If you know much about me, then you know about a little project I started a while back, called "The Visual Storytellers Studio"@www.TheVSS.org. It was born out of my frustration over the high cost of online promotions for children's book illustrators. I wanted to create an ever-changing (never stagnant and boring) forum in which my fellow colleagues could display their work, free of charge.
My vision of The VSS was a child, parent and teacher friendly website, that was the equivalent of a walk through a fine illustration gallery. I didn't want any distractions for visitors, like annoying elevator music or pesky pop-up advertisements. I hoped to create a pleasant environment, one that visitors would want to return to, bringing their friends along. Ultimately, I hoped that industry leaders would do the same and discover our "secret" treasure trove of talent.
Along came Jill Bergman, my illustration critique group moderator. She loved the idea, and helped me in putting together The VSS. We stocked it with talented artists and began promoting it. The first few months, it moved along at a break-neck pace. Wonderful illustrators clambered to come on board, and we welcomed them with open arms. Everybody posted regularly, and the excitement began to grow.
Our list of "followers"started to expand, so Jill designed the first VSS promotional post cards. They were really impressive! We were The Little Engine that Could for quite some time, but then we began to run out of steam.
During 2010, The VSS quietly chugged along, holding it's own among the many clone sites that have popped up all over the internet. We have maintained our followers by giving them a steady diet of interesting illustrator and artist interviews and most importantly, incredible new illustrations to view daily.
However, in this ever-changing industry we've come to realize that it's not enough!
I'm happy to announce that this week, Jill launched a new Facebook page for The VSS @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Visual-Storytellers-Studio/185847514782380?v=wall .
It's a wonderful, interactive site for all our friends who create illustrations for children's literature, and it's also for those who write stories for us to illustrate!
For all you Twitter fans, you can send us a "tweet" on our VSSchat Twitter page; http://twitter.com/#!/VSSchat