Manuela Pentangelo is an Illustrator from Province of Carbonia-Iglesias, Sardinia, Italy.
- Hi Manuela, tell me who you are and what do you do as a freelancer?
Ciao, I’m a freelance illustrator of picture book for kids (especcially 8/10 years old).
- How long have you been working as a freelancer now?
Is around mmm…17 years, wow that much.
- Why did you decide to become a freelancer? Did you think about it for a long time or did your decision come suddenly?
Mmm I was doing the web designer, yet I always wanted to draw, but draw for kids, well my dream was working in Disney. Now I like way much more working for books, I can bring to life so many characters and stories.
- What is your competitive advantage, which makes your clients hire you?
I work digitally but with a non digital look. Last year, I got my first monitor where I can draw on with the pen, so I draw on it as it was on paper, with the benefit of digital, I can have backgrounds, characters, all separate, so if for necessity of the story or in case of animations or ebooks (I’m working on a KindleFire book with John Arthur Nichol, that needs this kind of tecnology) everything can be moved or changed with not so much fuss.
- Who are your competitors? What do they have that you don’t?
My competitors, well ahhahahah everyone in the same business and nobody, I think that is a job for everyone, a mistreated job, but I love this job.
- Are there a lot of freelancers in your business?
- What do your clients expect from you?
Consistency, emotions created from what I draw bringing life to their characters, and professionality.
- Who are your typical clients?
Authors of Picture books. I tend to work with authors for different books, becuase I like the project, know the characters always more and the author who I work with.
- How has your business changed over time?
Oh wow so much, tecnology and internet, made it change so much in so many part, maybe the list changed is the passion that needs to bring out a book.
- How did you gain your first customers?
We were on SCBWI talking and I’m gracefull for it, we worked togheter for so many books.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
I tend to spread my name all over, then somehow authors finds me and I’m happy about it.
- The best marketing move, you’ve done?
Mmm not sure I’ve never made a marketing move, that can be called like that. Maybe I should do it.
- The biggest marketing challenge that you deal with?
- Do you hire outsourcing service providers for services, which you believe are a waste of your time?
I wish I could, yet is difficult to define waste of time. I wish I could outsource some stuff I’m ot realy good at and that I need.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working?
My days start with coffee and email check or whatever platform I’m using at the moment to talk with authors. When I’m not working on books, I’m running a small B&B in Sant’antioco Sardinia, so I make breakfast, chat with guest. I live on a splendid Island in Italy.
- Which books would you recommend to freelancers?
At the moment I don’t have a specific book, I ran always through the internet when I need to search for something, and I’m following Schoolism.com for study.
- What is your current inspiration that drives you in the business?
Be always better than I was.
- What would you do differently if you would start again?
Times are changed, so if I had the possibility to start again it was with what is now, so impossible to say. Maybe study more.
- What would you advise someone who has an idea, but no money?
Now that internet is so easy to access, build a showcase around your idea, there are many ways, and let people know you believe in what you do, there is someone out there that maybe will see you and help in a way or another.
- What was the best business advice you received?
Don’t work for free.
- Do you have an online resource which you use regularly? Which one?
I study on schoolism.com search for everything that stimulate my head in instagram or pinterest.
- What do you often dream about when you’re not working?
I love to create things and drawing so mmm I’m already in my dream, I live in a special place with a man I love so much. So mmm sometimes I dream I wish I could have more hours in a day 😀
- The place where you find your peace?
Watching the sky from whereever.
- Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
Whatsapp, Instagram, LordsMobile.
- What do you do in your free time?
Mmm Freetime hahahah nice
- Your last vacation?
- Business plans for the future?
Make my work more visible.
- Your plans for the future?
Finish the new B&B, Make funny books, Laugh a lot.