Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Aspiring Children's Illustrator: Mid-Year Progress Report

Sounds pretty fancy doesn't it...mid-year progress report. It's smart though having goals to achieve and actually achieving them. I don't have anyone telling me what needs to be done and by when, so I need to figure that out on my own. The reason for goals is to make them achievable, while still making them challenging.

Let's take a look at the goals I made at the beginning of the year:

Strenghthen my brand - Design a logo, redesign my website, redesign my blog - Completed
I created a simple logo for my business and gave it a pop color. I also completely overhauled my old website and streamlined it, to make it more art director friendly. My home page is my portfolio; I have my email address on every page making it easier to contact me, an About page focusing on not only my background, but including my strengths, and a fun page that I can play around with and give a shout out to some other great illustrators. My plan is to also include some freebies; digital downloads, coloring pages, etc. so it's not so static. I decided to switch my blog from the old Wix flash site to blogger, and I'm really happy that I did. It looks much better, and I can now track views and comments.

Join SCBWI (Doing this today!) - Completed
I joined SCBWI in January. I've been pouring over the book, soaking up any information I can and collecting a ton of names to send out promotional materials to.

Go to Regional SCBWI in Syracuse (planning for March) - Completed
Had a great time at this mini conference. There were only about 20 people there so it was very hands on and I learned a ton of information. Presenters were Suzanne Bloom and Ellen Yeomans. They brought years of experience and a wealth of information to this "Nuts & Bolt's " conference. Suzanne and a small group of illustrators gave me some great feedback on my portfolio. I think I was the only one who didn't have a book dummy to present...

Save money to go to the Winter or Summer International SCBWI in 2014 (NYC or LA) - On-going
Saving, saving, saving...

Complete a consultation with Holli Conger (planning for April/May) - Completed
This was amazing and I learned so much from her. I won't elaborate on the details, you can read about my whole experience here.

Strenghen my portfolio (currently working on this…OK, always working on this) - On-going
Yep and still working on this. Before the end of the year I'm going to get some black and white pieces done and finish up my alphabet series.

With a stronger portfolio I'll join the Children's Illustrator.com portfolio site - On-going
At this point, I'm not ready to join yet. I need to step up my game if I plan on doing this so I don't waste my money. Want to see some great watercolors, check it out!

And if I'm really ambitious, I'll create an Etsy site. (This is really an extra goal so if I don't get to it, it'll be OK) - meh
This is looking less likely. I'm not sure I have enough time to focus on this and keep working on my portfolio. There's always next year.

Wow, I completed most of my goals! Time for more...
OK, so let's see:

Continue to strengthen portfolio
Add some black and white pieces, more kids and finish my alphabet series.

Keep tackling social media
At least 1 blog post a week, keep tweeting daily, try to twoodle every Wednesday, keep connecting with other illustrators, update facebook regularly, continue participating in Illustration Friday

Send out another postcard and email promo around October
Wait and see how the response to the first postcard goes before designing the next one

Well I guess I have enough stuff to keep me busy so I better get to it!

Any thoughts on more goals to add? What did you have to do to get where you are?

Thanks for the read everyone!


  1. Great stuff! keep it up :) keep us posted on how things progress.


  2. Progress in progress. Keep up the good work!

  3. Love the idea of the progress report! Might be stealing that. So glad to read your feedback on SBCWI....I've been thinking of joining, but hadn't gotten around to it. Now I have to stop procrastinating. Love reading your progress....congrats!

  4. Thanks Jennifer, I'm getting there! I think I need to get more involved with SCBWI to really get my money's worth out of it. Right now I really only use the handbook to get names and addresses. Love your blue hippo by the way, it's a cute angle.

  5. Hi, Amanda, nice to meet you, and by the way . . . you are my hero!
    I stumbled on your profile today (maybe Twitter?) Anyway, while I've been limping along with my goals, you've put yours in a headlock and wrestled them to the ground. You are fearless!
    I've been kind of all-over-the-place. You have inspired me to push myself harder. Tomorrow I'm going to rethink my goals and zero in on what's most important.
    BTW, I love the design of your postcard. It really shows your work to its best advantage.

  6. Hi Joanne, Thanks you so much for your kind words, I truly appreciate them. Before I wrote this post I didn't think I was getting too far, but as soon as I looked closer at my goals and successes I realized how far I have come in just a short time. I have to say though that Holli Conger really helped me focus on what I wanted out of all this. She does offer consultations if you need a little kick in the pants (I know I did!) Here's the link... http://holliconger.com/illustration-career-consulting Good Luck to you!


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