Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mailing Original Artwork -- by Eliza Wheeler

Illustrators creating artwork for picture books work for many months or even years on a single book, and those working in non-digital mediums often have to go through the terrifying process of mailing that finished work to the publisher for the scanning and reproduction process. Making sure the art is properly packed can help ensure that all that hard work will reach your art director in safe form. I'll share my process of packing up and mailing finished artwork here. 

The materials I use:
- Four large sheets of cardboard
- Packing tape
- Plastic wrap
- Craft paper
- Tracing paper
- Artist's tape

1. Protect and label each illustration. 
Cut sheets of tracing paper to cover the drawing, and secure them with artist's tape on the back. One each illustration, write:
Your name
The book's title
and the page number

2. Wrap the artwork in plastic, just in case the package gets wet in transit. 

3. Make a large envelope for the artwork out of craft paper.
Secure the envelope with tape onto the middle of one of the cardboard sheets. Taping it in place will keep the artwork from shifting into the edges/corners and possibly getting damaged. Add a nice note to your art director, who will be unpacking the art when it arrives. 

4. Layer the four sheets of cardboard together, positioned with alternating cross-grains. Two sheets with ribs going in the same direction can bend easily, so layering them perpendicular to each other creates super strong, non-bendable layers that surround both sides of the artwork.

5. Sandwich the artwork in the middle of the four sheets of cardboard. You can get sheets of cardboard from a shipping supply store or art store. In the photos here, I'm re-using the box from Blick that my watercolor paper was shipped in.

6. Tape, tape, tape. Double-seal all the edges of the cardboard sheets with packing tape. Label each side of the package with ARTWORK.

7. Bring the package to your mail carrier for shipping. I usually use UPS, and buy a large chunk of insurance for the package (once the package reaches the publisher, it should be insured for loss or damage under their policy). Have them add FRAGILE stickers to your package, and make sure it is not scheduled to be delivered over the weekend when no one will be at the publisher's to receive it. Email your art director and editor the tracking info for the package and ask them to let you know when it reaches them.

8. Go out for brunch! Celebrate a triumphant job well-done.

~ Eliza Wheelerwheelerstudio.com, Wheelerstudio on Twitter and Instagram, Eliza Wheeler on Facebook

Author/Illustrator of NYT Bestseller Miss Maple's Seeds
Illustrator of Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow-Miller
Illustrator of CODY AND THE FOUNTAIN OF HAPPINESS by Tricia Springstubb
Illustrator of The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff
Illustrator of Newbery Honor book Doll Bones by Holly Black

1 comment:

  1. Thank you!
    It looks very useful & economical. I'm going to use it next time