Thursday, April 29, 2010

Should I or Shouldn't I .... have an agent or rep?

 Lately I have been getting a number of emails asking me if I have an agent or how to get an agent or if an illustrator needs an agent. This article is directed mainly at illustrators and those who write and illustrate their own children's books.

These thoughts are based on my own experience and opinions, so you must also consider the views of others who are much better known in the field of Children's Book Illustration.

Agency representation is a very personal choice on the part of the illustrator or author/illustrator. Just as you go about carefully choosing the agent you most want to represent you, the agent will have criteria for acceptance of illustrators and authors.

If you are just beginning to write and/or illustrate for children a great agent could give you a head start.    But devoting too much time to finding an agent shouldn't be a priority.   The best pathway to success is to keep your writing and your illustrating fresh, explore new ideas, work hard on any assignment that you receive and take the suggestions and criticisms of editors, designers, and art directors with grace and act upon them. Focus on your work and make it the best you can.  Attend conferences, workshops, and classes that will help you grow as an artist.

Many beginning artist/illustrators are out there searching for agency representation.  However, having an agent does not guarantee immediate success.  If you do feel you want to share your fees with an agent it is a good idea to make sure it is a top notch agent who works full time in the field.  Any choice other than the type of agency that is well respected and works full time at the business is not worth your time or your money.

So, for the sake of an example, let us say you found a great agent, the agent agrees to represent you and find suitable assignments for your type or art.  You now have someone or a group that will handle the contracts, negotiations, and submissions to houses that only accept them from agents.  

You will need to be prepared to accept the assignments given to you.  You can't be too choosy about the work that your agent offers you.  You will be asked to share in the promotional costs.  In addition you will need to let go of the business issues that are the responsibility of the agency. You will need to meet deadlines, take criticism, make changes and behave in a totally professional manner.  An upbeat and positive attitude are great qualities in an author or illustrator and are appreciated by the publishing community .

Your talent, if your nurture it, will create a pathway for you with or without an agent. Be the best you can, be excellent.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Winston WEDNESDAYS - Chapter VII is up

 It is Winston Wednesday and I couldn't get PAGEs to work properly, but this new chapter is online at Adventures of Winston the Wonderhound.
Follow Winston, Roxxanne, and the cook into the Castle Kitchen and see what's cooking... or isn't.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fox and Hens... the hunt

This is the second in the series of the Adventures of Mr. Red.
The first is below.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Do you love Stamps?

If you love stamp collecting or just looking at beautiful stamps visit the Yankee Clipper Stamp collector's site.  With a world of interesting US stamps at his fingertips he is ready to buy, sell, and trade.  There is a great connection to history in US stamps.  Each has a place of its own, and many are created by illustrators with a dedication to the art.  Stamp collecting is also a great way to connect with others interested in the Philatelic community.

A blog went into the woods... and came out looking like this...

I just love all the HAPPY words I see.  What will you see?

Thanks to Elizabeth Dulemba for the connect to WORDLE... go visit and have some fun finding out which words you use most on  your blog or website.  The graphic representation is interesting and quite lovely. And I see a lot of familiar names in this design. Try it, you'll like it*:)

Friday, April 23, 2010


In keeping with Earth day, yesterday, I hope you will allow me to REcycle this image of the Pied Piper AHEAD of a crowd of eager children. All but one left the village that day, much to the dismay of the parents of Hamelin.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's Winston Wednesday

Winston and Roxxanne have arrived.... hop on over to Winston's blog and continue the adventure.
Now just because of Winston and Henry and all the other dogs I have loved I want to post this lovely award from Monica. I know you will want to visit her blog too.

In the next few days I will be passing it on to others. For now I have shown it to Henry and told Winston about it. Winston is off on his great adventure, so he will have to read about it when he has time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beautiful Bloggers You will want to visit

As I opened my mail today I found this lovely award from Rena Jones,children's book author and nature photographer.  As I accept it I will pass it on to TEN others asking them to do the same. Please visit these blogs as they are both imaginative, inspiring and yes, beautiful in words, pictures, and thoughts.  I could go on and on, but then this list would number in the hundreds.  I am sure you will enjoy your visits to these exceptional illustrator's blogs.
Diana Delosh
Bron Smith
Mark Hicks
Michelle Henninger
Julia Kelly
Roberta Baird
Dani Jones
Sherry Rogers
Scott Nelson
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Sunday, April 18, 2010


By carefully following a series clues including a loose button and some torn cloth,  the two self taught expert "hounds" found they were very close to discovering "what went down" after the big argument between the Duke and the Duchess of Clivedale Hall.  Since it was the Duchess who went missing, at this point it is not looking too good for the Duchess.

Friday, April 16, 2010

In the Spotlight

I have the pleasure and honor of being featured in the "Spotlight" on the Hire An Illustrator portfolio website.  Since joining HAI I have found the site to be most supportive of the artists and illustrators that it represents.  Take a peek if you have time and visit the other fine illustrators that are on the site.
Joining is easy and there are fee options that are inviting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Fox and the Grapes

My family name is Fox, and this week is my mom's birthday. For her birthday we try to find cards with Foxes on them, but since I could not find one ... I made one instead. There is something so beautiful about the red fox and at the same time so elusive.  They are in the forest here but we have only seen one in the past  6 years.

In the sketch I had drawn some grasses and reeds, but decided that I would rather have the contrast of a cool stone wall instead.   My next project for the fox is to find him some chickens to chase.  Don't worry, he won't catch any.

Friday, April 9, 2010


One of the things I like about Illustration Friday is the neat challenge each week brings. And along with it a chance for me to think beyond whatever project on which I am working. This weekly subject brings a break in the concentration of an assignment. I think of it like a recess at grade school. This is a chance to see what will happen if I play with a new idea.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coming this Fall from Stemmer House Publishers

©Ginger Nielson 2010

I have been allowed to share more information about the book I illustrated, Daniel and the Harmonica,
written by Robert Dubreuil.  It is scheduled for release this fall and should make a wonderful addition to any library, school or child's bookshelf.  Just what can happen when  you are given a harmonica with a secret message? You can see and read more here on my webpage.

Winston Wednesday

It is Winston Wednesday again... Hop on over to Winston's site and find CHAPTER IV. Use the TAB under his header and you're on your way with Winston and Roxxanne. And if you missed any of the chapters so far, just click on the tab at the top of the page for the older chapters.
Oh Boy!  Is Winston in trouble today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ONE OF US exhibit for Powered by Girl

Two of these prints(11x14 with achival ink and paper) will be available at the "One of Us" Powered by Girl exhibit and auction May 24 in New York City during the Spring Book Expo. The exhibit opens the night before Book Expo and will begin at 6pm at Book Culture (536 West 112th Street, NYC) and will run through the end of the week.
A fellow illustrator that you might know, Penny Weber created the images for the featured book, Peggy Moss the author. "One of Us," is published by Tilbury House.

I Already Have a Blog... WHY should I have a website?

If  you have a blog you are able to communicate with your peers, others you may want to target and send out daily or weekly images, text or thoughts.

But those posts are replaced each day by new ones.

A website is now a must for an illustrator.  If you don't yet have one, or are just testing the waters a bit, this article may be helpful.

Do I Really Need a WEBSITE?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Can you really find that sketch you did last month?

Most illustrators today have a computer.  If they blog, send files to publishers, have an email account, or just want to check the internet news there is often a computer at their disposal.  Great news! 
 Your friendly computer can become an illustration file cabinet.  Before we had this tool many of us kept pages and pages of magazine clippings as references.  Neatly filed of course.  Yet our sketchbooks numbered in the dozens.  Finding any particular sketch was a challenge unless they had been filed in the same way as the magazine clippings.  More often they would have been stacked or stored in some other way.

Here's a handy link to creating a Digital File Cabinetwhere you can always find what you are looking for.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The first dip is always the hardest.  Our ocean water can stay very cold in the northeast.

below is the original sketch from the drawing board