On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about illustration and self-publishing with my guest, Jenean Morrison.
Jenean Morrison is a surface and textile designer, painter, and the artist and publisher behind a popular series of self-published coloring books for adults, first published in 2012. Her coloring books have been published by traditional publishers in Japan, Italy, France, Brazil, and Turkey, and there are currently more than 1,000,000 of her books in print on newsstands across North America.
Jenean’s artwork has been licensed for use on rugs, stationery and scrapbook kits, and her paintings are currently on display in three Las Vegas hotels. She designed fabric for Free Spirit for many years. Jenean’s bright and colorful studio is located in the Cooper Young historic district in Memphis, Tennessee.
We talk about Jenean’s winding path to becoming an artist and how working at a restaurant led her to go back to school to study graphic design. Jenean worked with an agent for many years to sell her artwork to companies and she shares the valuable lessons she learned by working with a pro, especially when it comes to pitching.
iPad artwork by Jenean Morrison.
In 2012, right before the adult coloring book craze took off, Jenean self-published a coloring book using Amazon’s CreateSpace. She went on to publish many more coloring books and found wild success in the market, selling over 91,000 copies and earning more than a half-million dollars. We talk about that success including how Jenean marketed her coloring books by posting about them on social media and by pitching to the media to get press coverage. Jenean also talks about how she deals with negative Amazon reviews.
Jenean’s booth at Surtex this year.
In our conversation, we refer to:
- that time Jenean won The Weakest Link game show
- Adobe Sketch, Adobe Draw, and Adobe Capture
- Memphis College of Art
And, of course, I ask Jenean to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Jenean recommends:
Today’s episode is sponsored by The Merriweather Council’s Etsy Training Course – a video training series that teaches Etsy sellers the exact steps to a more visible, profitable and enjoyable Etsy experience. For more information visit merriweathercouncil.com
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