Thursday, February 5, 2009

How NOT to impress me (or most other Art Directors)....

Cross posted from my Facebook account and has also been picked up by Jon Schindehette, the Sr Art Director for Dungeons & Dragons / Wizards of the Coast.
If you're going to send me your portfolio in the hopes of getting a job as cover artist DO NOT:

1. Rewrite your entire resume into 18 glowing paragraphs of your entire artistic history beginning with the first box of crayons you ate at the age of 3.

2. Misspell the name of the company you are applying to all four times you use it in your query letter. Do some research.

3. Tell me about your previous job as the receptionist at the dentists office and that you are currently employed as a clerk in the shipping department of your local grocery store. Does this somehow relate to your artistic talent? Unless you covered the wall of your office in a precise recreation of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel then I don't care and you are wasting my time.

6. Tell me you are an author who designs book covers. With all due respect to the wonderful authors scattered throughout my listing of friends, most authors, while they know what they want never really understand what a cover needs to be in order to sell the book AND be visually appealing. (I said "most" there are always exceptions to the rule!)

7. Send me a query letter translated from your native language to English by Babelfish.

8. Send me a one line query letter consisting of nothing but your name and a link to your portfolio. Even if your portfolio is the most visually stunning thing I've seen since the movie Hero you will wind up in my trash because you will come across as cocky and difficult to work with.

9. Attach all 91 of your last commission pieces as a zip file to your email. I won't ever get around to opening it.

10. Send your query letter and portfolio to every available email address listed on the contact form of the publisher's website. Most of these people have nothing to do with the art department.

Here's a couple "do"s

1. Do send me a link to an online portfolio. They make my life much simpler and are easier to show the other people who need to see it as well.

2. Do take the time to write a well thought out query letter giving me, in brief, your artistic background and experience as relates to the job you are inquiring about.

3. Do research the company you are inquiring about to see if the styles they use and the books they sell are a good match to your own style.

4. Do check for specific contact information for the Art Director or the Art Department. If there is none listed send your query to the submissions email or the Sr Editor's email adding a polite request to please forward it on to the appropriate person if need be.

5. Do have either an online PDF or electronic copy of your resume available upon request.

It's really not that hard folks...really it's not.

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