PK 197: Breaking into Book Covers with Lauren Panepinto

PK 197: Breaking into Book Covers with Lauren Panepinto 2 197 Lauren Panepinto 1920x1080 1

Lauren Panepinto is the Vice President & Creative Director at Orbit Books at Hachette Book Group, and in this episode, we'll deep dive into what it takes to break into the world of book illustration, and as you'll learn it's not always about being 'the best artist' in the room.


There's so much info jam-packed into this that if you're looking to get into book covers I suggest that you take notes throughout the entire interview because this is your blueprint.


00:38 - What does really 'getting out there' look like for a book cover art director

01:49 - How Lauren approaches portfolio reviews to help artists get clarity on what their next steps could look like

03:44 - Info on the cheat sheet guides that Lauren helped put together to instruct artists on their next steps

05:11 - How did you get into the world of art directing, and what does a book cover art director do?

11:27 - What does an art director look for in a portfolio that artists might not be thinking about?

15:55 - How to start building a portfolio specifically for book covers (and why including type in your work often makes it look worse)

22:14 - What catches Lauren's eye when she's looking at a portfolio so you can stand out?

26:38 - Which books do you recommend to get a good sense of the best work that you can use to research and inform your own style?

29:20 - Why subject matter knowledge is more important than technical skills as an artist

31:35 - How to make life easier for the art director (and increase your chances of getting hired over and over again)

38:41 - Advice for the first phase of your career in book covers, before you land your first job

40:43 - How much of a difference is it when you meet someone who could hire you in person vs just emailing someone quarterly updates

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Marc Scheff -
Artistacon -
Drawn and Drafted -
Art Business Bootcamp PDFs (Lauren & Marc's artist cheat sheets) -
Make Your Art Work -
Orbit Books -
Jon Schindehette -
Richard Anderson -
Donato Giancola -

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