independent research, Uncategorized

Advice on Getting Illustration Work

My notes are taken from Will Terry’s video here.

  • It’s rare for art directors to actually see you in person – generally they have less time than ever now. Occasionally there’s policies to leave samples or portfolios with them but unless you live in the same city there’s not much point as there’s other things you can do to get a better ratio of time to success
  • Art directors are always looking for new work – postcards are actually quite big
  • https://svslearn.com/   – careers advice for illustration and so on (requires a paid subscription though)
  • Advices against portfolio sites. Sees them as a ‘deadzone’ and only got 1 opportunity after a year that costed around $300. They tend to be avoided by art directors because they’re no where near as constantly updated as sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Not target rich environments
  • Art directors are afraid of artists. They’ll find an artist they think is perfect for the job but they’ll worry you won’t deliver – the quality might not be up to your portfolio, you might not stick to the brief, you might be resistant to changing your ideas
  • Often your work will be pitched but you’ll never find out
  • Your job is to make them comfortable with your portfolio
  • You need to start from lower level projects if you’ve just graduated – otherwise art directors aren’t going to stake their reputation on suggesting you as a potential illustrator
  • Sometimes working for free or for a low amount means that you’re being taken advantage of but it also could lead to more opportunities. Sometimes you might be able to say that if you’re working for such a low amount or free you can add terms like you get to make the final decisions for that project. The person who says they’re never being taken advantage of is often the person that never does anything at all
  • Make projects not just portfolios. If you spend your time creating a project you might pay for it, Kickstart it, sell it somehow that makes it out there and more exposed than just an online portfolio. So it generates more leads, contacts and opportunities that you wouldn’t normally get with a portfolio
  • The longer you are out there making art, the more opportunities you will stumble across and the more contacts you will make
  • You have to learn by doing and learn by failing
  • Some people keep a spreadsheet of their mailing list – with every person they meet at a show and show on. When they’re put in the database they’ll be coded and details like what they’re interested in will be put in. So if they make a painting and find contact who’s interested in that kind of painting they can contact them
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