Jul 22, 2014

GIVEAWAY time!

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

Animystic

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!! 
http://shop.lightgreyartlab.com/product/the-guardian-by-laura-wood

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
http://shop.lightgreyartlab.com/

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!! 
https://www.facebook.com/events/599854916766357/

Apr 20, 2014

Apr 16, 2014

Wilderness Society

Who remembers the project for Wilderness Society a while ago I spoke about here?
Finally they released the second part of the project!

Click here and discover how the possum's fairytale ends... 

I must say this was a dream project to work on. I feel very lucky I got to work with such and amazing organisation!! 


Mar 31, 2014

After Bologna Children's Book Fair 2014 - part 2

I'm still ruminate on my days at the fair, they were a tangle of emotions and events. It's taking me a while to metabolise everything. 
Here a report of each single day... 


Illustrators wall


My first day was a bit depressing. Nobody seemed to have time to look at my portfolio, publishers were all very busy and the fair was sooooo crowded. Going to the bathroom meant wasting at least 30 precious minutes. 
Also, I was very anxious, I wanted to do everything and being everywhere at the same moment. I felt I didn't have enough time to do all I wanted and every minute seemed incredibly precious. 
So I run like a crazy person from hall to hall without taking a break, being really grumpy about all the wasting-time queueing and, as you can imagine, by evening I was a mess. 
Also, both the appointment I managed to schedule months earlier with two big publishers didn't happen since they basically forgot about me. 
Not exactly a good day. 


The main space at the entrance

My second day went definitely better. The fair was visibly less crowded and everything seemed a bit easier. Maybe because I started understand how things were going to be done, not sure, but I finally managed to show my portfolio to people and leave a lot of promotional material. 
By 5pm I was so incredibly tired I could barely walk, so I decided to go home take a shower and nap. Best decision ever! Completely refreshed, I went out for dinner with a bunch of people and eat tortelli. That's the way!


Dinner with some illustrators

My last day, Wednesday, was a piece of cake. Compared to Monday, the fair was deserted and everybody was much more generous with their time. I even had a few meetings in which the publisher and I digressed about my imminent move to Bristol or my life in Australia... It was definitely a much more pleasant way to get to know people!
Also, lots of other publishers were dedicating a couple of hours to see illustrators.
I managed to give away all the mini portfolios I had left (about 15) and at the end of the day I felt like I spoke with tons of people!
It was definitely my most successful day at the fair. 


I think next year I'll try to stay Thursday as well, people told me publishers like to get rid of books so they don't have to carry them home. To me, it seems like a good enough reason to stay!


Some of the awarded books

Visually speaking, in my opinion no one beats Italy, Spain and Korea. Illustrators from those country have a sense of colour and composition that really amazes me. 
My aim is to look more into those country's publications and try to learn something from those geniuses...

Also, I was VERY impressed by the work made by the students at the MA Children's book illustration of Cambridge.
Their work was astonishing!! The stand had dummies everywhere the students creates during the course. I couldn't believe my eyes. I predict an excellent career for at least a third of those students. A friend of mine told me the course is very hard but incredible. 
I could SERIOUSLY think about doing the course. Maybe in a couple of years time... 


Cambridge School stand (Marta Altes in the left corner)

I think the most useful comments about my work were given by the publishers who rejected me. 
In particular, I was told my style was very "British" and therefore not suitable for a lot of publishers. It wasn't the first occasion people told me that, but when you hear the same thing from four different people on the same day, well, it definitely gets you. 
I feel I have already a better idea of which market my work could fit in and what are the different trends in each different part of the world. 
It such a complex field, this fair definitely made me understand I still have A LOT to learn and develop and A LONG WAY to go. 

I read a lot before going to the fair. I wanted to be prepared! I'm that sort of person, I like to do be organised, especially when it comes to work. 
Anyways, everybody I spoke to said the fair was incredibly huge. And their were right, it is very big. But honestly, when I went there, I really wished there was more. There were four halls in total and it might be I'm a very eager person (or maybe only masochist) but I really wish there was at least one more hall to browse. 

Malaysian stand

My resolutions for next year:

-Attend some talk. I didn't attend ANY talk. I felt like I had to much too do to just sit down and listen. 
And there is so much going on all at once that I didn't even noticed that both Oliver Jeffers and Bianca Pitzorno (my favourite Italian children's book writer excellence!!) gave Crazy, right?? Especially because I had downloaded the events schedule and underlined what 
I don't know exactly how I missed that, but this is the proof there is so much interesting stuff going on all at once. 

-Attend events outside the fair. There were lots of interesting events all over the city especially exhibitions I really wanted to attend. But in the evening I was always so tired I just couldn't bare the idea of going out again. 
But, as I said already, next year I'm going to train (and maybe try to be less anxious) and hopefully I won't be burnt out at 6pm! 

-Coming along with other people. I think it might be good coming along with other illustrators, especially for moral support. Even coming with a friend or boyfriend (a met a lovely girl who came with her mom, so sweet!!) could be useful, especially if they offer to carry your bags!! :) 

-Buy some books. I spent 3 days looking at books and in the end I didn't buy even one. Insane, I know. Next year I'll make a fund only for buying books!!



Goodbye!

Mar 29, 2014

After Bologna Children's Book Fair 2014 - Part 1


The entrance

I'm home after three crazy days in Bologna
As I predicted, it was a truly great experience. 
So many things happening all at once, so many people to talk to... and of course for an illustrator working alone all day, this is totally unusual. 

There are so many things I could say about this experience that it is difficult to know where to start. 

Maybe I could start saying I have a very good feeling about the contacts I made at the fair. 
I managed to show my portfolio to a lot of editors, publishers and art directors and I received mainly positive reactions. 
I also managed to give away all 45 mini portfolios I made, and everybody was very impressed by the fact I was leaving them with a sort of mini book, instead of a simple business card or postcard. I think making those was well worth it! 

At the fair
Now that I've been there, I feel like I can give a few practical tips on how to survive the fair at best! 
Here you go... 

-Bring your own lunch! There were so many people at the fair that my lunch break on Monday was a true nightmare. I queued for 20 minutes to find out they run out of vegetarian options. So I had to find another cafe (there are a few) and queue again and in the end the only vegetarian option they had was pizza. Then I queued for 30 more minutes to get my pizza. 
That night I went to a supermarket and bought some ingredients to make my own sandwiches for the following days. Best idea ever!
Otherwise, some friends suggested you buy lunch right outside the fair (not sure where tho) before getting in in the morning. VERY recommended, especially if you don't eat gluten or meat (that's pretty much all the sell). 

-Attend for three days at least. The first day wasn't great for me in terms of appointments but I managed to book some meetings for the following days, when people's schedules were still quite free.
However, Wednesday for me was the most successful day, since everybody was less busy and had more time to spare and look at my portfolio. So I would highly recommend to spend at least 3 days there, if you're serious about finding contacts. 


At the fair

-Don't waste time with the publishers that don't display books with your style. The few times I tried to propose myself to such publishers (I thought, why not? you never know!) they rejected me straight away. It's a waist of time and also kills the mood. 
I know it's tempting going to every one but try to be picky. Publishers have a very clear idea of what they're looking for. 

-Bring a neat, compact portfolio. I printed mine with Blurb and everybody really liked the fact it was neat and bounded as a book. Much easier and faster to look at instead of the big a3 portfolios with loose sheets lots of people had. 

-After giving your card, always ask for THEIR business card. I read this in a blog last year while gathering info for Bologna. Best advice ever!

-Wear VERY comfortable shoes. If they happen to be ugly, don't worry: no one will pay attention. 


Bologna city centre  

-If you can, train beforehand. I'm not joking, your body will thank you enormously, trust me! There's nothing worse than working while being tired and physically exhausted. I failed on this but next year I'm definitely going to train!! 

-Try to do a quick tour of all the halls on the first day. This is because lots of the publishers put out a sign with general meeting times for illustrators. 
Also while doing this, ask to the big publishers if they book appointments for the following days. Some of them do but their schedules fill out quite quickly. 
I missed the opportunity to show my portfolio to Milan, a big french publisher because I turned out at its stand only on Wednesday and the appointment schedule was already booked out. Damn it!! 

-Put something on the Illustrators Wall, you never know who's going to see it!!


My bear poster on the wall. It's not super clear but I built a pocket to put postcards in

-Bring a lot of promotional materials. In my case, I brought some mini portfolios along with lots of postcards. I think next year I will invest in making more mini portfolios and less postcards, since I used them a lot more and I ended up having lots of postcards leftovers. So choose whatever you think would work best for you and make lots of it to give away to as much people as you can. 

-Bring a pen and a notebook, to write down email addresses, names or meeting times. 

-Wear layers of clothes you can take off or put on. It was a bit tricky because outside was freezing cold and inside was quite warm. So instead of a coat I wore a light jacket with lots of layers underneath. Next time I'll make sure to wear clothes with pockets too (for some reasons most of my clothes don't have them!)

-My accommodation was quite close to the fair, which was great, so I could easily go there by foot. However, the city centre was quite far (30-40 minutes walking) and at night, after walking all day at the fair, there was no chance I would walk all the way to the city to meet with friends for dinner. So maybe the best would be to find a place right in the middle between the fair and the centre which is where everybody usually goes for dinner. 
Or be ready to pay a taxi (like I did). 


The view from my room
-If you have some, bring a few published samples. People who had the time to interview me were interested in seeing those too. I read publishers would like to see dummies too, I didn't have any but I suppose it's a good idea to bring them along as well. 



In the next post I'll write about my personal experience at the fair (impressions, emotions, dark moments... yes, I had those too!!). Stay tuned!! 

Mar 20, 2014

Getting ready for Bologna - Promotional material

Bologna Book Fair is just around the corner... I'm excited and terrified at the same time!!:) 

Before taking off, I wanted to show some promotional material I made for the event. 

First of all, my mini portfolios. I printed 45 of them and I'm going to leave those at editors and publishers during meetings and portfolio interviews. 
I figured I wanted to give people something more that just a postcard, especially to publishers I see a good fit with. 
Hopefully they're going to appreciate the extra effort and like the range of pictures!

On the first page, I wrote a brief introduction about myself and my work (previous clients, where I live, etc) together with a small photo of myself (they might remember my face in case we meet at the fair!).

On the last page I put some testimonials from previous clients. I figured is always good for publishers to know that, despite rumours, illustrators are actually reliable people!!






Also, I printed 200 hundreds postcards with two different designs, to leave behind when I will run out of mini portfolios. 
And I'm going to use these also for the Illustrator wall, which will have a A3 poster with my bicycle bear logo and a cardboard pocket where I'll be able to put some postcards. 
I'll publish a photo of this when it'll be all set up at the fair!

I printed everything with a European website called Pixartprinting. They were very fast and everything turned out really nicely, especially colours. 
I'm definitely going to use these guys again!

Everything it's finally ready for the big event... if you want to follow my Bologna adventures I would suggest you to follow me on instagram, I predict I'll be publishing tons of pictures!! :D :D

I hope to see you there!!!

Mar 11, 2014

Getting ready for Bologna - Portfolio

As I mentioned a while ago, I'm getting ready to attend my first Bologna Children's Book Fair. 

In order to do that, I had to prepare a portfolio that I will show around to as many people as possible. 

I spent some time pondering and evaluating different possibilities on how and which company to print my portfolio with. 

As always, I manages to find invaluable information researching online. 
The followings are links to blog posts about putting together a children's books portfolio. Very useful stuff!

Squid 101: What I like to see in an Artist's Portfolio by Brooklyn Arden
Portfolio comparison - What made an SCBWI winner by Eliza Wheeler
Putting together a Prize-winning portfolio by Molly Idle
Mentee Porfolio vs. Grand Prize Winner Portfolio by Juana
How to put a Children's Illustration Portfolio together by Juana

Personally, I decided to print mine with Blurb
Blurb is a website that allows you to print books of all sorts. 
It's not too expensive and the products are top-notch. 
The thing I really like about Blurb is that it gives you total design freedom. 
In fact, Blurb allows you to use Indesign in order to customise every single aspect of your book. Awesome!!
Also, Blurb gives you a good range of different covers and papers. 

I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. Here are some photos of the printed portfolio. Hopefully it will make a good impression! :D







These are the rules I tried to stick to while choosing the images for it:
- Only very strong work
- Not more than 20 images 
- Keep images from the same project together for continuity
- Start and finish with the strongest images
- Don't use many single images but mostly 2 or 3 images from the same project

Also, I made sure to ask for advice to a couple of illustrators friends (strongly recommended!!) in order to have a different point of you on my work - soooo difficult to judge your own images! :/

Feb 24, 2014

Wilderness Society

Recently I had the pleasure of doing some work for The Wilderness Society, an Australian non-profit organisation that protects local animals. 

They asked me to create some illustrations for a campaign that is aimed to protect the Fairy Possum, an endangered animal threatened by logging of forests.

I had the fun task to create a fairytale-like story and draw cute little possums in their natural habitat.

Click here to see the first part of the story.
Part 2 will be released soon... stay tuned!

Design was done by the lovely people at Copyboy.
Here a preview of some of the illustrations. 











Jan 25, 2014

Getting ready for Bologna - Rebranding

As I've already mentioned a few weeks ago, this year at the end of March I will be attending the Bologna Children's Book Fair and I cannot start to tell you how incredibly EXCITED I am about this!!:D

It will be my first time at the fair, so I'm trying to gather as much info as possible in order to arrive prepared and don't leave with that horrible feeling of "ooooh if I knew that before". I hate that!

So I'm trying to plan everything out very carefully and meticulously. 
These are my three main priorities prior the fair:

-Rebranding 
-Portfolio and promotion materials
-Booking publishers meetings 

This blog post is about rebranding.  
Basically I just wanted to give a bit of a refresh to my general image. 
I had the same logo for a while and I felt it didn't really reflect the style of my work anymore. So I changed that with something more appropriate to what I do now. Hope you like it!:)
Consequently, I had to change the look of my twitter, blog, instagram, facebook, you name it. 



I also updated the portfolio on my website and changed my About page completely. This great article from zero2illo explains the reason why you should probably do that too, and basically how to get the most out of your about page. 

Also, I decided I would finally try to implement a mailing list form so that I will start sending out a newsletter regularly with updates about my publications. I think this could be useful, especially every time I have a book or an app coming out that I want to share with the world. 
So if you're interested in getting notified with my latest publications, you can sign up here.

Last thing I did was to add some clients testimonials on my website. I know, this could sounds a bit like a show off, but I often receive nice feedback from clients so I thought, what the hell, why not put them out there making sure other people can read it too. 
Sometimes shameless promotion is the way to go... 


PS= If you're an illustrator and you're going to Bologna, please let me know! I don't get the chance to meet other illustrators very often, so it would be good to meet a bunch of creative peeps! 

Jan 2, 2014

New beginnings + Giveaway!

A new year has finally started and I reckon there's no better way to begin than hosting my first ever giveaway!! 

It has been a long time since I wanted to 

The prize is a copy of my brand new book Zillie the circus freak, recently published in Australia by Jojo Publishing. 





To enter, just leave a comment down here.
No matter where you live, I will send anywhere in the world!

This giveaway will run for a week, the winner will be reveal on Thursday 9th January. 
Good luck and happy New Year everybody!!

Dec 16, 2013

Zillie the circus freak

I'm happy to announce my first young adult book is now published!




Zillie the circus freak is a sweet and funny novel about a very clumsy girl who lives in a circus. Her family is very peculiar and unique and because of this she struggles to fit in her school. 
The book is written by Alley Bucci and published by Jojo publishing. 




It was great working on this book. It was my first time dealing with an older character and black and white illustrations but I really enjoyed both of those things.



To create the internal black and white spots, I used a mix of pencils and watercolour washes, something a bit different from my usual process. 



This was definitely a big learning curve for me and I really hope to do more of this kind of work in the future.