Finally. It took HOURS fiddling with colors until my printer would produce copies that look SOMETHING like the originals, but I started mailing samples to publishers! Whew.
It’s such a long process — made longer by me constantly chickening out and deciding I didn’t have any pieces that were good enough to send out, doing a whole bunch of new stuff, chickening out again, more new stuff, repeat endlessly, etc.
It’s also been a challenge to figure out exactly how to format a package of illustration samples — all the finicky details, like does it need to be a fancy thing in a binder, or can you just staple a bunch of copies together and call it a day, or what?
I found at least one or two illustrators who advised just good quality copies, one or two pieces on a page, manila envelope, no binder/page protectors/anything else fancy. So that’s what I went with, if any other wanna-be illustrators are reading this and looking for information. I have no idea if that will make me look super unprofessional or what, but hey, it’s a start!
The other horrible part, of course, is the cover letter, but my guess is that it’s probably not as make-or-break as it is with submitting a manuscript. I bet as long as it’s not TERRIBLY unprofessional, whoever opens the envelope will look at the art even if the cover letter’s not the greatest. I mean, all you do is FLIP OVER THE PAGE, and boom, artwork all up in your grill. It’s not like a manuscript where it takes at least a few minutes of reading to get a feel for how good/bad/unbelievably hacky the thing is, and I can totally imagine a bad cover letter getting the whole thing dumped in the recycling right away.
I don’t mean to sound smug or anything, but… *SMUG!!!*