Q: "Sketch Card Mania" is a FANTASTIC read and has so much practical advice for entry-level artists that are serious about breaking into the sketch card business. What inspired you and Randy to compile so much valuable information for us beginner artists?
The more I started doing sketch cards, the more emails I started receiving from artists asking me questions. Randy had been getting the same questions, over the years. Then I started receiving questions for Randy as well! At first I tried to write each person back that took the time to write me. It got to a point where I was receiving hundreds of emails every day & I couldn’t find the time to answer every one! I noticed that these artists had the same questions I did when I was starting out as an illustrator. There were no guidelines posted anywhere, and many people do not like to share information!
Over the years, I’ve been invited to do panels on the topics of Promotion and Sketch Cards. After the panels I would get asked the same questions. I was very happy to offer my advice and share information! I quickly discovered that there was a demand for the knowledge I had to offer. I work with & endorse companies like “Daisy Rock Guitars”, “Audix” Microphones, Sakura” and “HK Holbein USA” to name a few. I’ve worked with many companies and artists for over 20 years (including Randy), showing them how to market & promote themselves. One day I was bombarded with more questions, I walsed into Randy’s studio and asked him if anyone had ever written a book about sketch cards. When he said no, I pitched him my idea for the book, he pitched it to the publisher & the result is our book “Sketch Card Mania”.
Q: What was your favorite part of creating the book?
I love so many things about creating this book! It was a crazy, wonderful rollercoaster ride for two years! Working with Randy Martinez was truly a wonderful experience! Through all of the challenges, we stay focused on what our goal was and did it….we wrote a great book! I truly love sharing information in a positive light! I love to inspire. I love showing others how to DO IT YOURSELF while BEING THEIR UNIQUE SELF! I love being able to include fellow artists by featuring their art & photography! I love that our book is the platform for the art directors of sketch card companies to express their personal views on how they find their artists and what is expected of them! I love sharing information that is accessible to everyone at any time! My favorite part of creating the book was being able to share my knowledge on the topic of “The Art Of Self Promotion”! This part of the book was really important to me, and it was all me! I found a way to fit my knowledge into the book! I wrote, wrote, and rewrote to make it fit! So many artists have a hard time promoting themselves! I know some pretty amazing artists, who people have never heard of! The book gave me an opportunity to help people understand “The Art Of Self Promotion”! Whenever I do panels on Promotion, I have students approach me and invite me to talk about promotion at their schools. So many artists have approached me thanking me because their schools didn’t have any course that taught them what I did. In the end, I love watching people who embrace what I share with them & use it to their benefit! It is truly a gift to see!
Q: Where can people interested in "Sketch Card Mania" get their hands on it?
If you’d like an autographed copy of the book with a personal sketch from Randy & I in the book, go to Randy’s website to see our special offer. “Sketch Card Mania” is also available on Amazon.com and at your local bookstore. If they ran out of copies at your local bookstore, you can ask them to order more!
Q: Do you have any other advice for artists specifically looking to break into the Star Wars arena?
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Be your unique self! Stay true to you in everything you do! Keep drawing! Write down your goals. Know what you want! Stay focused on what your goal is! Do your homework! ALWAYS BE PREPARED! Carry business cards with you everywhere you go! Find ways to show your creativity in everything you do & share! Get a portfolio together featuring your best work. If you’re looking for work in Star Wars, then show how you draw Star Wars. Learn about your industry! Know who’s who! Learn names. Be determined & persistent, but not overly aggressive! Go to Star Wars events & conventions. Don’t be afraid to talk to people & let them know who you are and what you want to do! Stay positive! Be nice to everyone you meet, you never know who you’re talking to! Always be professional! Stay away from negative people or negative conversations, those energy vampires can suck you dry! Never listen to those that try to bring you down! YOU CAN! Dare to dream & LIVE IT......AND most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP!
Q: What's next for super-star artist Denise Vasquez?
Where should I start! LOL! I’m currently juggling a lot of amazing art & writing projects right now! Randy just reminded me that I’ve done four gallery shows in the last three months! Crazy cool! Right now My GLOW IN THE DARK Star Wars Dia De Los Muertos Vader Helmet is being showcased at “Petra Gallerie” where it is available to purchase 310-247-0252 I’m working on a NEW Darth Vader Helmet for a contest I’ve been selected to participate in for a couple of great causes! I can’t tell you what I’m making right now because there are 24 other artists participating & I want my idea to be a surprise! Be sure to follow me on Twitter where I’ll be posting sneak peek photos! I’m collaborating with Randy Martinez on a piece for SHEVACON in Feb 2012… I’ve been having fun creating custom vinyl toys for “Bean Pot Toiz”…. As soon as we finished writing “Sketch Card Mania”, I started writing two books: one is on the How To Art side, and the other book I’m writing is more on the spiritual side… Topps Trading Cards invited me to be a party of Star Wars Galaxy 7 so I’m waiting for my sketch cards to arrive. More projects in the works so be sure to check out my websites:
Awesome stuff! A thousand thanks to Denise for taking the time out of her busy schedule to provide us with so much great information. I hope you guys reading will take advantage of her and Randy's advice and follow in their examples like I'll be striving to do myself!