to art projects with her new grandson. She is a counselor, blogger and award-winning book author. She believes art is awesome therapy for children and adults. Karen lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, and rescue-dog, Teddy. Their two married children, and grandson live nearby. Karen’s Books:

Teddy Tales

  1. Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver Medalist – 2012

    Scribble Dee Sophie

“Thanks for helping me bring Teddy Tales to life! I look forward to marketing together and more projects. Keep creating dreams!” – Karen Spruill

Sketchbooks: Artists’ Best Portfolio

Anyone who knows me, knows drawing is a huge part of my life. Obviously—since my Best Sketchbook is usually in hand. Drawing in public creates magical moments for me and people passing by. Inspired by what they see, onlookers pause to share stories or ask questions.
The most popular question is: “Do you illustrate for a living?” I kindly respond with “Yes, how did you know?” The conversation steers in one of two directions. First, people tell me about someone they know or themselves, who has the same gift. I offer words of advice from personal experiences about following their passion. I also recommend a Best Sketchbook for continued practice.
The second conversational direction is: “I know someone looking for a book illustrator. Do you illustrate for people?” My response, “Yes, I do. If you have their contact information, I’ll email them.” A random person can become an instant professional lead, without advertising. Using my handy sketchbook, I write the contact information on a blank page. Yes, smart phones are faster, however my smartphone didn’t stop this person.
Fill your sketchbooks with memories of where and who you met along the way. The benefits are practice, exposure, and leads. Plus make new friends doing what you love, creating your portfolio!
—Mark Wayne Adams, Professional Doodler

Meet Christa Carpenter

Christa Carpenter is a mother of two wonderful children who inspire her to write. She enjoys teaching first-grade to be leaders using Dr. Steven Cove’s The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Jilli, That’s Silly! is her second published picture book. Her first in the Wallaby Series, Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous!, has won four awards. Both books are part of the national AR (Accelerated Reader Program).

Christa lives in Florida with her son and daughter, Nicholas and Jillian, their funny dog, Eddie and their clever cat Rex.

Christa’s Book Awards:

Jilli, That’s Silly!

  1. Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award – 2014

  2. Ben Franklin Award Silver Medalist – 2013

  3. FAPA President’s Awards Silver Medalist – 2013 

  4. Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medalist – 2013

  5. National Indie Excellence Award Finalist – 2013

  6. Finalist – Eric Hoffer Award – 2013

  7. Finalist – International Book Awards (Parenting & Family) – 2013

  8. Finalist – International Book Awards (Picture Book) – 2013

    Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous!

  1. Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver Medalist – 2010

  2. Independent Publisher Award Silver Medalist – 2011

  3. Finalist – Eric Hoffer Award – 2010

  4. Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Gold Medalist – 2009

“YOU ROCK!!! Not to mention, You’re hired.  🙂  You’re truly amazing Mark. And you are right, you never sleep. I can’t wait to meet with you on Monday.” – Christa Carpenter

Meet Debra Latiolais

Debra is an award-winning author and passionate storyteller of Polly and Her Pigtails. She believes everyone has a significant life story to share. Debra is dedicated to reviving the art of generational storytelling as a way to preserve family history, while teaching core value lessons that will build a strong foundation for children.

Spending decades working in the corporate arena, Debra tapped into her creative side by writing a series of children’s books inspired by life’s rich tapestries. She created The Age of Storytelling Book Series to deliver colorfully illustrated and enriching stories for young and old alike. Her books are designed to create an atmosphere for “Sharing stories ~~ shaping lives”!

Debra has worked with charitable organizations and women’s groups in the Virginia and Washington DC area for over 20 years. She remains committed to using her voice and talent in support of civic community efforts.

Debra is available for special events, parties, book signing and speaking engagements. She approaches her presentations with tremendous honesty, warmth and humor. She is a thought-leader with the rare ability to inspire audiences, while leaving them with actionable life-changing strategies.

Read more about her books…

You are truly masterful!  Not only are you a gifted artist, but you offer great insight and guidance for a first-time author/publisher.  Thank you for bringing Polly to life and helping me share my story! – Debra Latiolais

Meet John Hope

Forever seeking new adventures, John Hope lives a life of energizing enterprises. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida , John earned his BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and since 1999 has developed and designed software for simulators, websites, traveler information systems, and numerous other technical widgets. All the while, he has quenched his creative hunger with writing a few novels, hundreds of poems and short stories, several short plays many of which he’s acted and/or directed, puppeteered in countless skits, and built a number of toy train layouts. To keep a steady rhythm in his life, John has run almost 30,000 miles in hundreds of road and trail races through the years, including captaining the UCF Men’s Cross Country team, achieving TAAC all conference, managing 5k races, and at times traversing entire states in relay teams and triathlons.

Currently at home in Central Florida, John loves spending time with this family and friends. Whether he’s traveling thousands of miles in a car or playing board games on the living room floor, he loves the company and conversations and laughs with the ones he loves. He often pulls from these times with his family and loved ones to create wonderfully tender moments and hilariously vivid characters in his writing.

Frozen Floppies, John Hope’s latest release, shows how factions of Floppies band together to fight the frost and free the frozen Floppies. This book is a Royal Palm Literary Award-winning story of friendship.

Learn more about his other books…

“You did a wonderful job. So good, in fact, I can’t thing of a single thing to say other than, wow! You’ve really interpreted the story expertly and created a new world.” – John Hope

Meet Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy

Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy is a corporate/business attorney, as well as a classically trained pianist and an avid writer and storyteller. Having practiced law in New York for a number of years, Irina is now a partner at a law firm in Central Florida, where she resides with her husband and her daughter, Jayne. Irina’s son, Mitchell—the original audience and inspiration for her stories—lives and works in New York City.

Parts of Speech Parade, New York City was first written as an entertaining grammar aid for the author’s then-young son, Mitchell. After becoming fast friends with the Noun, Verb, Adjective, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection, Mitchell started recognizing their familiar faces in every book, making his reading adventures fun and enjoyable.

While Mitchell is now a college graduate, the author is eager to share the Parts of Speech Parade with today’s girls and boys who are newly discovering the magic of reading.

Read more about Parts of Speech Parade, New York City

Mark, this is simply beyond amazing!! I am absolutely speechless (no pun intended), and in awe of your brilliant creativity!” – Irina Dolinskiy