This is not suposed to be a food entry! but i can't forget how yummy it was!!
Hello my dears! hope you all have been good!!
At last i've got spare time and can write a resume post about Bologna 2013, this was my first year in the Children Book Fair and i must say it was an awesome experience!
I visited the fair for 1 day and a half if i don't remember bad and this is how i got ready for it!
Those are my advices based in my own mistakes, if you have more tips please leave them in the comments and i will update this entry with them!!
FIRST THING: Bologna Fair is not a Fair just for illustrators presenting their portfolios!! Surprised? i was really shocked when i discovered lot of the stands there were printing factories, selling rights agencies, books expositions... i though all was FOR the illustrators to communicate easily with the world! first mistake.
Bologna Fair is HUGE, and i mean HUGE, it has a lot of pavilions, expos, spaces... all is quite mixed and needs a lot of concentration.
MY TIP: pick up a map of the fair and start marking all the places you want to visit and all you've already visited, this will save you a lot of time with the DID I LEFT SOMETHING HERE OR NOT?
But, first things first, get ready! I've read a lot of blogs telling to prepare appointments in advance, i was trying to set some appointments before the Fair (2-3 weeks before) and i got NO ANSWER. I was nervous because i though i could not show anything to anyone, but, lot's of publishers have like 2 hours a day for appointments with the art directors. Just go to the stand and ask for them. If there's a possibility they will let you know.
WHAT DO I PACK FOR BOLOGNA?
- sketches (i would recommend max. size A3 because i saw some people carrying massive portfolios who look super unconfortable)
- business cards with all your details
- posters and tape so you can leave some of them in the entrance corridor (i got many new friends in facebook because of this)
- portfolio (in my case i created an A5 dossier so i could show it and leave it easily to anyone)
- your best smile.
Keep reading under the cut! :-) it sais OLD POST but it's a CUT, sorry for that!!
This is the cut:
i will have something like this someday...
Ok, you've got all your stuff with you and you're in the Fair.
Me and my friend, no appointments, we entered, walk to the nearest bar, grab a coffee and told ourselves: THE ONLY WAY TO DO SOMETHING IS ASKING.
So, we made a recognition tour in the first pavilion and decided which stands we had to visit.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT:
People working there are tired, and bored and sometimes grumpy because they work a lot, a lot of days and still have to deal with us, hunger for publications illustrators. So, before going straight and leaving and showing your material, CHOOSE THE PUBLISHER WHO YOU THINK CAN WORK WITH YOU. They will appreciate that, and you too.
ASK FOR THE ART DIRECTOR
If he/she is in the fair -> ask when you can meet him/her
If he/she is not in the fair -> ask for his/her name and e-mail adress (i failed on this SO HARD)
In both cases, i would recommend to give the person you talked to your business card and appreciate the effort.
MEETING AN ART DIRECTOR
They know what they want. Your work speaks for you so, make it shine!
PREPARE A GOOD PRESENTATION (bring a NICE and POLITE portfolio)
LET THEM WATCH IT
WATCH THEIR EXPRESSIONS (you know when you're on fire!)
In the best of cases you'll listen something like: i think we can work together!
If this doesn't happen:
DON'T BE SAD, keep trying and learn from your mistakes.
I bring like 50 printed portfolios and i left there almost 30
(i know i could have done it better, it was my first time!)
Where did i left them?
BOXES in STANDS: some stands have boxes where illustrators leave their cards and portfolios. I'm not confident on those BUT i left mines there anyways.
PEOPLE IN THE FRONT COUNTER: When there's no art director on sight i asked to the people who work there if i could leave my samples... i am also not confident on this step.
THINGS I MISSED AND I SHOULD AMMEND FOR NEXT YEAR:
- try to make appointments
- meet some illustrators
- bring any published sample
- make my own book (incl. story)
- speak better english
THINGS I ACHIEVE:
- met my agents and had a lovely meeting
- share opinions and did amazing interviews
- got a commission
- met an amazing HOST
- learn how to cook fresh pasta
TAKE ALL THE COMMENTS FOR YOUR WORK IN THE GOOD WAY!!
I know you can't be loved for everyone, i can't too!! so LISTEN what publishers say!! LEARN from your mistakes!
TAKE A NOTEBOOK WITH YOU
You wouldn't be able to reach all the people you'd love to, so note the name of the publisher and do the research work at home!
ONCE YOU GET HOME
I was waiting for 10 days before start sending mails again. For some of them i still haven't got any answer (boo!!)
I was super UNSURE about this step, any tip, anyone?
And i think that's all! WOW! super long entry!!
Hope you'll find useful some of the things i wrote, as i said before it was my first experience and i couldn't be more pleased!
my cat :D