EXPLORING HOW SHARING PERSONAL WORK CAN LEAD TO NEW CLIENTS AND PROJECTS WITH ILLUSTRATOR AIMÉE SICURO.
By Paulette Bogan
“The book is done, and it was a dream come true,” said illustrator and author, Aimée Sicuro. “I never really expected these little collages to turn into a project. It was just something that I really loved doing.”
Aimée Sicuro’s newest book, her debut author illustrated title, comes out in July 2022. IF YOU FIND a Leaf is a project that grew out of her personal work that she began posting on Instagram.
Sicuro grew up in Ohio, raised by a single mom. Her mother was a teacher and believed that books were the best form of entertainment! Sicuro attended Columbus College of Art and Design and majored in illustration. She went on to have a few jobs in the art world, including designing cards for American Greetings, painting murals, working as a project manager and packaging illustrator at a design firm, and developing and selling patterns. After her first child, she found her way to illustrating children’s books!
Sicuro gave us all some great tips and took us through some of the pros and cons of posting your work on social media. One of the first groups she joined online was inktober.
“Some people are purists about these projects. But I really do think anything goes,” she said. “I started posting these little collages in 2014 with leaves. I would find a leaf on my walks with my kids, and I would pick it up, and I would go home and just do these little drawings, that would take me, maybe an hour to an hour and a half, sometimes longer, and I would post them. I had so much fun making these, and they brought me so much joy.”
“An art director saw these drawings online and contacted me. She told me that she thought these little drawings could become a book. It was a dream to have a personal project become something more.”
JOIN AN ONLINE GROUP PROJECT
Sicuro feels it’s important to use social media posting as an online sketchbook, a place to make room for new ideas and to experiment.
FIND AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
“Illustration and bookmaking can be really isolating,” said Sicuro. “I find it really gratifying to find other people who are doing the same thing that you are and trying to figure it out together.”
BATTLING THE INNER CRITIC
“We all have that inner critic. Trying to let it go will help you explore more interesting ideas and share your personal projects,” said Sicuro.
What are the benefits?
Is this helping me grow?
How is it making me feel?
Sicuro talked about experimenting with new ideas and mediums, and most importantly, having fun! Don’t fall into the comparison trap. “I think the biggest thing I’ve learned, especially in the last few years, is that you can’t base the work on who likes it.”
Sicuro left us with this thought. “Personal projects should bring joy, not cause additional stress.”
Aimée Sicuro’s beautiful, lyrical illustrations can be seen on Instagram: @aimeesicuro
Paulette Bogan is the author and or illustrator of over a dozen books for young readers, including Bossy Flossy, Virgil & Owen, and Virgil & Owen Stick Together. Her book, Lulu the Big Little Chick, was awarded the CBC Children’s Choice Book Award 2010. See her work at www.paulettebogan.com and Instagram: paulettebogan123