Archive for the ‘artists’ Category

7 Tips on Getting Your First Illustration Project

Amy Ng
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Amy Ng

Amy is a teacher, writer and a self-taught illustrator. Her blog Pikaland, is popular stop for illustration lovers, students and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity and commerce. Amy is also an adjunct lecturer at a local design college and has created online workshops for artists; teaching them how to use their unique strengths to create their very own opportunities. She believes that we each have a role to play and a story to tell –- and her personal mission is to help you discover what that is.
Amy Ng
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Illustration by Catherine LePage

I have a lot of students who are graduating sidle up and ask me – very sheepishly – about how they could get their first freelance clients. They were told to create a snazzy portfolio, and to create works that would fill said portfolio up, but they didn’t know what to do beyond compiling their best work and sending them off to prospective clients and employers. What happened was a lot of waiting, rejection and a fear of hopelessness that followed. 

In my experience, a lot of first-time commissions come from word of mouth. When I first got started, I made sure to put the word out there that I was freelancing, and that if anyone needed a hand they can give me a call (or contact me via email.) But besides that, I find that being proactive about finding freelance work goes a long way – especially when you realize that those connections might take 2-3 years to fully materialize. It’s what has happened in my situation, and for many others too.

So here are few things that you can do right now:

1. Tell as many people as you can about what you do.

Spread the word that you’re freelancing around, to family, friends, even the neighbours. You may find at first that this will land you some pretty weird jobs and questions – stuff like “can you teach my kid how to draw?” It’s totally up to you to take it on, or not. I always say that it’s no harm at all, especially when you have nothing better to do – so why not flex your creative muscles and do your best – even if it’s something that you whipped up for the neighbourhood kindergarten?

2. Get your portfolio on different websites

The thing with illustration and art is that it’s hard to be found visually. And what that means is that people don’t go to Google, type in a few strings of words that describe what you do, and then be able to see your artwork among other artists (well the famous ones do, but only because they’ve built up a really big following!) So the next best thing is to put your work up in front of people who are already looking. And that means in places where they go to look. Places like Behance and Dribble. On Instagram (with the appropriate hashtags – not one made up by you!)

The caveat is that it might take some time for others to notice you, especially with all the great work out there; but it pays to be persistent. There might be a few art directors and clients who might be checking you out on those websites, but the timing is not right just yet.

3. Don’t just hang out with your illustration buddies from college or uni – make an effort!

Spread your wings out a little and go to where you’ve never been before! There is more to you than just your ability to draw – what other stuff do you like doing? What’s your other hobbies? Do you love reading? Join a book club! Do you love cooking? Join a community cook-out! The more people you reach out to that’s outside of your normal comfort zones, the better your chances of making new connections, which will ultimately help spread your name far and wide.

4. Constantly add new work to your portfolio

Slapping on a couple of pictures from your school days or previous college assignment does not mean that your portfolio is complete! Unless your work back then was really good, or it showcased what you are capable of right now, I’d suggest to leave it out. First impressions mean a lot, and if what you’re putting out there can only illicit a “meh”, it’s time for you to think of self-initiated projects that you can add to your portfolio. That’s right – there is no client involved (unless it’s imaginary, in which case it’s totally fine), no cheque waiting for you at the other end, and no assurance that it will amount to anything – not just yet. Do your best, take pride in your work and pick up that pencil because you want to better yourself, not just because there’s someone on the other end counting on you to do so.

5. Send an email to your favorite blogger

Back in the day, I get a lot of emails from graduating students and illustrators who were just starting out. And if their work catches my eye, I post it up on the Pikaland blog (though I rarely do this anymore because better platforms exist for that these days – Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) What I found out was that other blogs were checking out my blog to get news on the latest talent, and they picked up these artists too and featured them in their blog and magazines, which then helped these emerging artists gain a lot more buzz. So it couldn’t help to try – especially if you can identify with the audience of the blogger, and it’s a place where your work wouldn’t look out of place. Here’s a tip: don’t just aim for the big blogs – go for smaller, niche blogs too!

6. Be super nice to everyone and anyone

You’d think that being nice to people was a natural instinct – but sadly it isn’t! I’ve met my fair share of nasty and rude folks, but they’re thankfully far and few in-between. What I’m talking about is going above minding your P’s (please) and Q’s (thank you). Be genuinely interested in other people – listening to them, asking them helpful questions, thanking them for their time, etc – if you think that these gestures are unnecessary in the days of 140 character tweets, think again. If anything, it only serves to show how attentive you are, especially when others aren’t doing it.

7. Do your research

Look at artists who are in the same stylistic vein as yourself- see if they have a client list and see what companies or publications they have worked with. If their client list if full of, say, family and children’s magazines, you may get the hint that those markets would appreciate your work, too. Or you may be surprised to find that they are doing well in a market you never considered, and that can lead you to discover a bunch of potential clients that were previously off your radar. (This great advice is from Lauren Lowen!)

And there you have it! These are the things that I’ve personally done to get my name out there – and they’re virtually painless. All it takes is a bit of effort in the beginning, but when you’ve got your ball rolling, you’ll be able to see results very soon.

Good luck folks!

Amy Ng blogs at Pikaland, a popular stop for illustration lovers, students and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity and commerce.

Posted by Amy Ng on 10/13/15 under artists,business,illustration
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Joy Laforme

Bryna Shields

Bryna Shields

Bryna is an illustrator at brynashields.com, surface designer and photographer. She also teaches yoga. Her work is a playful exploration of bright colors, mark-making, textures, wild lettering and lively patterns.
Bryna Shields

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Raspberry+PickinJoy Laforme is a textile artist and illustrator based out of New Jersey. Her work is heavily influenced by spending time in the garden with her mother, as well as her mother’s love for American folk art. This sentiment certainly shines through in her whimsical body of work. Each piece in her portfolio is warm with nostalgia and feels like walking through a lush wonderland of botanicals, fruits and birdsongs. Joy uses a combination of media including gouache, acrylics and digital illustration. She has worked for many clients including Macy’s, Galison, Artfully Walls, Oopsy Daisy and Target. 
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You can connect with Joy via Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.

Posted by Bryna Shields on 10/13/15 under artists
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Pick of the Week for INK and This Week’s Topic

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Happy Illustration Friday!

Please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Mickael “Patiño” Brana, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of PRIZE. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

STAR

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 10/09/15 under artists,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Steve Skroce

Andy Yates

Andy Yates

Andy is a freelance illustrator, and animator. He writes about comics at comicstavern.com. See his work at plumdill.tumblr.com.
Andy Yates

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I remember being really impressed by the shots in the original Matrix film back in 1999, but I had no idea, back then, that a little known Spider-Man artist first helped bring that movie to life with pencil & paper. Steve Skroce previously worked with Lana and Andy Wachowski on an obscure horror comic book called Clive Barker’s Ectokid, which was his first major work as a comic-book artist. Before his time as Matrix storyboard artist, Skroce worked on a number of high profile superhero comics, including Cable, Gambit, X-Man, and Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood with comics legend Alan Moore. 

Today, Steve Skroce is putting out some of his best artwork yet on the creator-owned series We Stand On Guard with superstar writer Brian K. Vaughan. The story takes place a 100 years in the future and follows a group of Canadian citizens(Skroce is Canadian) defending their country from an invasion by The United States of America. The 4th issue just hit the stands and it appears that the first volume will wrap up with issue 6.

Skroce has drawn many storyboards for movies, including many more with the Wachowski’s. Some of those films include The Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas. He also found time to make more comics, with a memorable 4 issue stint on Wolverine(2000) for Marvel and the independent series Doc Frankenstein(2004-present), which he co-created with artist Geof Darrow, for Burlyman.

Steve Skroce apparently doesn’t have much of a social media presence(he’s probably just too busy drawing!), so here’s a link to his wiki-page, if you want more information.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/08/15 under artists,black and white,comic,design,illustration,weekly topics
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Illustrator Submission :: Sarah McMenemy

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe is a freelance illustrator and designer who makes up one half of the collective, Buttercrumble. She is currently studying a degree in Graphic and Communication Design at The University of Leeds. When she is not drawing, she can be found baking or trawling vintage shops and loves all things quirky and sweet. Her work is inspired by mid-century design, folk art and anything cute.
Chloe Baldwin

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Post by Chloe

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Sarah McMenemy is an illustrator based in London who began by illustrating many of the beautiful houses in the city. Her portfolio now contains an abundance of painterly work depicting stunning architectural works around the world. Sarah McMenemy’s work has appeared in a range of magazines which have covered finance, beauty, architecture and home decor. If you would like to see more of Sarah McMenemy’s sophisticated colour palettes and characterful illustrations, please visit her portfolio.

Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 10/05/15 under artists
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Illustrator Submission :: Lea Taloc

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe is a freelance illustrator and designer who makes up one half of the collective, Buttercrumble. She is currently studying a degree in Graphic and Communication Design at The University of Leeds. When she is not drawing, she can be found baking or trawling vintage shops and loves all things quirky and sweet. Her work is inspired by mid-century design, folk art and anything cute.
Chloe Baldwin

Latest posts by Chloe Baldwin (see all)

Post by Chloe

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Lea Taloc has combined her passion for the kitchen and illustration to create beautiful works which often appear in food blogs and magazines. Through her art and graphic design techniques she is able to convey emotions and add visual embellishments to every day life. Lea Taloc’s work has a bright and airy feel to it which is refreshing and cheerful. 

If you would like to see more of Lea’s work, please visit her portfolio.

Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 10/03/15 under artists
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Pick of the Week for PRIZE and This Week’s New Topic

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Happy Illustration Friday!

Please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Kylie Millward , our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of PRIZE. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic, which participants of InkTober are going to love:

INK

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 10/02/15 under artists,call for entries,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: David Lafuente

Andy Yates

Andy Yates

Andy is a freelance illustrator, and animator. He writes about comics at comicstavern.com. See his work at plumdill.tumblr.com.
Andy Yates

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I love the character and attitude that artist David Lafuente puts into his comics pages! This week saw the release of the fifth and final issue of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. Assassin, which features another deliciously dynamic cover by Lafuente. David Lafuente is from Spain and currently lives in London where he’s working on his next big project, a creator-owned series for Image Comics called The Ludocrats with fellow creators Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol.

Lafuente first cut his teeth in the mainstream comics world on the 2008-09 Hellcat mini-series with writer/artist Kathryn Immonen, then worked with Brian M. Bendis on the Ultimate Spider-Man relaunch. Some of my favorite art by David Lafuente is his interior work on the All-New Doop series in 2014 with Doop’s creator’s Peter Milligan & Mike Allred; check out those beautiful pages above!

Other notable works include Batman Eternal, Batgirl, Neli Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and The Runaways.

You can follow David Lafuente and see his art process on his tumblr page here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/01/15 under artists,black and white,comic,design,Humor,illustration,weekly topics
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Haejin Park

Bryna Shields

Bryna Shields

Bryna is an illustrator at brynashields.com, surface designer and photographer. She also teaches yoga. Her work is a playful exploration of bright colors, mark-making, textures, wild lettering and lively patterns.
Bryna Shields

Latest posts by Bryna Shields (see all)

3b2277_3a8979bbe2104b8cad1cb2dabcb7d615.jpg_srb_p_600_326_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Haejin Park is a Brooklyn-based illustrator, freshly graduated from RISD. Her illustrations are packed with intriguing and fun details and abundant color palettes. Each piece in her portfolio contains happy surprises, such as characters swimming in donuts, or beautifully detailed insects. 

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Pizze Beach is a great example of her talent for imagining unusual narratives, with pizza toppings sunning themselves on a cheesy surface. 

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You can see all of her work here, follow along on Instagram or say hi to her on Twitter!

Posted by Bryna Shields on 09/30/15 under artists
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