You Can Draw Specifications

Tips for You Can Draw Submissions

Hello Friends,

We are glad for the many “You Can Draw” drawings we receive each month, and glad you can e-mail them to us.  Especially for readers in foreign countries, this provision makes it easier to meet deadlines.  However, some have questions concerning how to e-mail submissions, and we do not have the staff to provide technical support on a case-by-case basis.  This letter is intended to address common questions.  If you need technical help beyond this, please ask someone in your community to guide you.  Additionally, please note that we do not review e-mailed art as it comes in.  Rather we collect them in a folder and review them at the time we make selections for publication.  If changes are needed to your e-mailed submission, and this letter arrives too late to make those changes before the deadline, don’t give up.  Just apply these rules to future submissions.  We appreciate each submission we get whether-or-not it is among those that are randomly chosen for publication.  The more drawings you submit, the more opportunity there is to be selected.  Happy drawing!

Summary of Steps

  • Scan art at 300 dpi (or ppi) (dots per inch or pixels per inch)
  • Helpful if name, age, city and state are on paper beside drawing, but not required.
  • YCD drawings should be 3 inches or larger
  • Save file as high resolution jpeg (10 or 12 setting)
  • Name file with three things (minimal) or five things (preferred):
    • Subject drawn, Child’s Name, age.jpg (Deer, John Smith, 12.jpg) or
    • Add also the city and state, (Deer, John Smith, 12, Dayton, VA.jpg)
  • E-mail to youcandraw at naturefriendmagazine dot com.
  • Subject line should read, “Deer, John Smith, 12, Dayton, VA”
  • Scanned file should be included as an attachment, not imbedded in text.
  • Send only one topic in an e-mail.  If you have two topics, use two e-mails.
  • You may send several children’s drawings in one e-mail provided all drawings are on same topic.
  • Text of e-mail should have full name and address information.

Expanded Information

Scanning the art

Sometimes we hear questions about file size.  While we say 300 dots per inch (dpi) and 3 inches across, the file can be 600 dpi and 1.5 inches across.  Both give a file size of 2+ megs.  Another example of a file the same size is 72 dpi and 12.5 inches across. 

Another way to know your file meets the minimum requirement is if the file is 2.5 megabytes or larger before you save as a jpeg.  When your file is this size, it doesn’t matter if it is low dpi and high measurements, or low measurements and high dpi. 

Note:  Saving the file as a jpeg will compress it, therefore the file size will become considerably smaller than 2.5 megs.  This is okay.

Cropping the art

Art should be nearly size of the 3 inch file, not small element within a 3 inch file.  Remember, files can be larger than 3 inches.  If so, margins may be wider.  Remember, though, that the larger the file the more challenging to e-mail if you have a slow internet connection.

Good example

Good example

Poor example

Attaching the file

To attach a file using Microsoft Outlook, a paper clip icon may be clicked to open a browser. Find the file you wish to send, select it, then click “insert.”

Another way to attach a file is to first find it in a browser window.  Right click on the file name and choose “copy.”  Next open a new e-mail and in the body of it right-click and choose “paste.”

Other e-mail programs should have a similar process for attaching photos.

Extra credit pointers

  • For best results, child’s paper should be clean and free of wrinkles.
  • If scanning a paper that was folded or wrinkly, experiment with angle the paper is scanned.  The light in the scanner may make a shadow at a fold one way, but almost disappear when the paper is turned 90 degrees.
  • Strive for a balanced exposure–not so light that soft lines are lost, but not so dark that heavy lines get muddy.

If this paper does not cover a need you have and that you feel should be addressed on here, you may let us know.  We look forward to seeing your work.

P. S.  Photographs and paintings submitted for full page, front/back cover consideration must be much larger than the sizes noted above.  Make them 8.5 x 11 at 300 dpi.  Save as a jpeg on the 10 setting.  If this file is too large for you to e-mail, please save to CD and mail to us.