Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sketch Card Tips from Jessica Hickman

I wasn't planning on putting much, if anything, about me in this blog, but I do get a few emails here and there asking sketch card related questions, so I thought I would make a small post about it.

Don't ask current sketch card artists for the email address of specific card company editors. That's like someone asking you for your boss's private info so they can contact them out of the blue and ask for a job. Bad etiquette.

Don't copy other artists on your cards. The sketch card and comic community is very small. People can spot a swipe a mile away, no matter how obscure you think your reference image is. Some companies, however, do allow you to "copy" a previously published image if you write 'After So and So' at the bottom of the card. Just make sure it's okay with your editor first.

Don't erase then draw over another artist's sketch card. Odd, isn't it? But it does happen! Even if you don't like the artwork, that is an approved artist's work. Erasing it, drawing over it, then trying to pass it off as your own work or sell it is a HUGE 'no no'. Again, small community. It's the fastest way to become persona non grata on various sketch card sites as well as with card companies.

Do leave your information with editors at conventions. They can look at a LOT of work over the course of the day. Giving them a business card with your information and maybe your artwork printed on the card is a good way for them to remember you. Also providing them with a postcard/pamphlet with your contact info and artwork on it is good as well.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're unsure about something regarding the set you're working on, email or call the editor. If you'd like to be considered for any of the larger incentive cards or base cards, contact your editor. Never hurts to ask.

Do submit your portfolio via snail mail. If you sent in samples electronically and haven't heard from the company you REALLY want to work for, sending in a small portfolio addressed to the "Art Director" is a great way to have your artwork in hand at a company.

Do read contracts carefully! Some companies require a certain amount of color cards. Or a certain amount of full body cards. While other companies don't care. Companies pay differently too, including when you - the artist - will receive your pay.