Updated on June 28, 2015
Breadcrumbs (to Find Your Way)
I guess it wouldn’t be wrong to consider writer/illustrators as a horse of a different color. I don’t know if anyone out there has compiled statistics, but I bet they’d be interesting. They might even prove me wrong! Who knows! (The ‘who knows’ part is actually the point of this post.)
It would just be my bet, after six years of art school and fifteen years of internet blogging and fandom involvement, that people who write OR illustrate are more prevalent than people who write AND illustrate. That’s not to say that a lot of people don’t do both in one way or another. Storytelling begets storytelling. Creative people often have multiple outlets. I am really speaking of people who write and illustrate with equal professional emphasis on both. Comic artists absolutely included.
I mean, illustrators in the publishing world are probably less prevalent than writers. I know a lot of working illustrators. Only a handful want to venture into book publishing, and an even smaller group want a literary agent for this purpose. Then you have people who are comic artists who don’t really quite know if they should seek representation or go straight to publishers. And then there are people who want into book publishing but don’t know if they should seek an artist rep or a literary agent. Many don’t even know what literary agents are.
And there just aren’t as many places that break this down for the illustrator or author/illustrator. We join forums and watch for contests and Twitter pitches, but it isn’t quite the same. We have to dig a little harder to get everything we need, especially if we don’t have immediate connections to the industry.
I’m not saying that information doesn’t exist. It does or I wouldn’t know anything. Conferences and conference blogs and SCBWI help tremendously, but you have to know about any of these things to utilize the information. And conferences can be expensive. And going prepared is important.
So this leads me to my point: compared to the prevalence of author blogs disseminating publishing and process information, there are very few dedicated to the author/illustrator or illustrator on the same path. And the vast majority of these author blogs exist in the realm of kidlit, where the vast majority of publishing-intent illustrators probably fit. So, why not get more illustrators out there in the book blogging world? It seems natural that we would overlap.
And we are a small community. Connections and resources are everything.
I’m going to try helping, even as I’m slogging through my own journey to reach my goals. Hopefully I’ll have some relevant perspectives for people just like me or people starting out. In any case, I’ll be writing blog posts to avoid doing my actual edits.
(Not good advice.)