How to contact an Art Director Part 4-Mike Linnemann

Hey folks! I ran across this series of four interviews with Art Directors(primarily from the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre of Publishing) from Kiri Ostergaard Leonard. Where they go into some depth on the best way to approach them and your work and portfolios in general. We will be highlighting one article per week. Please find a snippet below from the article and then a link to the full post. Enjoy!

Again summarizing from previous posts: This is a blog series to help art students as well as new artists familiarize themselves with the best ways to go about contacting art directors, when starting out as an illustrator. The goal is not to be a nuisance and make a good impression.

In order to give you a well rounded perspective I asked a handful of art directors to answer 10 questions on the topic. First was Marc Scheff from Tree House Brand Stores and second up was Wizards of the Coast Art Director Jon Schindehette , next we had Lauren Panepinto from Orbit Books and to wrap it all up, here is an interview with Mike Linnemann, who is a former Art Director from Fantasy Flight Games.

1. What is your preferred method of communication if a new artist is looking to make contact and why? (ie. Postcards/email/phone/facebook/meeting in person)
Email is best. It is the fastest and most easily recorded. It’s a lot harder to forward a Facebook message/tweet to a fellow art director, no?

2. Social media is becoming increasingly popular amongst artists as a tool for networking, how do you feel about artists befriending you on Facebook? Is there a right and a wrong way to go about it?
There is no “right” way, but there’s definitely a wrong way. Creating a fan page or just using the personal page doesn’t matter. In the end, if you don’t have an external portfolio link-self website or DeviantArt etc, you won’t be added to the list.

Another example of the wrong way would be adding someone randomly or sending a Facebook message with just a portfolio link. When you are cold calling an Art Director introduce yourself at the bare minimum, don’t just send a link. Here’s an example of a message you could send:

“Hi Jim,
I’d like to work for you. Here’s my portfolio link:
– Frank Jenkins”

We befriend artists because we talk and work with them, it’s a gray area but there are levels, like adding someone on Twitter vs. Facebook. There’s a privacy/intimacy line.

Find the rest of the article here!


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