Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My latest interview- My Life List Radio

I recently did an interview with Bill Starr from My Life List Radio. I am the second interview on this podcast. Also to get an idea about what Bill's site is all about, check out My Life List.

To all those who have bought my book-I thank you so much. My book has sold about 2000 copies in over 2 months. I am thrilled and I hope you enjoy my book as much as did writing it.

What's next? I need to get my web site done as soon as possible now that life is getting back to normal again. Plus I must do my annual Christmas card. I'll post it when it's all done. Cheers!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My spotlights on EFII-Escapee Speaks!!

Aside from the Podcast I did on this site-I was also put in the section 'Escapee Speaks'

Cold Calls

Creating For You

This a fantastic site for invaluable information for all illustrators. Great job with the site Thomas!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Podcast on Escape From Illustration Island

I recently had a great chat with Thomas James from Escape From Illustration Island. Topics discussed were my book, branding, starting out, pricing, mentoring, creativity, working at home, community and so much more but you'll have to listen to it to get all the good stuff.

Also you have a chance to win a signed book as well. Listen to Episode 10 of the Escape From Illustration Island Podcast to find out how you can win a signed copy of Breaking Into Freelance Illustration.

"This is a great resource for beginners and pros alike, because Holly leaves no stones unturned in her exploration of the many facets of this ever-evolving subject. And on top of that, this competition is a great way to connect and converse with your fellow Illustrators."

My interview on

This is my latest interview on Illustrophile.

"It’s been a really long time, but we’re really happy to have a new interview up! This time we talk to illustrator/ author Holly DeWolf, who among other things is the author of the great new book ‘Breaking into Freelance illustration‘. We talk to her about her long career as an illustrator, her new path as an author, and her general opinion on the illustration industry."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My little book launch

I just recently had a small book launch get together. It was my night and I would have been happy if only 1 person showed up!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Official Book Release Day!

Well it's official folks-the day I have been waiting for! My book is on the shelves and waiting to be loved. How do I feel? Like I'm on cloud nine!

Interestingly enough when I got my book deal January 4th 2008, this day seemed so far away. As I read over it I can pinpoint many sleep deprived moments, times when technology worked against me, having to move just as the manuscript was due, getting up some mornings to work at 3:00 am, and the funny times like when i had an online friend send me jokes for 2 hours to keep me awake for a deadline. My favourite part was the process of it and doing something so unexpected! Who knew I would an author?

What is next? The official book launch is on October 8th at Argyle Fine Arts 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. See you there!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Work!

I've posted a new illustration on my other blog. It's so nice to be painting again. Next on the creative menu is continued work on the web site and some new sketches that I am currently working on while watching a movie.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Open Letter To Ed Emberley

Dear Ed,

From my early beginnings in doodling and making mess, your books always came in handy when I was young. You were like some kind of creative super hero that made the hours pass in the most imaginative of ways. You broke down the concept of basic drawing that I still carry with me to this day.

Your books not only opened up a world of doodling possibilities but it occupied a creative need that I needed filling as a child. That creativity carried me all the way to Art & Design school. I am now an illustrator and “big idea generator” as my daughter now calls me.

The first of your books was the Drawing Book of Animals which my 6 year old daughter is now enjoying amongst the many others that have been added to the crative library. It makes me so happy to see my daughter enjoy them as much as I did. My three year old is quickly loving the idea of scribbling on everything and anything. She will be next in line to take on some of your books soon.

So Ed, I write this in gratitude. I thank you for your dedication to the needs of creative kids and making drawing fun. I am looking forward to whatever goodies you come up with in the future. Keep up the great work.

Creatively Yours,

Holly DeWolf

Text & Illustration © Holly DeWolf

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book happy!

Book happy!
Originally uploaded by HollyDe

My Authors Page On

I now have my own page on Amazon page that I will add notes to in the blog section: Author page on

The current note was the original Introduction to the book.

"And you may ask yourself,

Well... how did I get here?"

- David Byrne

In 2005 I started blogging as a creative diversion to working at home. What developed was an online community that not only inspired me but helped me in my pursuit of creative self-employment as an illustrator. I soon became hooked. I met illustrators from all parts of the globe producing really great work and demonstrating that it is quite possible to make a living as an illustrator. New technologies have brought to light many talented illustrators who are incredibly dedicated to their creative profession. I call these illustrators the new innovators because they not only work in the industry but they promote it as well. They are creative in finding work, setting up online communities and promoting themselves through their web sites and blogs. Today's illustrators require a new set of skills to keep them moving forward in this industry. Gone are the days of creative isolation. Digital networking is the one of the big keys to success today.

Although new technologies are being created all the time to help get us "out there", the basic needs of illustrators have not changed. Needs such as our commitment to our work, establishing client relationships, the drive to do our personal best and to make a living from our work are paramount. No less important is our need to know where we are going and have a plan pointed in the right direction. A whole lot of "luck" does not hurt either.

Through new technologies we see new illustrators blooming and on the verge of greatness. They may not have twenty years experience or been published but add a new dimension to this industry - camaraderie. A tight-knit creative network who support and help each other has emerged.We are not only visual problem-solvers. We also need to solve problems in running a business while juggling our home lives. Our schools do not always address that when we are leaving with our portfolios in hand ready to take on the world. To learn this on the fly can be daunting at best.

I was once told that illustration is 70% business and 30% talent. I don't know if
those percentages are completely true. What I do know is this, we are the business and we are the brand. Our image is everything. How we promote ourselves is what is going to get us the types jobs we want. The clients are not necessarily going to come to us.

This book is what I would like to see in a guide for illustrators. Looking at the process, the motivation, the ups and downs of self-employment and the materials illustrators use really help on many levels. There are many wonderful illustrators who work in the mediums of digital, paint, fabric, clay and even painting with coffee. Whatever the choice is, fantastic things can happen on a blank page, on the computer, on a piece of illustration board or a swatch of fabric.

Also, to look forward we need to look back at those illustrators who paved the way for us. As a child Ed Emberley was my childhood hero. Not only did he help break down the concept of drawing, he made it fun. In a way, I owe him a big thanks because those humble beginnings set my path to art and design school. Thanks Ed!

Sometimes we hit a level of our careers and ask ourselves how we got here. The answers are often surprising from very small tid bits to really big moments.We all define success differently and how we achieve those goals come from many small steps that lead to big things. Success comes from constancy of purpose and creating with purpose. Stopping to see what is working and what is leading you down the path you are on can help you continue moving toward your goals.

I want to address the creative business of illustration. Many questions are repeatedly asked about the same issues; pricing, printing, cold-calling, and promotion that can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the business. My hope is that this book provides helpful tips, advice and a lot of inspiration. Many illustrators have contributed to this along with their opinions and insights to what makes this industry great to what we all would like to see the industry become.It is a guide about real down-to-earth advice to help build a career for illustrators and aspiring illustrators to obtain their dream job of creative self-employment.

I want to give back to the industry that has helped support me in my creative endeavors. I learn daily from my network . They inspire me, critique my work with invaluable feedback and let me know that I am not creating in isolation. Our little creative corner of the world may be small but we still push the boundaries towards new heights of excellence with a little help from our friends.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Book Contributors

I spotlighted many talented and wonderful creatives in my book:

Andi Butler
• David Sones
• Kathy Weller
• Jeff Andrews
• Von Glitschka
• Holli Conger
• Lori-Joy Smith
• Jannie Ho
• Jim Bradshaw
Claudine Hellmuth
Roz Fulcher
Kimberly schwede
John Martz
Penelope Dullaghan
Susan Mitchell
Paul Chenard
Darren Di Lieto
Nate Williams
Lee Silber
Tony Dusko
Keri Smith
Ilise Benum
Jeff Fisher
• Steven Heller

Next I'll spotlight some illustrators I wished were part of the book! I will add them to the next one. Wink! ;)

In The Spotlight

I was spotlighted on two blogs recently:
How Design Blog
See Scott Write

My book is also now available for the How Bookstore:
How Bookstore

What is next? Well more interesting content for this blog and a new blog banner is also due to spice things up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Advanced copies arrived!!

It's here!!
Originally uploaded by HollyDe

I held my book for the first time yesterday. I was pretty happy & giddy. Next step is to check it all over for any mistakes and then keep promoting it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Book-Breaking Into Freelance Illustration

It's almost here folks. I got the news today that my book has been officially printed and my copies are in the mail. Ask me how excited I am right now? Well, you could knock me over with a feather-I'm tickled pink. Suddenly it feels real... very real.

The official book release is on September 21st!

So I have two interviews coming up about my book. I will link then when they posted. I am in the process of designing some postcards to send out as a nice way to promote my effort. My Website- is being redone. And my official book launch party will be held on October 8th here in Halifax, Nova Scotia at Argyle Fine Arts

So, wanna know where you can find my book? Here are few places to check out:
• Chapters/Indigo

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And You May Ask Yourself...

"And you may ask yourself...well, how did I get here?"- Talking Heads

And I may ask myself, how did I get here? And I may ask myself, how did I get that book deal?

All very good questions.

So how did the book come about? I have two responses-one response isn't as sexy as the other but it all goes something like this...

I asked!! Too simple you might ask? Well, in essence I saw a need in my field and threw an idea out there. My publisher did not have anything similar in their library of books so I filled the gap.

A funny thing happened in December of 2006. I sent out my book idea in the morning and heard from my 'chosen' publisher the very same day. Now I was told you go into a "book slush pile" that can take up to 4 months. I was not expecting to hear back from them the very same day. I didn't know what to expect really. The publisher liked my idea and wanted more. I stayed up all night and threw together a possible Table of Contents. I sent it out the next morning and they like like that contribution too. This publisher then wanted a sample chapter. I sent an Introduction. They liked that and then they sent the whole thing to the head of publishing and on January 4th, 2008 I got the deal! Viola!

The second response goes like something like this: I got attacked by a dog and could not paint! Yup! Two weeks before I moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia my next door neighbors dog nearly ripped off my right index finger. In several seconds this dog bit and shook my finger, wrist and elbow into a mess. I could not even hold a pen. My whole creative future flashed in front of my eyes! What was I going to do? Something completely out of my character- a book!

I must back track a bit though. I thought up this idea about 6 years ago but shelved it because of uncertainty. While I was unpacking, I found it all neatly put together in a binder. It re-sparked interest and an idea to get it out there. I reorganized it and sent it out. Truly at that point I had nothing to lose. My hand was healing slowly and I had no idea if I was able to paint again. Any fear that I had left at this point in my life was suddenly gone!

A dog bite made me realize a few things:
1. Your hands are extremely important.
2. The slightest injury to your hand can make your life very challenging.
3. Life is very short.
4. There are unconventional markets for myself that I never could have imagined being in and contributing to.
5. There is no room for doubt.
6. There is no room for fear.
7. Just go for it no matter what!
8. If I am going to do something-I might as well go big!

I am certainly not expecting to his book to be on the best sellers list but I do hope if anything it sheds some light on Illustration and helps those who want to pursue this as a career. Being that I quite humble I tried to write it in the most down to earth way possible!