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on getting published as an artist

June 7, 2011

so i had a blog reader ask about the submission process for getting published and i thought it would make a fabulous blog post for those of you who are curious. it is one of those things where the first step is always the hardest, but gets easier after that. so i thought i would share my story of how i got published.

published

the first time i was published was pretty unconventional because the scouts at stampington actually found me first. i had blogged that one of my goals for this year was to get published in somerset studio. and they happened to read the about page on my website and wanted to print my story. i think this really helped me build confidence. i emailed my article and a few hi res images of my art. before sending in my article i had a friend proof-read my article. i think this is very helpful. another set of eyes is always a good idea when you are writing for a national magazine.

so when i set out to create a journal for publication, i really spent a lot of time thinking about how to make my journal stand out in the crowd. i think this HUGE! so i went above and beyond in trying to think of an unusual way to make my altered book different. cut-outs, tabs, stitching, cardboard, fabric flowers… whatever i could think of i added into my book. i truly believe that this really helped to set me apart.

altered books

when it comes to the actual submission guidelines, all magazines have a submission guidelines page on their website. if you are confused on any of them, just send them an email. i had to read through the guidelines several times during the process. but the most important thing is to get your artwork in front of them. once you do, the artwork will sell itself.

i made sure to decorate my box, something i learned from kelly rae. from the moment my package arrived at the magazine i wanted everyone to notice it. you will need to include money for them to send your art back to you.

getting published

now comes the worst part about getting published. waiting. i think this is the hardest part. it can take months for someone to respond. they might pass your art on to a different magazine than the one you submitted it to. so just be patient.

once they send you an email to let you know that they want to use your work, you will be asked to write an article. you usually have a few weeks to write the article. they give you certain specifications that you have to meet like word count and specific content they want to know about. i think that it is always good to include some sort of story even if you are writing a how to article. everyone loves a good story and wants to connect with you as an artist.

then guess what happens? more waiting. if you are not a patient person, you will become one. and then you find out if your article is actually going to be included in a magazine and when. sometimes you get bumped to the next issue.

so i am by far not the expert on being published. there are some amazing artists out there who have a lot more experience on this than i do. but i think one thing that i have noticed is that all of the editors i have worked with are absolutely lovely. you start to get to know them and build relationship with them. this makes the whole experience less scary. when you know that the editors are on your side, it makes things easier.

cover art journaling

after they run the article, they usually will send you your art back. don’t expect to get it back for 9 to 12 months. i honestly don’t know how i made the cover of the magazine with such amazing artists in the magazine.

i hope this was helpful for any of you wanting to step out and get published. if you have any other questions about my publishing experience, please let me know in the comments.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol permalink
    June 7, 2011 11:26 am

    Thank you for your very informative information on “Getting published as an artist.” It is just what I needed. You are so helpful and good at what you do…I appreciate you and your work. I have a similar yet different question for you. I need to find out how to copyright my stuff and I have tried to find out online and from various sources. I thought I would ask you thinking that you must be doing that with your art. Blessings to you my friend, Carol

  2. June 7, 2011 11:34 am

    I finally got off my butt and submitted some of my work for the Somerset Digital special. It doesn’t hit newsstands for quite some time, so I’m not sure if they’re looking that heavily yet, but hopefully they’ll like my work and put me in the next issue. Thanks for being an inspiration in that area.

  3. June 7, 2011 6:52 pm

    Oh you sweet inspiration! How awesome of you to write about my question (lil ol me) and it was such a juicy post and I like that it came from one of “us” – down to earth – real advice – how long it takes, how scary it is for everyone and best of all that they are on our side at the magazine and NICE. This really made me think about a plan instead of just wishing, dreaming…there is a point where dreaming about it and doing something about it meet up. You gave me more confidence and to think about the direction I want to take and how much to share. I totally love the question Carol has about copyright!!!! I can’t wait to read what you have to say about that. I am totally addicted to your posts – and I think you have just blossomed this year!! So much happening and I am happy for you – Congrats on the cover – you fly girl 😉

  4. June 7, 2011 7:37 pm

    Hey, Wendy! I so needed to read this post tonight…I’ve been struggling with the patience part when it comes to waiting for a response from the magazine. It’s so reassuring to know that others who’ve gone before have felt this way, too!

    Again, I am so pumped about your cover and article, and can’t wait to receive my copy of Art Journaling later this summer!

  5. joanne permalink
    June 7, 2011 10:27 pm

    Very helpful information for those wanting to give it a try.

  6. June 8, 2011 11:50 am

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful & very inspiring story! ❤
    Congratulations… wishing you the best :]
    Love your chunky art journal book.
    I had a question, which I do hope you could answer for me…
    How did you bind all these "chunky" altered pages together?
    artistaprilcole@gmail.com
    Would love to hear feed back, thank you :]

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