Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book fair - Book mark

While working with my watercoulours, I always have a slip of paper on which I brush away colour. The coloured stains inspire me to doodle and make them come alive. I'm sure you all do this - stains have their very one lives:) It's a little bit like seeing the world in the clouds over us...

Clic on it, then you can see the details!

Copyright ©estandrea - All rights reserved

Now: If you do not want to read the following (which I understand because I'm like that: when I go to my friends' blogs to look at today's new post and I see more than a paragraph of words, I usually get scared) because you came for pictures, then go directly to MISS DOODLE and look at her somehow more emotional approach to the day at the bookfair:)

THE BOOKFAIR "Salon du Livre":
It was not so big as I expected but big enough! I was there at 11 a.m, had forgotten my badge at home as well as the list with all the editors I was interested to meet. No worry because I got my badge in seconds, they are very well organized, and I remembered the most important editors anyway.

My intent was to make contact with artistic directors or editors, and ask about how they proceed with illustrations for book covers. Do they have their own "in house" illustrators or do they work with freelance illustrators.

In fact I met only very few of those who decide. In general I was told that the people who are responsible for the layout of a book and such the illustrations, where not on the stand and that I should send my "book" (portfolio) to the editors by e-mail or by post. The well known editors get many letters from illustrators. I also understood that it is a very hermetic business, and it would be better to know someone who knows someone who knows someone.....

I knew it wouldn't be easy cause nothing ever is. I'd like to use a nice expression I just found in my beloved online dictionnary: "That's the way the cookie crumbles":)

At some places they took my leaflet and told me, how nice my illustrations are and that they will contact me in case they needed a special, colourful illustration for a book cover. This means a lot and made my day. You never know.

So I made my way through the galleries, gathered names of creative directors and catalogues of the editions I liked most, until my head got dizzy.

My next step will be to set up a nice letter and send it to the editors together with the leaflet (paperwork oh paperwork) and then get back to my drawings. Make my own books.

Oh and I purchased two books, dedicated by the authors who happened to be at their editor's stand that day.

The first one is a novel from Pedro Pérez Sarduy, who was born in Cuba and has been living in London for the last 20 years. It is the story of a Cuban maid (the author's mother).

The second one is a book for great and little children:) "L'arbre qui rêvait" (the tree who dreamed) with wonderful illustrations, a birthday present for my stepdaughter. The illustrator Fred Frei was there to dedicate the book to her personally, he even draw a tiny beautiful design on one of the pages.

All in all, it was a good and inspiring day.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Andrea, it sounds like you had a marvellous time - I do hope that they get back in touch with you! I once took my children to the Salon du Livre Medieval in Dinan where they had the most magical time at some workshops specially for children - calligraphy, making wax seals, treasure maps. All in French, but they enjoyed it even though there was a bit of a language barrier.

Genie said...

Hi Andrea, glad you had a great time, fingers Crossed.
From a Beautiful Spring Day In Devon. Happy Easter. Jean

sukipoet said...

Andrea. I think what you have done is a wonderful beginning. In your letters I suggest possibly mentioning the name of the person you met at the book fair or spoke to. If you know it.

Before my first book got published i went to several writer's conferences. There I met people who read some of my work (since I was paying for this) and got names to "drop" so to speak for later when I had a story or Mss ready to send out. This sounds very left brained and calculated but is very valuable. Then of course I got my MFA where I met lots of "contacts" and really it was via my friend there that my second book got pub'd.

Wurzerl said...

Liebe Andrea, man merkt ja immer schnell an den jeweiligen Kommentaren, ob jemand ein Bild anschaut, oder auch den Text liest. Witzig finde ich dann höchstens, wenn man eine Frage gestellt bekommt, die gerade lang und breit im Text erklärt wurde. Aber es menschelet halt auch bei den Bloggern.
Wir haben ja schon das Thema Buchmesse angerissen, deshalb nur kurz mein Kompliment zu Deinem Bucheinmerker. Du wirfst die Charaktere immer mit einer Leichtigkeit aufs Papier, die mich höchst beeindruckt (daran erkennt man den Könner!!!) das ist z.B. etwas was ich technisch absolut nicht draufhabe. Dem kleinen Vogel möchte ich gleich eine Geschichte verpassen und bei dem Katerchen wünschte ich, er würde sich umdrehen, damit ich sehe, ob es nicht mein Mauzi ist. Verstehst Du , was ich meine, Du skizzierst im Nu mühelos, ich denke stundenlang (ok minutenlang) darüber nach, aber genau so soll es sein.
Lieber Gruß vom Wurzerl

dmlebris said...


You had a very fruitful day at the book fair!
You did everything just right...:)
What an exciting day for you!
Good luck with the follow ups!

Thinking of you :)


Kim said...

Oh Andrea, this was an exciting day for you. It is like with the blog just never know who might have just the right place for your illustrations! Even if it is not right now, they may have something placed on their desk tomorrow.

I love your bookmark! They would make great inclusions with your sales...after you scan them, of course!

Thanks so much for you get the feeling we are all watching you closely? Tee Hee

Cris in Oregon said...

Oh I should have read this first instead of go right to Miss Doodle.
Yes nothing is ever easy but the worthwhile things are worth pushing for.
Another saying is YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS TO FIND THE PRINCE. OK so thats for love but it can work for this too. :)
I love the Miss Beatrix Potter story. She had to publish her own books and look at what happened.
I think you had a pretty good day all in all. and look at the lovely Miss Doodle drawing you did. wow.

Cris in Oregon said...

oh.. forgot the bookmark. cute idea. never tried something like that. Will have to now. :)

andrea said...

Now THAT's a bookmark. Glad your marketing recent was more successful than mine!

andrea said...

recent marketing not marketing recent (you'd think I was directly translating francais to English!)

Anonymous said...

Andrea, I love the bookmark. You are so talented that I cannot believe you will not be commissioned to illustrate books once the people who make decisions about it know where to reach you!
Meanwhile, why not publish your own book of illustrations or a Miss Doodle book?

katie jane said...

You are so stinking clever! I love the bookmark. It's like inkblot pictures only better. I'm so envious of you for getting to go to the bookfair. I hope someone realizes how talented you really are and picks you up. Much luck!

fiona long said...

I've just discovered you and when I saw that wonderful bookmark I was going to comment on what a wonderful illustrative style you have! The fact that such images just 'appear' on a scrap of paper just shows what a natural you are! I also enjoyed taking a look at your Miss Doodle site. What a talent you have!

Lynn said...

What a lot of work...but I realize the competition and the need to know someone must be huge in this arena. I am glad you got yourself out there, and were able to meet the people and present your work.
You are "getting the ball rolling".
Nice that you will follow up too.

The books you bought sound very interesting (the maid) and fun(the dreaming tree).

human being said...

Your book mark is so creative.. I love it.
I enjoyed reading about your day on the book fair.
Here, too, most of the time the relations have a more say! (better to know someone who knows someone who...)
Mmmm books autographed by hte writer.... so precious.