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Since I launched my one-on-one consultation service, I’ve met with a good amount amount of aspiring illustrators. One thing that seems to be a commonality amongst them is the feeling of readiness—that their work isn’t good enough to start promoting. Well, here’s a secret: you’ll never feel ready. But don’t let that stop you from marketing your work.

I’ve developed and been involved with half a dozen animated pitches in the past few years—both as a writer and an artist. Unfortunately, for this site, I can’t post them as reference because many are still active or in different stages of development (or I’m just not legally allowed to share them). But I can briefly explain the elements that go into a successful animated pitch document. Here’s what you should know if you’re interested in developing an animated show:

I’m now offering one-on-one consultations via Skype or in-person in NYC. During these sessions I’ll review your portfolio and website, offer helpful advice, and work with you to advance your career. If you’re having trouble getting to the next level, these consultations will provide much needed guidance. To learn more and to order a session please check out the consultation page.

Last week the Pencil Factory—the studio space that I work from—launched a new website, which has micro-portfolios of all of the members of our collective on it. It’s a great website and you should check it out. (And I don’t just say that because I spearheaded and designed it.) This got me thinking about studio space in general and some of the benefits that come from having one.

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I’ve always loved this Harlan Ellison video and just stumbled across it again recently. It applies just as equally to illustrators as it does to writers.

Writing an illustrated middle grade novel is particularly challenging because both the text and illustrations need to be accounted for and work harmoniously within the manuscript. To simplify the process of writing my own illustrated middle grade books The Secrets to Ruling School (Without Even Trying) and The Secrets to Ruling School: Class Election, I used a program called Scrivener. Here’s how I was able to make that process manageable: