Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Magnificent, Marvelous and Methodical Maple Lam and a Prize!

Maple Lam has both moody styles and fun styles in her portfolio, but no matter the coloring her work is all fun! Mapel has received several awards for her work. It's really no surprise she's won these awards, her work is so cute and beautiful. Maple Lam is here today to show her process on making promotional postcards. This will help those of you who are now thinking about creating final images to go along with your dummy artwork (this is not required for finishing Smart Dummies).

Be sure to check the bottom of this post to see how you can win this book!


My Promotional Postcard Process

By Maple Lam

I like to think of postcard promo as a Kodak moment: What is the story? What is happening? How can I construct that moment in an interesting composition within the postcard size constraint?

First, I search for an ideal Kodak moment through doodles.

My thumbnails are tiny and at times illegible to others, but the composition slowly takes shape. Once I land on something, I use it as a base for the draft.

The draft help me refine the composition. Here, I added a gated archway in the composition to break the forced perspective wall and to highlight the fox character at the bottom – a theatre trick I learned through Tomie dePaola's brilliant artwork.
I then redraw the piece on watercolor paper and start coloring my final artwork.

Sometimes I do additional color studies. For this piece, I dived straight into final with a pretty clear vision in my head how the color should look like. (Sometimes I screw up too when I do this without color studies, and I will have to start over by redrawing the piece on a new sheet of watercolor paper.)
Aaaaand here is the final artwork.

I hope you have fun constructing your postcard promos too!

Here are more wonderful blog posts on promo postcards:

• Art Director Giuseppe Castellano, on the importance of postcards:

• Author-illustrator Jen Betton, on Self-Promotion: &

Hope you enjoy reading my process


Maple Lam loves creating characters and constructing worlds around them. When she is not illustrating or writing children's book, she is either reading books in a local Los Angeles library, or playing badminton with good friends. You can check out more of Maple's work via her website at You can also find her on Twitter at @MapleLam and Instagram at @MapleLam.

Maple’s latest illustrated picture book, TWO GIRLS WANT A PUPPY, published by HarperCollins Children’s Book, is now available at all major booksellers!



Barnes and Nobles:



One lucky winner will receive a copy of "Two Girls and a Puppy" by Evie and Ryan Cordell and Illustrated by Maple Lam! You must complete your dummy in order to win.


  1. Gorgeous art. I now do small photocopies of my sketches - it makes doing color studies & value studies easier.
    Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for sharing your process - cute postcard! :)

  3. I love this post. Thanks for your sharing.

  4. Wow! That was neat! Thanks for sharing! E.