How Many Sketches Should You Send In?

Back in my editorial days I was always coached to send in multiple sketches and ideas for the art director to choose from. Now that I’m a children’s book illustrator I’ve come to realize that sending in multiple sketches for one page is not often the best policy. The reason: I always like one better than the other(s) and often the editor or art director will pick the one I like the least. Now it’s a let down having to paint an image I’m not as happy with.

I just created the image above for a new book I’m working on “There Once Was a Cowpoke who Swallowed an Ant” by Helen Ketteman (Albert Whitman). My working process is to send in rough sketches for the direction I’m thinking of. Then I get feedback from the art director and editor. My goal is to make myself happy and then see if the team likes it. If they do then I move to a final drawing refining details and making any alterations asked for by the team.


Sometimes they don’t like the direction at all and ask for a new idea -offering their suggestions. I love working this way. I’ve taken the time to explore many thumbnail sketches and ideas and I don’t want to share my rejected ideas just to offer more choice. Sometimes more choice just offers more confusion. Ever tried to order at restaurant with 100 menu items? You feel overwhelmed and start to think you’re going to miss something really good – so you spend more time reading the menu rather than visiting with the people you went to have a meal with.

I’m a big believer in working hard to develop a sketch you can’t wait to paint and then working with it until you and your team come to a consensus. I’ve taken the time to do a lot of editing in my development process and I choose NOT to share that with the creative team at the publisher.


Do I Need a Rep or Agent to Sell My Artwork?

Artist Will Terry specifically answers the big question,

Is it worth it to hire that Rep?

Agents and reps are struggling too right now.

Thanks to the internet, you are competing with a lot of other artists, but you are also allowed to, and can afford to compete with everyone.

Will Terry used to spend up to $7500 to advertise in one workbook, before the WWW in the mid 90’s.

Advice For illustrators

Will Terry answers more questions in this video

When we going out to lunch?

Tips on lighting.

How to value a rendering done by a student, are you bias?

How do you choose color for your color schemes?

Do I need a Rep?

What should I do to keep my skills sharp?

Style? How to find your style and should you stick to just one niche?

Is it a viable option to print my books on good paper and try that?

Will went through all the great questions that were after our last post and in this video he answer as best he can. Thank you for your great questions.

FolioAcademy is dedicated to help any who want it, become better artists.

I Draw, but How Can I Make Money With It?

Professional Artist, Will Terry Answers a few good questions.

In this video Will Terry of folioacademy, answers a question from David – a Southwest Airlines employee who has 3 days off/week and loves to draw comics during his down time. He actually made a video in-which he asked what steps he should take next to getting his work published. We figured that other artists too, might be in his situation and might benefit from some answers. Give it a look or just listen to this video, (there is audio) while you work or what ever.

Fold 1000 Origami Cranes and Your Wish Will Come True?

Artist and iPad designer/developer, Heidi Berthiame, is putting the legend to the test. 

It is said those who fold 1000 origami cranes will have their wish come true.

Heidi Berthiame, has been working hard toward her goal or wish, (we are yet to discover what that is) for the past two and a half years. Perhaps in a last ditch effort to see her wish come true, she started folding 1000 origami Wish Cranes in January of this year.

Because getting the Crane folded is not the end goal, but rather the end results, it takes her about six minutes to fold each Wish Crane. That time is spent thinking about her wish and how she can best do what ever it will take to make it come true. That time is a break from what has to be done to contemplate what could be done. That time is well spent, every day.

She currently has over four hundred Wish Cranes completed. In November, she will finish folding the final one.

She said, “I do not know when my Wish will be granted, but I do know …

I will have *a lot* of origami Wish Cranes.”

Thus she has started a Kickstarter project. And yes, it has funded. 

FolioAcademy salutes Heidi Berthiame. Congrats and way to go!

You can give a Wish Crane a home? There are about two days left for the Kickstarter but you may be-able to contact her as for a Crane at the same Kickstarter page.

If you pledge, you will receive one of the origami Wish Cranes that Heidi has personally hand crafted this year. She says that she will rejoice that it has a new home, and perhaps that Wish Crane can aid a wish of yours to come true, too. So if you can provide a good home. . . make a pledge.

The origami Wish Canes are created from 3 inch x 3 inch patterned paper, which comes in five designs.

Each Wish Crane is folded by hand, therefore they lack a machine’s precision but have a craftsman’s uniqueness.

All Wish Cranes are numbered under one wing, ranging from 1 to 1000.

The number and pattern of the Wish Crane you receive will be randomly chosen when she reaches into the flock and closes her fingers gently upon a single wing and withdraws that crane – kind of like The Claw in the movie Toy Story, but with less vocalizations for her origami Wish Cranes are all silent species. At least whenever there are people around.

The Funding Goal was only $25 because that is how much she needed to pay for the additional paper necessary to fold the remaining Wish Cranes.

The Pledge Reward is set to $3, which covers supplies and shipment of one Wish Crane to wherever you are in the world. (even Utah)

The Pledge Limit is set to 999 because Heidi will keep one of the Wish Cranes for herself. So she is folding 1000 origami Wish Cranes and hope to send 999 to new homes, where they can live happily ever after and perhaps help fulfill a new Wish.

It is possible a Wish Crane may go missing after it leaves my house and before it reaches yours. I will pay to ship a replacement Wish Crane if yours does not arrive within 30 days of being shipped. Replacement Wish Cranes will not be numbered but will be folded from the same kind of patterned paper as the original 1000 Origami Wish Cranes.

And if her wish comes true, maybe she will tell us what that wish was.

P.S. I just re wrote (plagiarized) what Heidi already said on her Kickstarter page.