How to be a Cover Girl, well sort of...

I would've never expected it, but my piece "Stopping Point" was selected for the December 2014 cover story for the Pastel Journal.  I can now honestly say I am a Cover Girl, but not the kind that renders up images of a 13 year old with Photoshopped lips, but I digress.

"How did that happen?" one would ask.

Well, it all began a few years back, I think it was back in 2010, when I met a journalist named Angie Young at a plein air event showcase.  Our discussion revolved around the challenges of being an artist with a young family, like how can one have an art career and still be a Mom? We continued our conversation for some time and then I hired her to write a story of these very challenges with the intention of getting coverage in an artist magazine. The story took a circuitous route, but we finally agreed on the direction of the story. I paid the writer, after discovering that there was a procedure process from which we did not follow, and I thought the submission would be filed. I submitted the story anyway, along with several images to support the story to The Pastel Journal. Then I waited.....

Then on a summer day, I think it was July or August of this year, I received an email from the Editor of the Pastel Journal, Anne Hevener, that she had some of my images on file and was wanting to know if I'd like to be interviewed for an article on my work.  Are you kidding me?  "Why YES I would" I replied.  So I was contacted by journalist Michelle Taute and we set a date for a phone interview. She dove right into the story with some great questions about my fascination with urban scenes and my "how" of pastel painting.  She wrote the article as if she lived inside my mind, clearly writing my thought process without any hesitation. 

The article was polished with accompanying imagery and then I was able to review it for accuracy and content. Then sometime in September, Anne Hevener informed me that one of my images was being considered for the cover and I had to be hush hush about it.  Woah! How cool would that be?  I asked,  "What are the deciding factors for a cover image?" Apparently the Art Director , Marketing and other important decision makers have the challenging job of selecting the cover image based on interest, sales potential and color. I'm sure there is a lot more involved with this editorial decision than one could imagine. Anyway, it seems to be a pretty tough job, much like a jury for a national competition.  

HOW Do you get into a magazine?

So you may be asking "How do I get noticed by an editor or staff writer for an article on my work?" Well, I'm not an expert here but I can offer some ideas that may work, some of which I employed over the years.  First of all you have to ask yourself "Why do you want coverage"  Do you create something interesting that is unconventional and can be interesting and new to the readers? Or do you wish to be "famous" just so that Mom and Dad have bragging rights over coffee and donuts?  What is your motive?  Magazines find artists and subject matter in a number of ways. Participation in National shows comes to mind, perhaps your online social media can assist in name recognition, but did you know that most magazines have a process of inquiry?  Publications typically post the guidelines inside the cover page. Sometimes a magazine may support a National arts organization, giving the magazine first opportunity to see who the rising stars are.  You can find most of your magazine inquiry information on the net these days. Here is one magazine submission process clearly posted for The Artist's Magazine.   Or check out Empty Easel on the topic HERE

So there you have it!  What month will you be? 


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Blogger Susan Williamson said...

Hi Brenda, Your generosity and sharing on this topic should be of value to many, many artists. Have a wonderful holiday!

12/18/14, 11:34 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Susan. I had shared this on my Google Plus and FB Fan page in hopes to inform artists on the topic.

12/18/14, 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

Brenda your work is so beautiful! I always love seeing your latest work. Thanks for sharing your tips regarding magazine coverage. I never realized that info was posted so clearly. I guess they always say the best place to hide something is in plain sight ha!

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday. Wishing you all the best in the new year,

12/29/14, 4:50 PM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Ah thanks for your kind comments Vanessa. So to get noticed it helps to follow their submission guidelines to the T. And then wait, followup, and then wait some more. :)

12/29/14, 9:04 PM  

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