Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"New York, New York"

It has been a few days since returning from my trip to New York to visit publishers and now it's time to share some of my experience. Over all I think it was successful as far as making it to my meetings on time and plantings seeds in minds when it comes to looking for an illustrator for future projects. I appreciated so much the art directors, editors and designers taking time out of their very busy schedules to review my work. That was my takeaway from the publishers, EVERYONE is super busy, which is encouraging for a hungry illustrator. In total I had 13 meetings and also dropped off my portfolio at 7 different publishers so it was a very busy week.

People seemed genuinely interested in my work and I got lots of great feedback. Now it's time to process it all and hopefully create some new work based on said feedback. I was particularly thrilled when picking up my portfolio at Penguin Putnam. It was passed around to most of the children's book divisions and I was excited to find a letter from G.P. Putnam's Sons & Philomel Books an imprint who create beautiful picture books. The feedback I received was a highlight of the trip. Here is an excerpt:

"We are very impressed with your portfolio as a whole, particularly your realistic rendering of people and textures. In addition, your vast experience as an illustrator makes us confident that you can bring the variety and quality of scenes and compositions needed for a picture book. We feel that your traditional, dramatic style of painting would be well suited to our list here at G.P. Putnam's and Philomel. We will certainly save samples of your work, and keep you in mind for future projects. Please remain in touch and keep us updated so that we can try to find a place for you to contribute here at Penguin."

What kind words from a great publisher! It's encouragement like that that keeps me on this path. Having a copy of "The Can Man" with my portfolio and several images as part of my portfolio really helped publishers to see I could create consistent characters throughout a picture book. It made the difference with Penguin this time. Thank you Ryan at Penguin who two years ago gave me the tip.

Below are various photos taken while touring the city, portfolios in had and an umbrella as well on occasion. Another highlight of the trip was visiting everyone at Lee & Low Books the publisher of my recent book "The Can Man". Hannah was so great introducing me to everyone and it was a thrill seeing behind the curtain as they say and hearing about all the effort now being made to launch the book out into the world.

Here is the reception area at Lee and Low.

And look at all the beautiful books they have created!

Madison Avenue near Lee and Low.

Love Washington Square and its arch.

This grocery store really grabbed my imagination in Greenwich Village. Wish we had some like this on the west coast.

Lunchtime at Bryant Park. Beautiful weather that day.

View of Rockefeller Center. Believe it or not it was POURING rain that night like only NY can. No wimpy Seattle drizzle.

On my last day we visited this diner near the Metropolitan Museum. I LOVE NY diners. I had to have at least one experience on the trip.

Should I take this as some kind of omen? I'd like to think it means my life and work will be merging with NY in the future but in reality that is a view of New Jersey. Just my luck!


  1. excellent! So glad to hear your nice response from Putnam. Very cool, man!

  2. Thanks Jesse. Fingers crossed I will get to work with them one day!

  3. an inspiring post! what a rad note from Putnam, and it's so exciting to see Lee & Low working so hard to promote The Can Man, it is a fantastic book. Love the pic of the floating sign at the end, though I read it backwards, with many roads opening up towards you!

  4. Thanks John! I like your positive spin on the sign.