Apr 7, 2015

After Bologna Children's Book Fair 2015

As announced previously, I've been to Bologna Children's Book Fair this year. 
It was my second time there and I'm glad to say the whole experience was much better than expected, even better than last year. 
Maybe it helped that the weather was absolutely lovely ;)

This year I spent only two days at the fair but I feel like I was able to make the most out of them. 
It helped the fact the fair wasn't as busy as last year, and because of this everybody was a bit more relaxed and with a bit more time on their hand to spend to review illustrator portfolios. 
Claire and I right before going in. Excited faces!

Also, this year I was able to focus my energies a bit better. Instead of running around like a crazy person, I decided to focus only on the publishers I knew I had a good match with. 
This saved me a lot of time and lot of rejections. 

I think one of the reasons why this year went much more smoothly, it's because I was able to follow some of the tips I wrote down last year (here the blog posts from last year, if you fancy reading them).
So now I feel like I can give even more tips!
Here some useful things I learnt/I did this time around:

-Going with someone makes everything easier! 
I was very lucky to be able to share this year experience with Claire Shorrock
She is one of my studio mates and other than being very lovely, she also has a similar style to mine. Both very useful things when choosing a fair buddy! 
I noticed how much easier and less stressful was to approach the publishers when you're with someone else. 
So I would definitely recommend hitting the fair with a fair buddy, both for moral and physical support (someone that holds your bag while you're in the toilet will make your life much easier). 

Claire putting her poster on the wall

-Bring as much promotional material as you can
On the first day, I failed on this... I almost run out of all my promo material in just a couple of hours. I can't tell how frustrated I was with myself, I should have brought more!! In the end, I was able to manage but for the rest of the day I had to bit quite selective. So be generous and bring as much promotional material as your shoulders can bare! 
My cards on the wall

-Bring your own lunch or buy lunch first thing in the morning
You don't want to waste 45 minutes of your time queuing for a sandwich. Especially at lunch times, snack bars are always incredibly busy so my recommendation is to bring your own food. Another option would be to hit the bars way before 12pm and buy the food you're going to eat later in the day. 

Lunch break!

-Get organised: pockets, rucksack and comfortable shoes are a given
Everybody is different in the way they like to get organised to spend the days at the fair.
I had a small A4 portfolio which was easy to keep in my hands all the time.
Also, I was using a small tote bag where I was keeping my promo material, water and my notebook. This way I didn't have to open my rucksack all the time. 

-Bring any published sample you might have
Showing my portfolio with my best work was great but I think publishers get more excited when they can see an actual published book. 
I brought along four of my published books... Very heavy to carry around all day on my back but I think it was worth it!
Making friends while queueing for a meeting

-Be ready to talk comfortably and confidently about your own work. 
It's always a bit awkward and nerve-wracking when a publisher is browsing your portfolio during a meeting. I figured I would look way more professional and confident if, instead of just standing there without saying a word, I could talk a bit about me and about what they were looking at. 
I would suggest to give a couple of info about where you live, what you've worked on in the past and how you create the work. 
That should give an interesting insight that complements what is in your portfolio. 

Pizza with some lovely Italian illustrator friends

-Always ask for the art director/publisher contact details. 
This is absolutely ESSENTIAL and, in my opinion, even more important than leaving your promo material to the publishers. This way, you will be able to follow up with an email to remember them about your meeting. 

-Find accommodation in the centre of town
Unfortunately the fair is a bit far out the city centre, so if you get accommodation close to it, it might get a bit tricky in case you want to explore the city in the evenings of go out for dinner with other illustrators. 
Usually everybody meet in the centre, so my suggestion is to get accommodation somewhere near there and get the bus to the fair in the morning (bus 35 from the train station goes directly there). 
In particular, I would suggest to get accommodation somewhere close to "via indipendenza", a pretty big shopping street that connects the train station to the main square.

-Submit your work to the illustration exhibition and get in for free!
If you do this, they will send you a free pass to the fair. Highly recommended! 
Keep an eye on the BCBF website or, even better, subscribe to their newsletter. Deadline for this is usually around October. 

Me and Anna Clothier, author of Humphrey Bookworm (coming out later this year)

-Try to meet with people you have already worked with
Before the fair, I contacted some of the people I worked with in previous projects and ask them if they were going to attend the event (as they say... even better than finding new clients, it's to be able to keep the ones you already have). 
I think it makes such a big difference to shake hands and finally meet someone in person, instead of being just a name in an email address. I feel this is an essential step in creating a solid business relationship with someone, even if you've already been working with them for a while. 
Especially, it's good to prove them I'm not a crazy artist, but a reliable person they can keep trusting ;) 

Me and Kristine (publisher at Magination Press) holding Lucy In The City, book coming out later this year

Overall, I feel very satisfy with the whole experience. The only thing I wish I did, it's to bring a dummy book with my own story in it. My friend Claire did and it was great to see how many incredibly useful tips the publishers were giving her about her story. 
This is something I will definitely try to do next year!

Mar 9, 2015

Getting ready for Bologna Book Fair 2015

It's that time of the year again, when illustrators from all over the world are getting excited about the upcoming Bologna Children's Book Fair

This year is going to be the second time I'm attending the event.  
Hopefully it's gonna be a bit easier than last year, since this time I should know what to expect.

For example, this year I didn't bother at all to book appointments with the publishers before the fair
Last year I sent at least 50 emails trying to book appointments. Out of those, I managed to schedule only 3, and 2 of them completely forgot about the meeting. 
You can imagine how frustrated I was with that. 

Unfortunately, this time I'll be able to attend only for a couple of days. 
It might be a bit risky, since last year I didn't get much done on the first day due to the fact every single publisher was too busy to pay attention to me. But hopefully I'm going to have enough time anyway to meet them and give away my samples. Basically, I will have to be fearless and incredibly determined. Fingers crossed! 

Here below are some photos of the promotional material I'm going to bring along with me this year. 
I have to say last year I did a good job planning my promo material, so this year I'll basically stick to the same plan. 

Same as last time, I've got a neat portfolio printed with Blurb
I like Blurb products because they're extremely customisable and always beautiful.

My portfolio this year is 25 x 20 cm, 24 pages, with a hardcover ImageWrap (last year I went for the dust jacket and I didn't like the easy tendency for the paper jacket to tear in my bag) and ProLine Pearl Photo Glossy (a bit more fancy looking than the uncoated one I had last year, but still with a lovely matte finish).
As always, I'm very happy with Blurb products.

Also, I've printed about 35 mini portfolio that I will leave behind to as many publishers and editors I can. 
I'm convinced that leaving behind a small portfolio packed with all your best work is much better that just leave a single card. 

Same as last year, I printed these with Pixartprinting. I must say, even if I tried to follow instructions for image preparation accurately, the colour reproduction is not the best, but in the whole I reckon it's a fairly good product for the price you pay. Hopefully publishers will be too smitten from my illustrations to pay attention to colours ;)

Lastly, I also made a little cardboard box that I'm planning to fill in with postcards and attach to the Illustrator Wall. 
I didn't get much at all for my Illustrator Wall last year and I'm quite positive I won't get much from it this year either... 
But since it's such an institution and awesome idea, well, why not...!

For more tips on how to prepare for the fair, my follow up impressions please have a look at my last year posts. 

PS= Sorry for the bad quality photos, but my camera is broken and my phone's camera is not very good, so working on that...

Feb 13, 2015

Coming soon!

I've been quite busy working on different projects in the last few months. 
A couple of those are two books coming out later this year. 

I can't really show much at this point but I can definitely show the covers.

The first project is a lovely story called Lucy in the city, written by Julie Dillemuth and soon to be published by Magination Press in May 2015.

I'm really excited about Lucy, she's a very cute raccoon who gets lost in the city and needs to find her way back home.

It's a story that aims to teach spatial thinking to kids, so expect maps, streets and building, directions and some peanut butter too ;)

The second book is called The Big Sad Wolf & The Mean Little Pigs as told by Humphrey Bookwork (yes, quite a long title!). 

The story is a very humorous take on The Three Little Pigs, told by the wolf's perspective. Also, this time the little pigs are going to take a little bit of revenge on the poor wolf! 

The story's narrator is Humphrey, a cute little bookworm that likes to eat books and tell stories to his best friend Max. 

Written by Anna Clothier, the book will be published later this year by North Parade Publishing. So stay tuned for that!

Jan 2, 2015

If An Elephant...

Happy New Year!! 

This is my first post of 2015 and in my resolutions list there's definitely something about posting on this blog more often. 

To start off the year in style, I want to share this great news: I'm currently working on the follow up book of Armadillo (do you remember it? Here's the link to it) called If An Elephant Went To School

I'm very excited and flattered to be able to work again with Scarletta Press and Ellen Fisher. 

Can't wait to see this other little gem coming to light!! Stay tuned... :D

Dec 3, 2014

Happy Holiday Season!

The countdown to Christmas has officially started!
It's going to be a very busy month for me, lots of projects on the way. 
Hopefully I'm going to be able to share some of it soon! 

In the meantime, you can cheer yourself up with this little Christmas band over here.
I wonder which song are they playing...!! ;)

Oct 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I'm originally from Italy, so I've never celebrated Halloween as a kid. 

This night for me it's just another excuse to have a good time with friends and make a bespoke illustration:)

Eat, drink, DANCE and be scary! :D

Oct 12, 2014

Interview time!

I was flattered to be asked by the lovely people at Workspiration to answer some questions for their blog. 

Workspiration is a website with lots of interesting interviews done to a broad range of professional people, including illustrators, designers, editors but also IT and business people. 

Really useful if you're looking for some industry insights!

Here it is the link to my interview.

Oct 10, 2014


Way too long has passed since my last post here!!

This means I've been busy with work, life and all that sort of stuff. 
I feel like I've been working on so many projects recently but unfortunately I can't share anything since they haven't been published yet... downsides of working with books I guess!!

However, I've just realised I never shared this illustration down here. 
I did this not long ago as a personal/promotional piece. 

More work very soon!
Stay tuned...

Aug 6, 2014


Lately I've spent some time on a personal project.

I created a 80s inspired illustration, a bit of an experiment really, made for the upcoming Illustrators Australia 
exhibition Wear Art Thou (more info about this soon).
Then I realised this could have easily made into a series. 

Here it is the complete series. Planning to make some cards/prints/other stuff out of them. For now, you can find them on Redbubble or Society6

Next up, the 70s!! :)

Jul 22, 2014


Hello there!

I haven't been updating this blog much lately. Truth is I've been busy with stuff I can't show around yet, so bear with me and I promise I will post some new work very soon!

In the meantime, I've finally received the copies of the book I've illustrated last year for Scarletta Press called If An Armadillo Went To A Restaurant
I must say I'm sooooo pleased with how it turned out in the end!!
I can definitely say this is my best published work so far, very proud about it! :D

To celebrate the event, I've decided to host a giveaway. I will extract two lucky winners who will get one copy of the book each. 

In order to enter, you will have to go thru 2 little steps:
-go to my facebook page and share the post about the giveaway. Here's the link http://on.fb.me/1pzfxBQ

-join the mailing list on my website
, leaving name and email address (important! otherwise I won’t be able to contact you in case you win), here’s the link http://www.laurawoodillustration.com/CONTACT-ME

Easy peasy! 

You have time until Friday 25th July. 
Good luck!!

Jul 3, 2014

Happy summer!

A little illustration I've done honouring the best season ever...
Happy summer!
I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine. 

May 7, 2014

My books!

I've finally added a section in my blog where you can buy my books!!!

Have a look just right here on the right bar ----------------------------------->
Easy peasy!!

Happy shopping!

Garlic, Hankies and Hugs

It's OUT!!

Last year I had the pleasure to illustrate Garlic, Hankies and Hugs, a text by Michelle C. Monaghan about a cute Greek granny that is a bit out of the ordinary. 

The story wants to encourage kids to be proud of their culture, and includes lovely quirky snippets about Greek culture.

A lovely picture book about peculiar nannies and pinched cheeks. 

The books is published by Jojo publishing, a Melbourne based book publisher, and now available to purchase. 

Click here if you fancy a copy!

Apr 22, 2014


A while ago I was chosen by Light Grey Art Lab to be one of the artists for their next upcoming show called Animystic. I'm so thrilled to be part of it!

Here's the artwork I created. It took me ages to come up with it, in the end I decided to draw a llama, they're cute and wise looking! 

Click this link below to purchase my print. A portion of the proceeds will go to Feline Rescue Inc. so it's also for a good cause!! 

To see all the other entries follow this link. Some of them are really stunning so have a look!! All the images are on sale

Info about the exhibition launch party can be found here. It will be held on 25th April in Minneapolis, so if you live nearby don't miss it!! 

Apr 20, 2014