I’ve been looking at some really good Illustrator Tutorials and spending the last little while improving my working knowledge of creating vector drawings.
Here are a couple I’ve read recently;
Well back to practicing, I really want to improve the way I create my critters.
A couple months ago I signed up for a really neat project with arthouse. It’s a really fun idea and I love that it will be available for anyone to look through. The Sketchbook Project would take my sketchbook and hundreds of others on tour across the US as an art show, then have them entered in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library.
Hey everyone, I’ve been working on it for months with a lot of frustration and heartache and it’s finally done: My Portfolio website!
It features all the best images I’ve been working on over the past couple years organized into the different medium categories. So pop over and check it out.
When I was first toying with the idea of making my own portfolio site I thought the process would be fairly strait forward. I learned the basics of html and built myself something ugly and complicated, it didn’t last long and luckily not many people saw it. Some time went by and eventually I discovered wordpress, and as far as my blog goes it has been fairly successful. Having this as my portfolio was not acceptable it is messy and has just about everything that pops into my head on it, not the best impression for publishers.
So I went about creating a site separate from my blog, it would be the professional face that I would show to publishers, art directors, or anyone else that wanted to see the best of my illustration. I first tried to built a site with wordpress.org with the help of my computer savvy friend Matt at Journeymen IT , he helped me with the initial setup and showed me all the basics. I searched for themes I could customize to meet my needs, but I was never very happy with the results.
It was nearly a month of tweaking when I stumbled on a program I had on my computer, this is my first mac so I’m learning new things about it all the time. I found iweb and fell in love with how quickly and easily it was for me to put together my site just the way I wanted it. I don’t know how good the coding is for it, but it looks great!
So I’ve spent this week working on it and I hope to have it launch next week, I’m very excited and I hope it works out as well as I’ve planned.
I’ve been working on my promotional strategy, and looking up the resources I will need so that I can successfully promote myself to publishers. The book I got a while ago ‘Breaking into Freelance Illustration the guide for artists, designers and illustrators‘ has been very helpful. As well as http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/, there are great resources for illustrators who are just starting out, but it also invites you to interact with the rest of the community. The ability to ask people in my position what they did and how they got to where they are has been invaluable to me.
One book that they recommend for building your mailing list is 2010 Children’s Writer and Illustrators Market, there are publishers lists as well as details about the submissions guidelines and agent contacts as well. I was wondering how people got the contact information for publishers and art directors specifically until I found the book.
I ordered some books online last Friday and I was happy to find yesterday that they had arrived. I’ve decided that school no longer works for me, I’ve spent my 4+ years and way too much money on a questionable education. Becoming a freelance illustrator is complicated and personal and each illustrator that I’ve spoken to or read about has a different path that they have taken. So right now doing the research on my own and having books and the internet as a reference seems like the right way to go.
I’ve been having a lot of feedback on my work recently and although some of it was constructive, all of it has helped me in a positive way. I’m feeling more encouraged and confident with my abilities, for the fist time in a long while I really feel like I can be successful as an illustrator.
The books I just got are, Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulvitz, The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidlines, and Breaking into Freelance Illustration the guide for artists, designers and illustrators by Holly DeWolf.
The last one I’ve found the most inspiring it is a practical guide to the business side of being a freelance illustrator. It talks about the realities of working from home, promoting your work online, managing your time effectively and so much more. This is what I was looking for, someone who has been in the industry and knows what it is like, and is willing to share that information.
Oh and I’ve been working my butt off finishing off the last few pieces for my portfolio, creating postcards and samples to mail out to publishers and building my portfolio site. I’m a little busy, and I’d love to be able to leave my job at the coffee shop but unless I get ‘discovered’ tomorrow I’m just going to keep on balancing it all.