I am extremely lucky to do what I do every day.
That being said, becoming an illustrator is not a big game of chance. I’m a firm believer that success as a working artist is just a splash of luck, a little bit of talent, and a lot of hard work and persistence.
“Making it” is a matter of PRACTICE and TIME. Lots of people say that the odds are slim you can make a living as an artist, but that’s only because most people are lacking one of those two elements. Do both, and your odds go up greatly. Granted, some people might have to practice harder, and others may need more time, but I believe most people can do it if they have enough drive.
Artists go through different stages. How you succeed depends on how you move from one stage to the next.
Thoughts from NESCBWI 2010
Last week at the New England SCBWI conference, I taught a workshop called 10 Ways Artists Can Improve Their Online Presence. During the class, I talked about various ways and methods that I have used to market myself on the internet. As some of you might know, I have a blog, a Twitter account, a Ustream show, and a smattering of other online profiles in various places across the web. They have all helped me network with industry people, improve my artwork, learn about the business, and sell stuff.
In my workshop, I did my best to share some of the lessons I have learned along the way. These are some of the more important points I brought up during the conference:
Do any of these statements apply to you?
- I have trouble keeping my portfolio up-to-date.
- I never have new artwork to show.
- I’m behind in my postcard mailings.
- I can’t paint/draw as well as I’d like.
- I often get stuck in a rut and don’t know what to paint.
- I haven’t created any good paintings lately.
- Most of my sketchbooks are only half-full.
- My blog hasn’t had a new post in weeks.
- I am having trouble coming up with ideas and staying creative.
- My work has stopped evolving/improving.
Well, here is your solution…
Great artists educate you, influence your style, and inspire great artwork by setting a high standard. But how familiar are you really with illustration history? I asked myself this the other day and was ashamed to realize that my knowledge was a bit fuzzy.
So, I started to research some of the great artists that influence illustrators today. This list is the result. If you are a student, practitioner, or fan of illustration, I truly believe you should know all these artists by name and their work.
I am certain I’ve left out plenty of great artists that deserve to be on this list. If you know of any artist or link that I failed to include, please leave a comment on this post. Now…click away!
As I noted earlier, Dan over at EmptyEasel.com just put together a collection of his favorite blogs for 2008, and he is also encouraging bloggers to put together a list of their own. I’m happy to oblige.
If you were wondering how to draw a roomful of elves…it’s your lucky day.
In September 2006, my first picture book, Elfis, was published. Here is a behind-the-scenes look behind one of the illustrations.
How to get your first illustration job.
I was doing a little browsing in YouTube and found these videos. I thought I would share them with all of you, since I don’t have another post ready just yet. So, to keep your creative mind fed, here’s some inking tips to inspire you. Also check out my recent Ink and Paint video.
This is a collection of my favorite art tutorials, resources, and advice that I have found around the web…with a little bit of silliness thrown in.
Some of these links have been around awhile, and some of them are pretty new, but they are all enlightening nonetheless. I’ve tried to target specific pages or sections, as opposed to entire websites, so each will bring you straight to some source of learning, inspiration, or fun. Enjoy, and click away!
Don’t know what to do with your extra time? There are plenty of odd jobs and tasks that an illustrator can do in between assignments. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a long list of projects, ideas, and necessary chores to help make your free time more productive.