Lauren Panepinto, by Venn Diagram

Why do you have an FAQ section?

I'm so happy you asked! It's for you, dear reader! Although you may have just happened upon this site without any ulterior motives or needs and just want to look around (bless you), the fact of the matter is, most people who come looking for me want something. And that's fine, we all want things. These questions are for you to figure out if you're barking up the right tree. If you get thru these FAQs and you still have a question I haven't answered, then find me on the social media channel of your choice (see the bottom of the page) and feel free to go ahead and ask me. I assure you my response time will be much quicker than via overstuffed email inbox.

Will you design a ( bookcover / invite / logo ) for me?

I'm going to be honest, the answer is probably going to be no. Unless you are already a friend, in which case you should just be texting me, or pitching me over a cocktail next time we go out for dinner. My work at Orbit Books and my educational side projects keep me pretty overbooked. I generally do freelance work for friends, and only for fun and barter.  I have worked for leggings, for whisky, and for eternal thanks, but I rarely do freelance for money. However, if you have a very cool project and you really do think I am going to want to get involved, then send me an email at Lauren[at]LaurenPanepinto[dot]com with your elevator pitch, a ballpark budget, and a rough deadline, and I'll consider it.

Can you help me find an artist for my project?

Art Directors get so many of these requests, and we know so many great artists that would love to take on your project, that we started the project wing of Drawn + Drafted to help. Go check out the site, and then email drawnanddrafted[at]gmail[dot]com with a short description of who you are, what you need, what your budget is, and what your deadline is, and we will help point you in the right direction. If you have a large project you need help figuring out the logistics, we can also connect you with freelance art directors and print brokers.

Can you speak at my ( school / convention / event / book club ) ?

Maybe! The travel calendar is tight every year, so chances are better if you are in the day-trip-from-NYC area, or if the event you want me to come to is one I might already want to attend for professional reasons, and if you can cover cover travel expenses. That said, I love to travel to places I haven't been yet so it's always worth a shot. Email me at Lauren[at]LaurenPanepinto[dot]com and I'll let you know.

Will you be on the jury for my ( award / annual / art show / bake-off ) ?

Probably yes for art-related things, automatic yes for pie contests. Email me at Lauren[at]LaurenPanepinto[dot]com.

How do I become an Art Director just like you?

Dye your hair green, wear lots of silly leggings, and memorize 500+ fonts by sight. Lol. Sorry Couldn't help myself. Depending on the field of art you want to go into, there's a different path to becoming an Art Director.  In book and magazine publishing, you have to be a Designer before you are promoted to Art Director. In animation and concept art for films and video games, most often you become an Art Director by being such a good artist that you start leading teams of other artists, and become an Art Director that way. In advertising and fashion the term "Art Director" is a bit different and you can go to school specifically for those roles.  For now, you should be reading Dear Art Director, which is written by a group of Art Directors in different fields and is packed with advice from the AD side of things. Once you figure out what field you want to go into, then find people who are already Art Directors in that field, follow them on social media, and try to meet them at networking events and conventions. They'll give you advice more specific to their industry.

art by serena malyon

art by martin gee

art by sam guay

My teacher gave me an assignment to interview a pro, can I ask you some questions for my assignment?

No, I'm sorry. All professionals get flooded with these requests every semester, and we can't answer them one by one. I suggest you read this article on Muddy Colors about this issue, and then come back and read the rest of the FAQ and the interviews and podcasts on the Press Page. I bet any answers you could want are there. Also send your teacher that Muddy Colors link and tell them I said this assignment is the absolute worst.

Can you give me a portfolio review?

As much as I wish I could review every artist that wants feedback, unfortunately I have to pick and choose the times and places I can be available to do so, or else I would never get any book covers done! I review as many portfolios as I can at every convention I attend, whether there are official review slots or not. Just find me and say hi (not in the bathroom, tho, ok?) I know not everyone can attend conventions, so the ADs at Drawn + Drafted try to figure out all kinds of ways to open online channels for reviews and for artists to workshop their art. Make sure you get on the Drawn + Drafted mailing list, and follow us on twitter. We will always mention any events and review opportunities there.

How do I have my work considered for an Orbit book cover?

Send a short email with your name and website, with 1 or 2 low resolution jpegs attached, to Lauren[dot]Panepinto[at]hbgusa[dot]com. If we've met in person at an event, make sure to mention it, because that helps jog my memory. You probably won't hear back from me because I get so many emails like this, but keep sending update emails 3-4 times a year with your new work attached, and trust me, I'm watching. When I have a cover that fits your style, I'll be in touch.

Lauren can be found via

For more specific communication, please refer to the FAQ page.