By Nataša Kaiser
Usually around the middle of December, I have one of my favorite Christmas Illustrations printed as a postcard, and I send it out to my dream clients.
Not so this year. There were two reasons that made me choose a different approach, and in the end it turned out to be a good idea...
First: After taking the MATS class "Illustrating Children's Books" I learned that Art Directors at publishing houses receive tons of gorgeous pitches from very talented artists out there that would love to work with them. Zoe Tucker showed some examples that really impressed me. From beautifully wrapped packages ( in self-illustrated wrapping paper of course), illustrated envelopes (so beautiful, that they are a piece of art themselves), to a finished printed and hand bound book – you name it! So it seemed clear to me, that a simple postcard would not make much of an impression on an art director.
And second: Christmas is a very common time to send greetings and all kinds of small gifts. The amount of mail that clients receive is certainly huge during this time and it's likely not every postcard gets the attention the sender would like it to have. So I decided to wait just a couple of weeks longer and send a New Year's greetings instead of Christmas mail this time.
I wanted to show a range of my work, too. On the one hand I enjoy designing decorative patterns and on the other hand I simply love developing characters and drawing imaginative little scenes. And, I wanted to mail a package with a little bonus to it. So not just a "simple" portfolio piece, but something one could use for a longer time if they like the illustrations on it.
I decided a folded birthday calendar would do the trick:
I also wrote a greeting card with a short introduction and the link to my website, so art directors could see more of my work, if they liked what they received in the mailing:
I had some spare stickers and trifolds left over from my last self-promo-action and where I thought it might fit I popped a sample in the envelope. Last but not least: a little bit of careful hand-lettering goes a long way. I spent one afternoon with hand lettering and decorating the envelopes, because I remembered that Zoe Tucker spoke about the importance of the first impression. I sent out 12 mailings, got response from three companies within the first couple of days, two more responded after one week.
All the feedback was really nice, and eventually I got commissioned by Moses Verlag (verlag = publishing house) to design a textile shopper bag. I loved that job and the client was absolutely great to work with! Unfortunately I'm not allowed to show the design yet, but later this year I certainly can and I'm looking forward to sharing the result with you! ;-)