Monday, 5 March 2012
Employment as an illustrator is a funny business. When new friends ask what I do, the answer is often met with the response, so what is that then? I suppose this is a great conversation starter, however sometimes it might be less frustrating to simply answer with ‘I’m a postman’, less confusing! Having said that, I was asked a few weeks ago what my ideal job would be, and after a moments thought I could only answer with, an Illustrator, an enlightening and reassuring moment.
It is easy to use a blog simply as a notice board, and I am certainly guilty of this. However then I started this enterprise I wanted to use this space to show you what happened day to day and behind the scenes in a creative industry. This should demonstrate my inspirations, discoveries, exhibitions seen and places visited, as well as work in progress, what happens between the point a brief is commissioned, and the time it goes to print. Every project is of course different though, so this should actually be a very busy space.
The role of an illustrator is a freelance career, therefore by nature the job description changes and morphs from month to month. There is also much more to the role than drawing, unfortunately perhaps! In any week I spend hours undertaking admin, planning workshops (and yes maintaining an online presence.) Students often ask how they will ever get any work when they leave the safety of university, it would be nice to direct them to a website full of invitations to put their skills into practice. In reality there is no formula, however there are actions an illustrator must take to draw in clients, and ultimately work.
I used to love designing and making mailers to send out to existing and new clients, showing new work and ideas, and inspiring them to employ me. The last year left me slightly discouraged, despite the opportunity to work on some really interesting commissions. In a new year though I have picked myself up, and this week I am striving to rediscover that love sending out work to designers and agencies. The result is a small selection of portfolio pieces printed and packaged up intriguingly winging their way through the good old Royal Mail, a small sample at first, but a bigger mail out is quickly forming in my head as I type. It shows off my loves of packaging, paper, inky lines, lettering and printmaking. I hope it brings a smile to the recipient when it lands on their desk this week.
If you are a commissioner of illustration and would like to request a portfolio please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a ring on 077 969 20533.